Home Fiction Watching the world go by in my favourite cafeteria

Watching the world go by in my favourite cafeteria

by Roberta

The monochrome tiles gleamed under the hurried steps of the waiters. When one of them stopped in front of me, I looked up and realised I had been lost in thought all along.

“Your coffee, miss,” the young waiter said. He placed the cup on the table and rushed off to wait on the newly occupied table next to me. I stirred my coffee absently, gazing at the new arrivals. Two men in suits were discussing something in low tones, ordered 2 cappuccinos dismissively and resumed their absorbed talk. A loud cackle of laughter resonated and I looked around to see the lady who had called me “sweet” a while earlier, doubled over in laughter. I wondered why, as the small man in front of her didn’t seem particularly amused. I took a small sip from my coffee and was about to start reading when an elderly women in a red floral dress and a sunhat walked in with 3 brown sausage dogs traipsing behind. Everyone in the coffee shop had eyes only for her now, even the men in ties on my right who raised quizzical eyebrows and then laughed over a joke one of them shared. The woman settled down in a corner and bade her dogs to stay, which they did in a remarkably obedient fashion. The normal clamour resumed. China clinked, the milk steamer hissed, the till banged open. I closed my eyes for a small moment, inhaling the smooth smell of coffee before I took another sip and re-opened the book. With so many stories vying for my attention around me, it was no wonder that it took some time for the story in my book to actually claim me for its own.

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