Music note: I really want to say this chapter was inspired by Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. When it came out, I was driving an hour and a half one way to get to school, so I feel like I heard this, and a few others, on repeat for about 3 hours 4 days a week. Nothing better to do than daydream while trying to drive straight!
Magic Beans hadn’t changed, Abigail decided, as she pushed open the glass door and inhaled the sweet aromas of coffee and pastries. It was the pastries that got her every time, but she loved the coffee, too. It was just the jolt of caffeine she needed after a long drive from the city.
It was just after seven in the morning, on the last day of Earth, and the coffee shop wasn’t particularly busy, which was a good thing since there were only two people on staff. That Magic Beans was even still open was a surprise to her, but some people still needed that normalcy otherwise they would go crazy. She knew that if the paper hadn’t closed their doors she would still be going in to work today. She liked some semblance of normalcy as much as these two baristas probably did.
There were a handful of people in line, which looked more like a winding snake as everyone jutted out at different places to take a look at the menu, and another handful sitting at the stone topped tables dotted around the shop, the wrought iron chairs cushioned in red and blue. From the chalked in menu hanging above the counter, she saw that a limited number of items were being offered. It was mostly just the basics with a couple of fancier drinks. That was okay with her; she just wanted a plain latte, nothing fancy. And maybe one of those pastries.
That thought made her swing her gaze down to the counter. Just below the counter top was a glass display case, lit up to highlight the offered pastries each morning. There were some plain and chocolate filled croissants, a small variety of muffins, and some pastries. Again, nothing fancy, but just the kind of breakfast she needed. She’d had a little to eat with Iris’s family, but, in truth, she’d spent more time talking and playing with the girls than eating.
Her purse swinging from her shoulder, her low heels clicked against the red and blue alternating tiles on the floor as she joined the line. The man at the head of the line was taking forever to figure out what he wanted to order, but the other four people in line didn’t seem to be in a hurry. No one was rushing each other despite it being the last day. She found it odd, but didn’t want to waste time and energy puzzling it out. Besides, she was okay with taking her time getting to her family. At this hour, only her parents were probably awake. Well, maybe her dad. Her mom worked until the wee hours of the morning now and probably slept through half of the morning. And, knowing Jenna, her sister was probably still out cold. Even if it was their last day of life. No, there was no hurry getting home.
The man in front of her looked to be around her age, and was pretty good looking, she had to admit. At least, the back of his head, with its neatly clipped dark hair, was good looking. He looked well dressed, too, which was always a plus. His dark blue short sleeved shirt actually looked like it had been ironed and a dark brown belt held up his khaki pants. She could live with this view for as long as it took to get to the front of the line.
The man, maybe sensing she was staring at the back of his head, turned and smiled at her. He looked sleepy, but was more or less awake. His eyes were a melting chocolate brown and that decided it for her. She was going to have one of those chocolate croissants. But, really, the man had a pleasant face. It was handsome, but not devastatingly so. The sharp angles were softened somewhat and the neatly combed hair framing his face with its pointed chin almost gave him a boyish air. No, not a bad looking man. Now she just hoped he was single. She could use a date to the party tonight.
“Be prepared to wait for a while,” the man said. “This guy’s been trying to make up his mind for the past five minutes. He’s probably ordered everything on the menu just to take it back. I’m betting he ends up sticking with a plain black coffee.”
Abigail laughed. “That’s fine. I have some time.”
She tossed her ponytail back over her shoulder and reached into her purse for her phone, turning her attention away from the man. She’d already texted all of her friends that she was in town to see if they wanted to get together that night. Of course, she had texted them about two hours before while she was on the road, so she hadn’t expected any replies at the time. Now it was seven in the morning and maybe Courtney, at least, was awake. When they were kids, she was always the first of the four of them to wake up. Morgan wasn’t much of a morning person and Ellie was variable.
And there was a message from Courtney waiting for her. Her lifelong friend had family commitments for dinner, but could meet up later on around seven or eight. She would wait to see what her other friends said before committing to a time to head off to the party, she thought as she sent a quick reply text to her friend.