SHORT STORY PROMPT:
there’s a heavy storm and two people are stuck in a coffee shop for almost the entire day. (They are the only customers in the shop).
One character was supposed to meet their date but got stood up, the second character just broke up with their partner.
It was a cool Saturday morning, and the heavens opened up over the city of Swellview. The thunder clapped at the rhymic flashes of light and the skies could relish the cacophonic symphony of Thor and Zeus. Remember what they say about Life being those things happening but not planned for, I don’t know but One Republic captioned it better in a song of theirs.
“Give me all your love and all your pain
Gonna live this wild life wild today…. ”
a young man chorused as he scrolled through his cell phone. His tuxedo hung over his shoulder as he grimaced at the illumination from his electronic companion beneath the dim light by the counter.
He continued “I’m staring at these faded signs ahead…..” as he read through the messages. In particular the text from Leia “ Hey John, I’ll be there at 9 am”.
Being stood up is not necessarily expected but what do you do?
It was 11 am and mother nature was having a dance with Thor and Zeus. The bartender had gone to fetch extra supplies; she won’t be back in another hour. The Bar is sort of empty except for the presence of a figure by the window pane. John steals a glance and observes the woman staring intently beyond the window glass.
The woman placed place her MacBook on the desk, as she intermittently drank the coffee she had requested from Tracy — the bartender. She sat quietly, plugged in earphones, and sipped the coffee quietly until she stopped.
“Maybe if I had allowed Marcus come along, I might have had a good cuddle after all” she thought as she stared into the street, ears blocked, Zara Larsson playing in the background, oscillating music in her ears as the rain platters on the window.
John stood up, grabbed his tuxedo, and drifted towards her asking “is this seat taken?” pointing to the chair. He lingered for a while only to observe she was deep in her thoughts; soothingly guided by music. He simply grabbed the chair, sat, and with a coy smile chimed
“Hello,” he continued “are you trying to relieve yourself of stress by working?”
She turned, removed the plugs off her right ear, and responded “Well, are you trying to mind your business by asking about mine?”
“Whoa, easy tiger!” he retorted. “I was merely trying to break the ice here. For what it’s worth, you’ve been staring at the window for a while, and your coffee has lost its steam”
“Bad day, huh?” he asked
She glanced at him slowly “as you can see… yes”
There was an awkward silence and he continued
“Yeah there seem to be a lot of that going around today,” he said, sipping off his coffee
He dropped the cup and continued “I’m John by the way and may I have the pleasure of knowing yours?”
I’m Susan, she said “although I totally may not have had the pleasure”
“Okay then Susan, what are the odds of meeting you here with a cold coffee and a blank page of Ms word doc” He giggled
“The chances are quite clear when you’re a creative writer experiencing writer’s block” she responded
“Yeah I’m actually experiencing a lover’s block” John grunted
“what does that mean?” Susan raise her brow
“It’s a phrase I coined, you know, just as you have writer’s block. What if it’s difficult for people to find love. Hence lover’s block”
“That’s not a real word” she smirked “but I understand you”
“I think I do…… fairly”
“ Okay, but I hope I’m helping with the story at least?”
“Maybe, cos I’m literally out of options here” she looked at the Mac and typed a few words.
“So what’s your story?” he asked.
“Do you mean the title of the story or the general idea behind my existence?”
“Isn’t that gonna be a bit complex to decipher?” he gave a light-hearted laugh.
“Ahem. I gotta clear my throat” he said as he pats his chest “ but seriously what brought you to the Bar?”
“It’s an interesting story. I’m just trying to wrap my head around it” she answered.
“You know, if it helps, I came here on a date but was stood up”
he heaved a sigh
“... actually a point of correction, it was a supposed date”
he reclined to his coffee and gulped the last.
“He or she?”
John gave a cynical look “this is exactly why I said it might be complex knowing the idea behind your existence”
“what? It’s just a question. Besides, I don’t wanna presume anything” she said
“Leia, her name is Leia. You know, this was meant to be our first date… sort of. I really thought I had everything planned out, but here we are”
Susan shook her head “oh young love, the things it makes you do”
“What do you mean?” John asked
“I saw when you walked in and how ‘not so nervous’ you were” she laughed.
“I think it’s a good thing she didn’t come around, cos someone else is always by the corner” she said.
“Arghh, now you’re sounding like my Aunt” john retorted “so philosophical”
“Haha, please no. Truly I’m sorry you had to experience being stood up. It’s such a weird flex” She responded
“Yeah I’ll be fine,” John said, “the corner is still always available right?”
Susan paused, looked at the mac, and turned to John
“Yes, but you gotta make the most of it quickly”
“Like my favorite character once said ‘love is just a chemical reaction that elicits the desire to do so much than necessary,” she said
“hmm I might have to think about that for a while,” John said
“right now, I just wanna escape any thoughts of it” he continued
“It’s totally fine” Susan responded.
“Anyway, have you got someone with whom you share a chemical reaction?” he asked
“Oh, that must be nice. How did you guys meet?” John interjected
“Well, it was at a bar. Actually this same bar”
“Cool, so I’m in luck then, seems I came to the right place”
Susan laughed “Well, it’s more of your want than where you are ”
“In essence?” he asked
“In essence, it’s about your heart’s disposition, than the venue of the date”
“Nice. I’ve got this odd feeling to pen down a few things you’re about to say”
“Yeah, you should,” Susan said with a giggle.
“How did it all go by the way? The first date experience and all, if you’d love to share”
“Our first date, if I remember was on a Friday night. I have had a rusty week and Marcus had invited me for karaoke”
“It was fun, we sang a few songs and laughed well into the night.”
“At some point, Marcus will send silly texts like “we should spend our Saturdays touring the city, going through all the beautiful galleries there are”
“That must have been cool or better still, so cool to have Him around”
“Yeah it was, we had our calendars marked for all the amazing stuff we were gonna do each week, month, year and on and on” She smiled
“Son, it was truly beautiful”
“I think so, not like I have had much of it, but experiencing life with friends and those around seem to evoke a similar emotion” he responded.
“John, it is all a big circle of intentional kind words and kind acts”
Susan, you seem to have a lot to say about love” John smirked.
“Oh, I do, it’s worth it. It’s ideal and beyond the kisses and hugs, there are the shared moments of wins, losses, congratulations, and apologies”
“So how is Marcus? Hope my top guy is doing great?” Johns asked in glee
Susan paused, looked intently at the window glass and asked
“When we fall in Love, how reasonable do we get?”
“Pretty reasonable I guess. we do things more than necessary because we care much more” John replied
“Do we really care much more or that’s the worth we place on our actions and intentions?”
“I don’t understand”
“Marcus and I broke up, and yes like the band — the Beatles”
“I am sorry to hear that. You both seemed to enjoy what you had”
“I like to think of it that way, but then did we?”
Susan continued “Cos I only pretty much mentioned my side of the story though”
“Respectfully, I do not want to delve deep into the cause and I am fine with your account” John replied.
“John, what's the one thing you would keep in a relationship if you had the chance?”
“My senses” he laughed
“Cmon, be serious”
“I am serious. You know how people say you can be irrational when in love. I don’t want that” he paused
“I wanna be rationally irrational. I don’t think it is folly, I believe as you said; it is intentional words and actions”
“Aww, so sweet….until it’s not” she retorted
“Argh, thought we were on the same page here” he grumbled.
“Yes, we are. Trust me you are just not gonna need the senses much. You don’t wanna over calculate”
“You want to give it all. It is like being in a live concert and absolutely enjoying the moment, no distractions just sucked up in the beautiful rhythm of the sound of music”
“Love with the right person is you enjoying the moment with them, as long as you both want”
“It is the pure expression of rhythm, romance, care, and everything in between. It is life” she smiled
“I would have guessed you were against it since you just had a break up” John replied
“Yes, I have given a thought these past few days and albeit dark, I used to think what if Marcus actually died. It makes no difference, he’s gone but those memories will be cherished”
“That sounds dark, don’t you think?” John retorted.
“I agree, which is the reason I gave up on the thought”
“I have had to ask myself, what did I do wrong, but truthfully there is nothing. I think we just got tired of things”
“But if you both had a chance to get back, would you take it?”
“I don’t think so. If we could work things out, I probably won’t be here”
to be continued……
inspired by this prompt tweet https://twitter.com/teeewaks/status/1550643657677611010?s=20&t=RLR3Og-bUbhhMPm7wgYJVQ