Angel’s Coffee

All Rights Reserved ©

“Hot Coffee”

Julie’s Corolla rolled along the small back streets of Cardiff toward an unknown destination. As she made it up Carmelita St. and to the top of an unnamed hill she looked out at the Pacific. It lay vast and beautiful, even against the gray of an overcast sky. For a brief moment she felt the beauty of the world, before pulling her car through the four way stop and back down the streets that led to the coast.

“A donut sounds nice,” she said to herself. A quick tap of her turning indicator and the car made a left along North Santa Fe. The road was a block from the ocean. The smell of sand and salt water made its way through the open windows of Julie’s car, and again she felt the beauty around her.

But it was short-lived. The gloomy sky and chilly air brought Julie back to her usual spirit. Even the green arrow of the streetlight seemed a little dimmer than it had been. But she made the final turn into the small parking lot of VG’s Donuts, sure a little sugary breakfast snack couldn’t hurt.

On the other side of the intersection was a sleek silver sedan. Tim had bought the car last year, opting for it over the slightly larger SUV that Rebecca had wanted. For him it didn’t make sense to get a larger vehicle, what with gas prices what they were, and no need for the extra seating. And even though his wife had conceded the car choice, he had seen on her face the look of disappointment. He had brushed it off as something small. Since then the arguments and the disagreements had gotten worse. Today’s had seemed to hit a boiling point.

“I just don’t understand where this is coming from,” he had told his wife. “This had never been a problem before.”

“Things change, Tim. I thought you would have changed your mind by now.” Although Tim’s tone never seemed to alter, Rebecca’s words had gotten louder as the argument continued.

“Why would my mind change? Wh-” he started before being cutoff.

“Why? Because you love me. This is what couples in love do, Tim.” A hint of sadness had started piercing through her angry inflection.

“You’re asking for me to change who I am. I can’t do that.”

“Can’t or won’t? I know it’s hard, and I know you have your reasons, but you’re not like him. We are not them.”

Tim had no response. He hated even the mention of that man.

Rebecca looked at him, waiting for a reply. But Tim couldn’t even meet her eyes. He just looked at the floor and spoke. “I’m sorry.”

Those were the last words he said to her. He didn’t need to see her face to know the hurt she felt. He didn’t look up until the bedroom door had slammed closed and he was by himself in a house that felt empty.

A honk from the car behind him brought Tim back from the morning’s happenings and into the car that sat idly at a greenlight. He raised his hand in an apologizing gesture and turned right into a small almost empty parking lot. He wasn’t sure that he’d meant to turn there. He wasn’t sure where he was meant to turn. He had taken this short trip without a destination in mind. But driving with the constant distraction of his wife’s words had done little to settle him.

Tim decided to pull into a spot and quickly chose one of the many empty ones along the side of the little lot. After a couple deep breaths that did little to clear his mind, he decided that sitting in his car would do very little to make him feel better. But as he put his hands back on the wheel and put his car into reverse he looked into his rearview mirror and saw a sign he hadn’t noticed before.

Hot Coffee.

A nice cup of coffee did sound nice to him. But more than that, there was something about the small coffee shop that appealed to him. Maybe it was that nobody was in there. He could enjoy his morning beverage without distraction while running through the events of the day’s fiasco.

Either way, whether it was the idea of good coffee, or alone time to sit and think, Tim put his car in park and turned it off with the press of a button.

Moments before, Dorothy had started her car with a quick turn of a key and a loud engine purr that brought a smile to the old woman’s face. She had been driving south for a few miles. And although she was the only one in the car, every couple of seconds she would turn to the passenger’s seat and say a few words accompanied by a smile.

At first she passed the cute shoppes of The Village, and commented on how she wanted to go into the little boutiques and try on some of the colorful clothes that hung in the shop windows.

Next it was the surfers who braved the cold of the early morning ocean for a few good waves. “I can’t believe people do that,” she said with a shiver and a laugh.

Before long she was conversing with the empty seat to her right. Smiles, laughter, pointing out things she observed along the drive. For miles she had continued her conversation like she was talking with an old friend. It wasn’t until she pulled up to a red light and a young couple in the car next to her noticed that she was speaking to no one that Dorothy stopped.

Feeling like a fool after the couple drove off laughing, the old woman turned her car into the parking lot and shut it off. She sat there quietly, the only sound a light sniffle and an uneven breath. Her lip quivered and she mumbled “I’m sorry,” to the seat next to her. But there was no one there. She turned forward again, trying not to be the elderly woman having a breakdown in a random parking lot at six o’ clock in the morning.

Out of her pocket she pulled a handkerchief and wiped her face. She hadn’t yet shed a tear, but she wasn’t sure it would stay that way.

Dorothy did her best to compose herself, taking several deep breaths before muttering, “Where am I?” The old woman rarely stopped anywhere on her drives down the coast. She did them for, well, reasons nobody but her really knew.

Dorothy looked out the front window where a sign read “Hot Coffee”. Hardly great advertising Dorothy thought, but she wasn’t one to go for fancy frills and drinks she couldn’t pronounce.

“I’m sure they have tea,” she said to herself as she stepped out of the car and locked the door.
Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.