The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

A Coffee Shop


The bell over the door chimes as it opens, and I look up to greet the customer walking in. The morning is young, and the sky is a soft purple as the sun rises, warm and comforting amidst the harsh chill that blows outside. The man who walks in is young, probably no older than his early 20s, and is dressed in only sweatpants and a tank top. I stare at his bare arms and wonder how he hasn’t frozen yet, amidst the piles of snow that have been pushed to the edges of the sidewalk outside. He looks at me with dull eyes, and I greet him, and though he responds, his eyes seem to be in a far-off place. 

“What can I get you this morning?” I ask. 

“A latte. Hot. Large,” he says, staring right through me. 

“Alright, anything else?”

He shakes his head, not breaking his stare.

“Ok then, that’ll be $4.55,” I say, trying to hide the rush in my voice.

He places 5 crumpled dollar bills on the counter, and I give him his change with a faltering smile. I try to remain calm, but something about him makes me anxious, but not out of fear. No one else is here yet, and it will be a while before the person working the closing shift comes in at noon, so I make his drink without a word. Soft jazz plays in the background, but the smooth piano cannot break the tension I feel. He stands with his back leaned against the dark oak wall, and I get the feeling he’s come in before, but I can’t remember anyone with such an odd demeanor. 

I finish the drink, and as I place the lid on top, another person walks in. I greet them and hand the latte to the man. Our hands brush as he takes the drink from my hand, and I’m shocked at how cold his fingers are. Before I get the chance to say anything, he hurries out the door into the freezing cold with nothing but a tank top on. As I take the next customer’s order, I can’t help but glance at the man, who is still standing outside the shop, and I notice what has to be a small smile appear on his lips. He holds the cup tighter and walks away. 

I don’t remember the rest of the day or even the days that come after, but I know it’s been four days since the man came in, and I haven’t seen him since. He probably doesn’t remember me, but I can’t help but worry for him, knowing he’s probably wandering somewhere in the snow without even a jacket.

I just opened this morning, but there is not an ounce of purple in the sky, just endless darkness. As I finish wiping down the counter, the bell rings, and I greet the customer, not bothering to look up. Out of the corner of my eye, I see familiar gray sweatpants. I look up to take the order, and I realize it is the same man from before. His eyes look dull, but somehow less than before, and I feel myself smiling at him before I can stop myself. To my surprise, he smiles just a bit in response. It’s barely there, but I can see the faint twitch at the corners of his mouth. 

“A large latte, right? Hot?”

He nods, the corners of his mouth raising a little higher. 

“You’re wearing a tank top again? Are you not cold out there?” I ask, partly out of curiosity and partly because I just want to hear his voice. 

“Mmm, I don’t notice it, I guess,” he mutters, the low, raspy voice reverberating through my chest.

“Ah, I see…are you sure you don’t need something?” I ask, wanting him to ask me for something, anything. 

He shakes his head no, and I get the feeling he doesn’t want to be asked again. 

I make the drink and take longer than usual, searching for something else to say to him. I can’t shake the feeling of worry that’s followed me for four days now, and I hope that maybe he can say something to explain it. Again, as I hand him the cup, our fingers brush, and I notice his are a little less cold than before. This time, he walks out a little slower, and staring at his back, I feel a rush of courage. 

“Will you come back tomorrow?” The question tumbles out of my mouth before I can stop myself.

He turns to me with a jolt, as if surprised, and looks at me with his dull eyes. 

“Yeah,” he mutters. 

Maybe I’m imagining things, but as I look at him, it seems like there’s a brightness in his eyes that I’ve never seen before. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Audrey Weaver, Creative Writing Editor
(They/them) Audrey is a senior and returning for their second year in newspaper. They enjoy writing, cooking, and listening to music. In their free time Audrey lives in the kitchen, cooking for their Mom and them.
Donate to Enloe Eagle's Eye

Your donation will support the student journalists of Enloe Magnet High School, allowing us to cover our annual website costs. We are extremely grateful for any contribution, big or small!

More to Discover
Donate to Enloe Eagle's Eye

Comments (0)

All Enloe Eagle's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *