Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Coffee Cup: A Short Story

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, July 17, 2014

"You don't have to understand. You just have to have faith..have faith in destiny."
-Serendipity (2001)

The weather was as pleasant as it could get. The coffee shop had a handful of visitors only - it was one of those gloomy days at the coffee shop. The brick walls, rustic wooden tables, slightly distorted chairs, Eddie Vedder's tunes playing faintly, and a strong aroma of black coffee complemented her. 

She sat at the corner of the coffee shop with a copy of Dandelion Wine while smoking a cigarette. She looked like she belonged there, engulfed in smoke yet with a twinkle in her eyes. 

She looked at him as he occupied the table across her. He carried a laptop, few papers, and a pile of books. 

"I will have my usual. And please, keep refilling my coffee till I ask you to stop," he yelled out to the lady at the counter and he had his espresso right after he asked for it. He plugged in his earphones and started scribbling on his papers. She leaned forward to see what he was doing. He was writing, and very swiftly at that. 

She looked up at his face. A pretty face, she thought. Big brown eyes, well groomed hair, eyebrows creased, dressed in black and very clean. Just unlike her! She wondered why she never saw him if it was his usual place. She blinked her eyes and got back to her book.

A couple of hours and a few cups of coffee later...

“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.”

She was startled and looked up at him as he was settling down at her table. 

She tried to hide her surprise and said, "Excuse me?"

"Oh, it is one of the beautiful lines from the book you are reading. Ray Bradbury is a genius writer. Haven't you paid attention to these fascinating lines from the book?" His eyes were slowly turning comical.

"I do not remember lines from Fiction. I read them just because I want to read some books before I die," she said that while taking a long puff of her cigarette.

"That is a very bad thing to say to a writer. I am Ayan, by the way."

"What do you do for a living?" She rolled her eyes.

"I write for a living. The piece I was working on while you were scanning me a moment ago had a deadline, it is meant to be published tomorrow. And don't you know that smoking is bad for your health? You are killing my health too," he said with a mock cough.

"I will do whatever the hell I want. You cannot stop me."

"Of course, I cannot. So, what do you do apart from smoking a million cigarettes a day and staring at random men?"

"A. I do not stare at random men. And B. I was a doctor," she cleared her throat, "a failed doctor, to be precise."

"Ooh, what happened?"


He looked at her and sighed. 

She was sad, she did not give it away. He was curious, he did not give it away.

"So, what do you write?"


She asked him more questions about his stories and his life. He noticed her weeks ago but he ignored to mention it. He wanted to ask her many questions too but he sensed her discreetness. Still, deep down he knew he will have his answers. Later.

Few hours later too, they still sat there, consuming more coffee and stealing glances at each other, she was reading again, and he was writing again.

The coffee shop witnessed yet another strange story again. It was 8 P.M. when they left the place together.

The conversations were saved for later.


Namrata on 18 Jul 2014, 12:52:00 said...

Where do pluck these stories from? They are always distinct and mostly unnoticed ones. Awestruck! :)

Sunaina on 18 Jul 2014, 20:47:00 said...

@Namrata: Thank you SO much! :) And the stories? Just a part of my imagination. :)

missatomicbomb on 20 Jul 2014, 05:41:00 said...

Hello! It's the intruder again! :p

The story is lovely! :) you're amazing! - Vaishnavi

Sunaina on 20 Jul 2014, 07:32:00 said...

@Vaishnavi: Hello, again. Thank you SO much. :)

Aparna Singh on 22 Jul 2014, 21:54:00 said...

You're an inspiration, lady. Beautifully written. I'm awestruck. And I want more of this story. :)

Sunaina on 23 Jul 2014, 00:28:00 said...

@Aparna: You are being very kind. Thank you SO much! :)

Anonymous said...

While going thru dis story/play, I felt myself as an unnoticed 3rd person sitting in d coffee shop...feeling the cool weather around and watching der conversation... Nice one (y)

Sunaina on 5 Aug 2014, 00:02:00 said...

@Bharath: Thank you.


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