Tristan settled down in his usual spot; the third chair to the left from the right back corner. There he could see most of the people in the run down coffeehouse. The walls were moulding; their colours have long since faded. The chairs and tables creaked, threatening to break if you looked at them the wrong way. Damp air and the smell of cocoa filled the room; permeating through its very pores. Despite its appearances, Jameson’s served the best coffee, and almost everyone knew it. Men and women bustled through the door like sheep in a herd. Some had just finished their graveyard shifts and were heading home to rest while others were on their way to work; refuelling for the day ahead.
Most of the customers were regulars; just like Tristan. He sipped his coffee as he watched Nelson get two flat whites. He must have a rough day ahead; Nelson was more of a hot chocolate kind of guy. Rita was on the counters today, the 20-something Latino didn’t speak that much English; just enough to take orders and count cash. As usual, she was helped by Jason; a twenty-five-year-old body builder had been trying to get in Rita’s pants for as long as Tristan can remember. Since Jason was here, B.D was probably in the back making coffee. Despite being twenty-seven, B.D was often mistaken for a teen. His slender legs and arms were often mismatched with his big head. B.D was the sole reason that Jason still worked at Jackson’s. If not for his talents in the arts of coffee making, Jason would have been fired long ago for his advances on all living females. Too bad B.D had to be friends with the meat for brains.
Occasionally Tristan liked to take his mind off the coffee shop and turn his attention to the passersby outside. Men in their business suits, women wearing blouses and heels. One man was wearing such a ridiculous outfit that it reminded him of Sherlock Holmes except dressed in pink. Tristan liked to take a good look at their faces, watching their expressions as they moved through the crowds. Each one was unique but lost among a sea of suits and ties, of blouses and skirts. It was getting quite late (for this time of day), and Tristan was about to go back to his coffee when something caught his eye.
Out of the window, among a sea of black and white was a woman in a pale blue dress. She had black hair detailed with blue highlights and was wearing blue shoes, the same light blue as her dress. She walked into the coffeehouse; it was not as busy, but there still was a queue. Tristan stood up; he was running late. Not that he had anywhere to go to, but he was usually back at his flat at this time. As he passed the counter, he got a much better look at the lady in blue. Her eyes were blue, not the light blue of her dress but a deeper, darker blue – the colour of a stormy sea. She was wearing penguin socks which seemed out of place but fitted her in a weird way. Tristan passed by and went out the door.
Sure the lady wasn’t gorgeous, but she certainly was easy on the eyes. And maybe she was a bit weird for dressing in all blue, but Tristan had been wearing all black as well. But the most important thing was that Tristan was an observer, not a person to be observed. He had watched many relationships start in that coffeehouse and many more end. After all, Tristan was merely a no name reporter, trying to fulfil his dreams of writing a novel. Why should we waste his time on something that didn’t have that much hope? Why should he take a chance?
Tristan found himself back at the coffee shop; his feet had dragged him there. He scoured the room looking for the lady in blue, hoping that she had not already left. Luckily for him, she was still in the shop; on the third chair to the left from the right back corner. Tristan thought it must have been some kind of sign, that this was going to fail horribly but he braved on. Straightening his jacket he walked up to the table, thinking of what he might say. As he approached her, his mind went blank, and he said the first thing that came to his mind.
“You’re in my seat.”
“I’m sorry, it’s not every day you get up to find an angel dressed in blue on your seat”, Tristan said.
She laughed; a small, quirky laugh. “Forgive me, it’s not every day you get called an angel.”
“Well I am curious about one thing, is there a reason you angels dress in all blue?” Tristan asked as he took a seat.
“It’s to blend in with the clear blue sky you see.”
“Interesting, so angels operate using camouflage, this is what you would call a scientific breakthrough,” Tristan said with a small chuckle.
“It would seem so” she replied, taking a small sip from her coffee as she did so.
“Pardon me, it appears that you’re not ordering any coffee? Do you not like this coffeehouse?” she asked.
“I quite enjoy Jackson’s coffee; it’s one of the best in the state if not the entire country. In fact, I had just finished my own; a Mocha with extra milk and extra sugar.”
“No way,” she exclaimed,”That’s exactly what I’m having now.”
“But I doubt you know the professional way to take a Mocha.”
“You think an angel can’t make a Mocha? Well, I’ll tell you my secret; you add extra milk to give it that flavour.”
“And extra cream to give it that taste” Tristan replied.
“One spoon of sugar isn’t enough,” the angel said.
“And three spoons are too many.”
“And you mustn’t forget the chocolate sprinkles,” they both exclaimed before bursting into laughter.
Tristan was the first one to regain his senses, “Well it has been fun talking to you … hmm…. I just realised that I haven’t asked you for your name yet. What do I call you except angel or lady in blue?”
“Angel is just fine, but if you must know, the name’s Rebecca, Rebecca Collins but you can call me Bec. And you are?”
“Tristan Stands but most people just call me Trist.”
“Well Trist its been a pleasure meeting you. If I may ask, what do you do?”
“I’m a reporter, though not a very good one. I work for NAZ, just by the docks. Though my secret dream is to become a writer.”
“You work for NAZ?”
“That’s amazing!” Bec exclaimed.
“How so?” Trist asked, genuinely puzzled.
“I just got transferred here, I work at NDC over on the west coast and just got a promotion. So I’ll be here for a while working with some guys from NAZ while we discuss some projects.”
“Interesting, and if I may ask, what kind of projects?”
“Well, I’m a photographer and graphic designer so I’m in charge of the covers of some of our prints. The boys upstairs want to start a new magazine in collaboration with the guys at your company.”
“Isn’t that the new fashion magazine everyone’s talking about?”
“That’s the one. Anyhow, I was tasked with helping them so here I am.”
“Well, that’s a cool story, guess we’ll be seeing a lot of each other around then,” Tristan said as he got up to leave. It was becoming clear to him that Bec was way out of his league and he was a guy who knew when to quit.
“Are you going anywhere?” Bec asked, her voice a bit soft.
“Nowhere in particular, it’s just that you seem very busy and I wouldn’t want to take up any more of your time.”
Tristan put on his coat, he knew that things would end this way, but at least he tried. He put himself out there and now it was back to writing pages upon pages about all the silly little things that happened in this town.
Tristan turned around to see Bec packing her stuff. Even when she was hurrying, she was still a sight to behold.
“Actually, my team hasn’t come in, and I haven’t been formally introduced yet, so I’m quite lost. If it isn’t too much of a bother, would you like to show me around?” she asked, her voice incredibly soft.
Ordinarily, Trist would have said no, he didn’t see much of a future between him and Bec, but she did make him feel something he hadn’t felt in a long time; hopeful.
“Sure, today’s my day off so I could be your tour guide. You’ll have to forgive me, though, I more of a shut in myself.”
“So you’re a vampire huh? I wonder what people would think when they see a vampire and an angel walking together.”
Tristan laughed, “Who says a vampire and an angel can’t be friends?”
Bec sulked for a moment before turning and giving Trist a kiss on the cheek. It wasn’t a long kiss but it was long enough to be awkward.
“Who says they can’t be more than friends?” she asked shyly.
Back in the coffeehouse, Jackson watched as an angel and a vampire walked down the street holding hands. He had seen Trist often come to his coffee shop, often when he was down. The wannabe writer had so many great stories, but he just didn’t know how to start them. All he needed was a good intro, and after all, all good stories start with a cup of coffee.
The Icognito Writer: One of my better pieces from last year