Millie or Lily?

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The Garden Cafe

Coffee! I need coffee to dispel the gloom of the minimalist atmosphere the decorators of this suite seem to love. Clean lines with a palette of grey, black and slightly warm white is definitely not my thing. Thank all of creation that they redesigned my writing area so that I could function correctly.

I still needed to find where they were hiding my breakfast foods. Stumbling over to the kitchenette I open the fridge door. None of the contents are drawing my eye. A bright yellow post it note grabs my attention from it’s position on the egg carton.

Microwave oats in pantry. 3rd cupboard to the left. You also have chocolate up and go on the top shelf.


Makes sense that Mum organised the groceries and layout. She knows that I don’t eat well until about lunchtime…if I remember lunch at all. Shutting the fridge door I rummage through all of the cupboards. No coffee machine? No caffeine in any form at all? This isn’t going to work.

Ambling slowly toward the bathroom squinting against the bright sunbeams bursting merrily through the glass wall I snag the clothes I picked out before bed as I pass the timber clothes valet. Sighing softly in appreciation at the underfloor heating in the bathroom I dump my belongings unceremoniously on the long bench beside the make up counter. Everything was laid out neatly for my transformation from myself into Millie included another color coded post it note with instructions reminding me to keep my makeup minimal and natural.

Yellow for family, purple for my stylist, blue for the cleaning service and white for Julie. As if I couldn’t remember simple instructions for brush through colour and new contacts. Flipping the light switch, I’m blinded by the instant flickering flame in the fireplace and the multi wattage bursting from the chandelier above me. Taking the opportunity to time the whole transformation process I start with a shower and move onto to hair and make up. Unfamiliar grey eyes stare back at me from the strange reflection in the mirror.

Stepping out into the garden alley a good while later wearing a Millie approved outfit consisting of a soft pink turtleneck paired with jeans, chunky boots and a black anorak. I clutch at my triquetra pendant for luck before slipping the Celtic turquoise ring Nick gave me on the pinky finger of my left hand. I needed to find caffeine so I could knock out a few chapters around what was left of my unpacking.

Locking the door carefully behind me I followed the path that meandered around through the overgrown garden. Just set off the herringbone brickwork were two red iron chairs with a small table between them. The half hidden shop front had an old English charm with a slightly neglected air.

‘Please tell me you’ve come for coffee and some breakfast. Not the charm and the free wifi.’ She looked out of place behind the counter. This girl had an overall edgy feel to her personality. ‘I’ll take a Chai latte with two sugars. What’s good on the breakfast menu?’ Holding her gaze with a shy smile it takes me a split second to remember that I’m not supposed to be this confident. ‘Call me Emerson. Our waffles are good but you look like someone who appreciates pancakes or a breakky wrap.’

An easy choice. ‘Pancakes please no ice cream.’ Taking a look around the empty Café I chose a corner booth diagonal to the entry. Enjoying the atmosphere of the quaint little coffee shop it isn’t long before Emerson places a plate in front of me and returns with a tall steaming mug. ‘Emerson as in the famous Author?’ I couldn’t help but ask. ‘No Emerson the botanist. He discovered some aquatic fungus family that made him wiki famous. My mum has a thing for gardening.’ She slid into the booth opposite me, ‘I haven’t seen you around before. Are you a new transfer?’

‘Something like that.’ I cage taking a bite of the pancakes off the end of my fork. ‘Something like that or exactly like that?’ She challenges sounding more bitter then sarcastic. ‘I’m not a transfer. I’m here to eat and recaffienate.’ Taking another bite of the pancakes and a swallow of coffee I eye her warily over the edge of the coffee mug. Her attitude had grated on my already raw nerves and the clock hadn’t even struck nine yet. ‘I’m a new student teacher.’ I admit with a nervous laugh tossing her a bone to keep the conversation going.

Pushing a hand through her granny dyed dark hair she scans my face critically before commenting, ‘Aren’t you a little young to be a student teacher?’ Smiling cryptically around the coffee mug I watch as she subsides a little. I didn’t care if people thought I was too young.

‘It’s what I am.’ I state calmer now the caffeine was mixing with my bloodstream, ‘I’m Millie.’ ‘Emmie’ she offers dropping the bitch act, ‘I don’t normally take the morning shift. Too early for me. Sometimes I can’t pass up the money tho.’ ‘I hear that. I’m working the late shift when I’d rather be chilling with pizza and a movie.’ Shyly offering my own opinion she breaks out into a genuine smile,

‘Don’t be a stranger Millie. I’m good for advice, fashion tips, awesome coffee and cute guy alerts.’

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