I looked into the mirror one last time, before heading out the door to my mindless job. It was only a block away from my tiny one bedroom apartment, which saved on gas, the one and only plus side to the silly job. Going into it, my thought was 'What the hell, if it sucks, at least I will be so hyped up on free coffee I won't know how horrible it is.' Ha! No such luck. Try coffee at a ten percent discount, which made it only the second most expensive coffee for five blocks. But they pay well, and I only have to work there about twenty hours a week, morning shifts.
I walked into 'The Grinding Pot' 2 minutes before I was due to punch in and, oh goody, there was my boss sitting next to the clock giving me the stink eye.
"Bella, if you waited another minute to punch in you would have been late. Maybe, next time, you should get here a little earlier just in case." Ugh. He always sounded so nice while he was being a controlling jerk.
I gritted my teeth and mumbled a "Sure thing, boss." all while biting my tongue to prevent all those witty remarks I had flying around in my head from making an appearance. I am nothing if not a multi-tasker.
I hate my job! I don't think making coffee is my true calling, but there wasn't much out there for a struggling writer. I have looked into different newspapers to write for, but writing news is far too depressing for me. In order to get paid well, you have to get "front page material" and when front page material is missing children and mindless crimes, it makes the success of getting the front page somewhat disappointing and slightly depressing.
I put on my apron and walked behind the counter to see my favorite little lap dog standing there, with a big smile on his face, practically panting at my very presence.
"Hey Mike, how are you doing this fine morning." I asked bitterly. It was only five a.m. and he looked like he already took full advantage of the discounted, gourmet coffee. He must have spent at least fifty bucks to be so hyper this early.
He smiled at me, "GREAT! Thanks! Hey have you tried this new drink, 'the Triple Decker?' It has three shots of espresso in it. Its really good. I've had three this morning!" Oh god. He is going to O.D. on caffeine before the shift is over.
"Nope. Haven't tried that one yet." I said as I tried to hide a chuckle. He may be a little annoying, kind of crazy, and slightly oblivious, but he was an ok guy. "How early did you get here Mike?"
"Oh about 45 minutes ago, so 15 minutes early for my shift." Suck up. "So Bella, how was your night last night? Didn't you have a family thing to go to?"
"Huh?" I looked at him wide eyed. He can sure speak fast when he has nine shots of espresso to drink in less than an hour.
"Yeah, you said you couldn't go out with me cause you had a family thing to get to." Oh crap. That's right. I did tell him that didn't I? I really need to keep track of my excuses with him.
"Oh yeah! It was great, you know, good seeing everyone." I said quickly. I have only been here two minutes and he has already gotten me through almost three conversations. Quite a feat.
"So what are you doing tonight? There is this place, a couple blocks away, I heard they have really good food! I could take you there. We could see for ourselves how good the food is." Crap. What excuse can I use now. Already used the family thing, and he always makes me explain if I just say that I have plans.
"Um, well…" Just then the door dinged as the first customer of the day strolled in. HA! I will have to give this guy a discount for getting here right when I needed him. "What can I get for you today?" I asked with a HUGE smile plastered on my face as I swiveled to face the costumer, who was now standing right in front of me. "Wow…" I said a little taken aback. I was staring straight into the chest of a huge guy. I gulped as I tilted my head up to look the giant in the face.
He was huge, bulky. Muscle, not fat. And tall, towered over me, hell towered over two of me stacked on top of one another. He had brown wavy hair that hung around his eyes. He would have been very intimidating if not for the huge, goofy smile plastered on his face. "Did you have to dunk down to get into the door." Crap…Did I just say that out loud. Damn me and my stupid word vomit. I looked down scolding myself under my breath, until I heard a booming laugh that made me jump half way in the air.
"Not quite. Close though." He said. I looked up at him, a smile playing at my lips. "Thanks for the concern," He said finishing with a wink. It wasn't a creepy, or flirtatious wink, just friendly.
"Well big guy, what can I get for yah?" I finally asked. He just looked up at the menu above my head not speaking for a couple seconds.
All of a sudden he looked down with a smile still on his face, "You know, I don't know what the hell any of that stuff means." He said, nodding towards the menu. "So make me something good, that has two shots in it, but make sure to drown out those two shots with something sweet. I don't want to know that I am actually drinking coffee. And make it cold. I don't do hot coffee. And make sure to blend it." I was laughing now.
"Alright, I will take care of it," I said while looking up at him. "Against anything in particular, like chocolate, caramel, hazelnut…"
He cut me off, "No hazelnut, but everything else is cool."
"Got it! I'll make a new concoction and I will even make it myself." I said
while motioning over to the seats, "Go have a seat while I make that for you." He nodded and headed over to a seat where he could still watch as I made his drink.
I played around with the different flavors and syrups while humming to myself. Finally my masterpiece was complete, and I strolled over to the counter. "All finished! Come try it and tell me what you think." I said as I motioned him over with the wave of a hand. "If you don't like it, tell me what you don't like about it and I will fix it." I said while handing him his coffee.
He grabbed the coffee from my hand and took a swig. He rolled it around in his mouth, making a series of faces. "Hmmm," was all he said. He was trying to throw me off, but he couldn't hide that goofy smile very well.
"Oh jeez! Who do you think your fooling?" I asked looking up at him. "You love it and you know it." I said as I leaned on the counter.
"Yeah, ok. You got me. I like it, and good call on making it a large." He said with a chuckle.
I looked at him with a incredulous look plastered on my face, "Yeah I was about to give you a small, but then decided 'what the hell.' "
He just shook his head back and forth while laughing, "What did you put in this baby" He said holding up his drink and wiggling it at me.
"Ah well, it is truly ingenious." I said staring smugly at him, "Two shots of espresso, as requested, white chocolate, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and drizzles of both chocolate and caramel syrup on top of the whipped cream."
"Nicely done." He commented. "What shall you call your new concoction?"
"Hmm, good question." I said bringing my hand up to my chin in thought. "How about…Well, what's your name."
He looked at me questioningly, while cocking one eyebrow, "Emmett."
"Perfect," I said enthusiastically, flinging my arms in the air in triumph. "We shall name it Emmett. It can be your usual and you will only be able to get it when I'm working." He just stared at me, smiling.
"Well," He paused as he looked down at my name tag, "Bella, that sounds like a plan. How much do I owe you?" With that, I gave him the total and he just handed me a twenty. "Keep the change, I've never had this much fun getting coffee before." He chuckled and waved as he left the store.
I turned around to see Mike staring wide eyed and open mouthed at me. "You ok, Mike?" I asked.
"Did you know him?" He asked looking at the door Emmett just walked out of.
"No, but man was he cool, Huh?" I said smiling at him. "I mean really, he was funny, and he wasn't trying to flirt with me the whole time. I love getting cool customers." I grabbed a towel and started wiping up the counters.
That's when business picked up. A rush of people piled into the store, starting with a younger guy. "Hey there, pretty lady." Oh, yuck! Well, at least the day started out ok.