Short Story: The Coincidental Chance of Meeting

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One day while sitting in the back of a coffee shop, a plethora of sounds pulled me from my task. I lifted my eyes to absorb the scene. A blend of earth tones reminiscent of the coffee container I had just taken a swig from assaulted my eyes. Its brownish-yellow color was painted on in thick uneven strokes that gave the walls an interesting texture. The black border that ran around the top and the ceiling proved to be a stark contrast.  A stereo system blended into the black and pumped out soothing modern, indie music. The room was filled with salvaged furniture in deep browns. The lamps and wall fixtures were hand-blown glass with swirls of yellows and browns.

Taking a break from the décor my eyes wandered to the barista. She was banging the coffee holder against the counter to settle the grounds before shoving it up into the espresso maker.  An elderly couple dressed in black and grey stood in front of the counter waiting, presumably for their order.  A young couple to the left of me was immersed in a game of chess. The way the man placed his hand on the woman’s thigh beneath the table and squeeze lightly reminded me of another couple I once knew, but I suppressed that thought.

Moving away from that couple, I overheard two women and a man discussing the state of today’s politics. It appeared that they were in a bit of a debate over restrictions on guns. The man was getting a bit ruffled under the feathers and began to raise his voice and gesture wildly. A quick look in my direction soon quieted him down. His gestures transitioned to something more reserved. His facial expression withdrawn, but still quite red.

Just as I was about to go back to my sketch book, a couple of young college girls walked in. Their louder than normal banter rented the air. One had wild, curly brown hair that bounced at she walked. The smell of fruit overpowered the nutty aroma of coffee in my area. When they realized the mood of the scene, they quickly lowered their voices and went to the counter. They bodies full of carefree energy that I no longer possessed. The older couple was now surveying the art work lining the walls. The man’s short hair was more silver than grey and revealed his true age more than his face did.

Finally, after my watching was done I went back to my sketch book. A couple of minutes of staring at the same line forced me to put down my pencil. My mind began to wander. Sitting back I laced my fingers around my latte and sipped. I wondered what brought us all here at this moment. What crazy twists and turns of fate led us right here to this little coffee shop in Stow, OH.

I wondered what each person did before they came here. What would they do when they left? Because everyone’s choice, everyone’s fate led them to this spot at this moment, we could have avoided some catastrophe elsewhere. If our lives had taken a different path what would have happened? Perhaps, the younger couple could have never met, the woman in the debate could have been at war, the fruity-haired girl could have been prostituting herself in the city of angels. But no, our fates led us here. To this quaint little coffee shop in Stow, OH.

Later,

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*Once again, these words are mine and can not be used without my expressed permission.*

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