He entered the coffee shop with a heavy backpack, filled as it was with books, materials, and his utter determination to study the afternoon away.
Upon entering the café, he immediately scouted for a seat. The place was full, but, lo and behold! His favorite seat by the corner of the room was yet unoccupied.
Just then, he heard the doors open behind him, and felt a presence beside him, scouring over the tables. He immediately knew what it meant: competition.
His competitor that afternoon seemed to have noticed the empty table in the corner too, since he heard a shuffle in that direction. Not to be defeated, he immediately started walking to it, taking seemingly unhurried steps to the corner.
The intruder seemed to have noticed his efforts, for they continued walking to their chosen spot, but at a faster pace. He cursed inwardly as he took bigger steps and wondered if he should unceremoniously trip the guy…
And, with a grin, he finally reached the table and quickly put his bag down on a chair. He tried not to look too triumphant when he turned to face his defeated rival, almost wanting to congratulate them on a good sprint.
However, when he looked up, he saw a crushed-looking blue-haired girl. His heart beat a little faster, and he felt ashamed for his competitive spirit.
She was about to turn away when he shyly said, “Miss, would you want to share tables?”
She nodded happily. Her wide smile filled him with glee, even though he knew that sharing the table with her meant less space for him. Bah, what’s a little inconvenience for a new friend?
Smiling, he nodded at her as he asked her to accompany him to the bar for their orders. She gladly accepted the invite, laughing.
“I was so hoping to get that table for myself! But I should be glad to have a seat here at all, considering how busy it gets at this time,” she said, sheepishly. “I have 30 pages to study for my Pre-Calc test tomorrow!”
He paused to look at her. “I have just as many to review for Biochem.” An idea formed in his head, and he grinned. “Want to see who finishes their 30 pages first?”
A fire flashed in her eyes as she turned to face him. “You’re on!”
And they fell in line at the counter, excited to study the afternoon away.
Image source: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/new-york/best-nyc-coffee-shops-to-work-remotely-out-of-free-wifi-plugs
First written March 22, 2018.
In The Coffee Shop, #16