Routine: An unvarying or habitual method or procedure.


"More coffee?" the waiter said

"Yes, thank you…"

It was another one of those rainy nights. The neon tube just above her flickered a few times before settling on a pale white light. The raindrops hit the large window. The smell of wet soil filtered through under the entrance. The once yellow walls had now an ochre taint.

A lightning lit the empty street, casting a ghostly light over the surrounding buildings. She sipped at her pitch black coffee. Every night she invariably sat on the same table, at the same time, ordered the usual and nothing more.

An old radio was playing a sad song. It was the same song at the same time, every day. 1:35, Clover... She couldn't help singing to herself, or sway at the soft rhythm of the music. She always did, why stop now?

As the radio kept playing, the young woman contemplated the activities of those who worked there. At this time, most of the girls were reading magazines, while the others entertained themselves by organizing the cups, glasses, some arranged the sugar others folded the napkins. Meanwhile, she just sat there, and stared blankly into the darkness, waiting for that small detail that made that night the same as before. But still, it was too early for that.

Sighing, the young woman took her sketch pad and began tracing the lines of a new drawing. The pencil moved swiftly over the white sheet of paper.

As she drew the falling rain on the empty street, she saw from the corner of her eye an old man struggling to keep his ragged umbrella on his hands. Suddenly a gust of wind blew the item away, leaving the man even more exposed to the water.

The girl was, to some people, too softhearted. But she couldn't help to feel a pressure on her chest when she saw the man pick up his broken umbrella from the puddle it had landed on. She looked at her side where her navy blue umbrella laid, and upon staring at the object a moment, she grabbed it ands abruptly stood up, rushing outside.

"Sir!!" she shouted. Her voice was muffled by the wind, but he still heard. The young woman walked up to the unfortunate man. "I believe you need this more than I do, please take it" The expression on the man's face was priceless.

"Ohh, no, I couldn't--"

"If you want to return it to me, I'm always there at this hour" she said pointing at the shop. "Take care!"

With those words she went back into the café. The waiter that was currently serving her coffee was already waiting at the door with a towel in hand. She muttered a 'thanks' with a smile, and sat back. This way she had given away god knows how many things.

As she sat down and dried her hair with the warm towel. Another lightening tore the sky, shading its bluish light upon the windows of the café right across the street. And just like that, there he was. Like every other night. He, too, was another invariable thing on her night's routine.

He was always there, with his laptop turned on but rarely looking at the screen. He was looking outside, she knew from the way his head was turned.

She remembered...

It was a stormy night, the thunders were almost deafening, and the lightenings blinding. As always, she sat on table 3 with her pad in hand and ordered. People rushed to their cars, and ran to the warmth of their houses. The sky looked as if it were to hail. The frenzy was only natural. Meanwhile, she worked on the latest request for a book. She knew very well all those hours, pencil in hand, were worth much more than she actually charged. But while outside the weather resembled that of the end of the world, she was happily imagining the sunny landscape of London's countryside.

A sudden light illuminated everything. For a moment it was day again. And there, on the coffee shop on the other side of the street, was a man, with blazing red hair. The thunder that came after the flash made him look up from his laptop, and their eyes met. She waved slightly with a smile on her face, but all he did was to look back into his screen.

Tonight was just like the ones before, and it felt comforting, it felt safe. The only think that changed was who she helped, and what she lost, but that wasn't so important. To some people, routine was boring, was tiring... to her, routine was what kept her sane, on the frenzy of the city, the deserted café was a realm to work and relax.

She sighed, and looked at her neglected cup. She hoped the rain would stop by the time she had to go.

Short and not too appealing, but it's the first, it should get better.

Read and review! Thanks!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto (this applies for chapters to come)