The Usual, Please!
Author's notes: I've wanted to write this for a few days now. Craig and Tweek and all the other 'children' are around 17-18 here. And for non-Americans, that's when we are graduating high school. Heh.
Oh, and it goes between POV's, since I couldn't think of any better way to do this. Richard is Tweek's dad. :] He's my favorite adult.
Mornings are like the smell of a new brew of coffee; refreshing and energizing! I love waking up around four o'clock, pouring myself a steaming hot cup of joe and watching the sun rise. It's a peaceful moment. Tweek has been asleep for an hour and my wife won't be up for another two hours. Everything is quiet.
The first person I see in the morning is Officer Barbrady and what an interesting visit that always is. Then the early birds come in to chat.
This morning, though, someone new came in. A classmate of Tweek's, actually. His father and I went to high school together, though at the time, he was a senior and I a freshman. Craig Tucker.
"Something with a lot of caffeine."
I smile, not really minding the interruption, "Coffee with an extra shot of espresso?"
"Is that the shit that wakes you up?"
"Yes it is."
"I'll just take a glass full of that, then. I don't care what it costs."
I chuckle. This kid has some guts if he thinks he can handle the Tweak's caffeinated special. "Are you sure about that? It's basically coffee flavored mud…"
The boy scoffs and raises his middle finger only high enough for me to see.
I roll my eyes and does as he asked, pressing the espresso shot button again and again until our biggest cup was filled to the brim. I set it on the counter in front of me, "Fifteen dollars and forty five cents, please."
He cusses, but hands me exact change anyway. Funny, I meant that as a joke. Oh well.
I put the money in the cash register and look at the clock. 7:00 am. "Tweek won't be down for another hour or so…"
He takes a big swig of the coffee and cringes, "Tweek-shmeek. I'm here for the coffee."
I sigh and start cleaning the machinery… if only to be able to face away from him. Tweek hasn't been doing well with his peers lately, it seems. He doesn't go out much and even at school he never does any group work. It's odd… He used to have friends… I think.
I suppose I'm not a very good father… Or husband for that matter…
What does my wife do all day? I don't even know if she has a job. She doesn't really help with the shop anymore…
As I start to get into thinking further, he interrupts my thoughts.
"So, like, are all of the Tweaks so high strung all the time? I mean, do you people ever sleep?"
I turn back to him and nod. "Like the average American, we usually get about four or five hours. It's all anyone really needs in a night."
He stares at me blankly for a moment before downing half the cup he had clutched in his hands. "Yeah… average."
I take his cup from him and fill it up again. "Don't worry, free of charge. You see, here at the Tweek Bros. Coffee, we believe in a wholeso-"
"Ngh! Dad, shut up!"
I jump slightly and turned towards Tweek, who was now standing in the doorway. The clock read 7:45.
When I look back, he's already filled his thermos full of his coffee. Basically ground coffee-beans with a little water, a very strong drink.
I'm so proud of him.
Craig leaned back in his chair, taking another gulp of coffee. "Hey, spazz. Wanna walk to school with me?"
My son grins and takes a deep breath before turning back to the much darker-haired boy. "Gah!" Suddenly his face is flushed and he's shaking… "Y-yeah, let's go!"
They both head towards the door, but before they get out, Craig looks over his shoulder and waves at me, sporting a little smirk.
Nighttime sucks. School sucks. Life sucks. Mornings… used to suck.
I hate waking up in the morning. My body's sore, the bed is hot and the fucking air is always so cold, so goddamn freezing, that it makes it impossible to fall back asleep and impossible to get my ass out of bed.
That's why I'm always late to school, I just don't care enough to try. Nothing has really ever mattered to me.
Well… I suppose a few years back, before he died, Stripe used to matter to me... As if starting high school wasn't hard enough, a disease took my best friend away from me.
Nothing's been easy since then.
Yesterday, I had to go into school early to finish a project. It was a 'do it, or you won't graduate this year' project. That's how low I've sunk. Everything came down to one stupid fucking group project on the similarities of the anatomy of stupid fucking felines and stupid fucking humans.
Stupid fucking school.
Instead of getting to school around 9:15 as I usually do, I was up and out of the house by 6:30. Incredible.
Found myself at the Tweak coffee shop a little before 7:00. I was almost dead when I got there.
I guess shit changes early in the morning. A calm voice can seem soothing to your heart and a warm smile can change your outlook.
Or maybe it's just his general attitude towards life. It's so different. I'm sure he's aware of the world around him… but… He has his own world, too. A world where people only need four to five hours of sleep at night and coffee solves all life's problems.
Yesterday, mornings started to mean a lot more to me.
"And so I was all like 'Comeon, Sharron, we're gonna be late!' and she starts yellin' about how she needs to get dressed and do her hair and her nails and it was already six! Oh man, I thought we'd never get out of the house before the damn show started. Gawd, women can be so unreasonable. I mean, it's just a stupid movie theater, you know? You can wear your ugliest pajamas for all anyone else cares… H-hey, Richard… Richard, you listening?"
I look back at Randy and nod, taking another sip of coffee. It was a rare occurrence that one of the guys paid me a visit here and I was really enjoying his company… The way one enjoys a cup of stale old coffee after not having a glass for a day and a half. Not really, but you kinda want it anyway.
After he was sure he got my attention, he continued with his story. I couldn't manage to listen, though. After a few more minutes of this, I heard a bell ring. Another customer?
I look over and the boy from yesterday walks through the door, backpack behind him.
"Shouldn't you be in school?" I ask, causing Randy to stop talking and glance behind him.
"It was cancelled today. Kenny exploded onto over half the school in an early morning pep fest." He grinned, heading straight for the counter, "Half the students were covered in his guts, so we were allowed to leave and clean up."
He didn't have any blood on him, so he must have been part of the lucky half.
Randy shakes his head, "Oh man, the McCormack's are going to be heart-broken… Someone should go tell them…" Craig scoffs and I look away, hoping he'd get the point. "Well, I'll go do it…" He says his goodbye's and hurries out.
What an odd man.
The teen pulls up a chair and sits at the counter. "Give me the usual, please."
I raised an eyebrow. "A cup full of espresso shots?"
I guess it only takes one time to be the start of something 'usual'.
When I hand him the glass, he already has fifteen dollars and forty five cents on the counter. I smile and hand back his ten. "Five fifty is enough."
He looked down and thanked me.
"So, cancelled means you're out for the rest of the day, right?"
"Well, there's lots of work to do around here, if you'd like to make some spare change."
There was a short pause before he nodded and stood up.
It looks like I'm going to end up spending the whole day with him. With Mr. Tweak. I don't know what his first name is, but it doesn't matter.
"Well, the entire kitchen area needs to be swept and mopped. And the counters need to be bleached. I'm well over-due for a visit from the health inspector, so I'd like to get some good cleaning done, before I'm forced to close."
He looks so serious right now. His brows are knitted and his lips are pressed. His lips…
"First," he advises, "do the counters. That way anything that falls off when you're cleaning won't end up on a clean floor."
I grumble. "Where are the cleaning supplies?"