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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: Final Part

A Coffee Shop: Final Part

An Apartment, 2023

A sliver of sun peeks through the window, illuminating my room. It’s just enough to wake me, and when I open my eyes, the previous day comes slamming into my mind like a brick. I shoot up in bed and turn to see the man in the tanktop still lying on my floor. He’s turned on his side, his hand resting close to his face. The sun highlights his soft features, and I stare at his face in a trance. 

Slowly I get out of bed, trying to avoid the squeaky floorboards silently. However, I nearly trip over him. Heart beating fast, I regain my balance and awkwardly tiptoe to the kitchen on the other side of the room. I pat myself on the back for not waking him up, but when I turn to look at him again, his wide-open eyes greet mine. 

“Good morning!” I blurt.

“Morning,” he mirrors in a gruff voice, the kind you only have when you first wake up. Neither knowing what to say, we stare at each other for a moment. 

“How did you sleep?” he asks.

“Good, I guess,” I say. In reality, I barely slept at all, anxiety keeping me up. He nods.

“Same,” he says. “Thanks for letting me stay,” he adds, a slight flush brushing his cheeks. 

“Don’t worry about it,” I say, waving my hand in dismissal. “Do you want some breakfast?” I ask as I walk over to the kitchen. He nods, getting up and stretching his muscular arms above his head, yawning as he does. I stare at them in amazement. He wanders over to me, stopping about a foot away.

“You don’t have to make me anything. You already gave me dinner,” he says, putting his hands in his pockets.

“Well, I can’t exactly send you off to wherever with an empty stomach right?” I ask with a sarcastic chuckle. He smiles back, letting out a breathy laugh. 

“You won’t let me leave without eating, will you?” He asks with a teasing grin.


“Fine, but let me cook you something,” He says, a soft smile spreading across his face. “It’s the least I could do to repay you,”

“Oh, okay,” I say, awkwardly backing away and plopping down in a kitchen seat. He opens the fridge and, before grabbing anything, turns to me.

“May I?” He asks.

I simply nod. As he begins, I smile to myself, realizing that he seems more relaxed than before. I help him find the spatula and frying pan before sitting down. I stare at his back and the white tank top covering it. 

I busy myself with the blank notepad on the counter, trying to ignore the awkwardness hanging in the air. 

After fifteen long minutes, he turns around to face me with two plates stacked with pancakes.

“All done,” he says softly, staring at me from across the table. 

“Wow…they look better than any pancake I’ve ever made,” I say with a chuckle.

“Thanks,” he says, looking a bit embarrassed. He sits down opposite me, waiting for me to start eating before he does. I use my fork to cut a piece off, the hard metal sinking into the soft, fluffy pancake. Taking a bite, my mouth is filled with the taste of melted butter and syrup. I instinctively smile. He smiles back and takes a bite of his own. 

We eat in silence, only interrupted by the scraping of forks on plates. Logically, I should have told him to leave by now, but my gut tells me to trust him. When I finally finish, he cleans the dishes, insisting on it. I sit at the kitchen table and wait for him to finish, wondering what I should say, what I should do. 

He finishes washing the dishes and walks over to me, towering over me as I sit.

“Thank you, for the help,” he says, “I’m grateful,”

“Of course!” I say, and before I can stop myself, I add “I couldn’t just leave you there,” Our eyes meet and for a moment we look at each other in silence. The look he gives me is filled with bittersweet gratitude. He nods and turns away from me, fidgeting with a loose string on his pants. 

“Where will you go?” I whisper.

“I don’t know, but I’ll figure something out,”


“Hey, don’t worry about me, I’ll be back at the coffee shop tomorrow morning, just like always,” he reassures, walking towards the door. 

I nod, but I get a bad feeling he’s lying. I insist that he should stay for another night, but he leaves. There’s remorse in his eyes and I know why, but I can’t bring myself to stop him. I tell myself this is for the best.


Over the next few days, I hold out hope that he’ll walk in on my morning shift. I’m worried I’ll never see him again, and I try to move on. I feel stupid for still thinking about him, just like he used to. To my dismay, he never comes. 

Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. His gentle smile is burned in my mind, leaving a residual image that follows me wherever I go. 

Half a year after I first met him, a man comes in dressed in all black. I greet him, but he says nothing in return as he walks up to the counter, stopping a few inches away. I can’t see his face behind the hood covering him, but I recognize the green color in his eyes. 

I stare at him, and he stares right back. Saying nothing, he places five crumpled dollars on the counter, still looking at me. 

“A large latte? Hot?” I ask in a voice almost too quiet to hear.

He nods, making sure to keep his face covered. 

“Are you alright?” I whisper, longing to reach out but simultaneously afraid to. 

He doesn’t say anything or move for a long while. 

“Here, sit down, then we’ll talk,” I say before handing him the five dollars back and quickly making him a latte. He doesn’t take the money, instead leaving it on the counter. He heads over to a table close by, and sits, saying nothing. He doesn’t watch me like before, instead opting to fiddle his fingers and peer out the window. 

I finish making the drink and sit down in the chair across from him, setting down the latte a few inches from his crossed arms, resting on the table. At first, he remains silent and sips the latte, closing his eyes and savoring the taste. Then he stares at me with his beautiful green eyes. With shaking fingers, I muster up the courage to ask him what I’ve been asking myself for the past six months. 

“Why did you leave like that?” I ask as muted jazz drones on in the background. He takes another sip of the latte before answering. 

“I’m sorry for disappearing, but I didn’t know what to do,” he says, a hitch in his voice making him stop. He takes another deep breath. “No one bothered you, right? You’ve been okay?” He asks, genuine concern flashing across his face. 

“Of course, of course. I’m okay,” I say, feeling concerned and confused all at once.

“I’m sorry for leaving,” he whispers.

Before I can say anything more, another customer comes in and he looks away, boring holes into the table with his eyes. I rush over to the counter and take their order. He doesn’t leave, though, and stays there for the rest of my shift, flipping through a magazine left behind by someone else. When my shift is over and the next person comes in to take over for me, I walk over to him.

“Are you going to leave again?” I ask, afraid he’ll say yes.

“Yeah,” he says. He looks up at me and sees the dismay written all over my face. “I’ll try to come back though,” he adds. I nod, but just like before, I wonder if he’s telling the truth. 

“Could you do me one more favor before you go again?” I ask. He looks at me with confusion.

“Will you get lunch with me? I know a place down the block that’s pretty good,” I ask. Beneath the hood sheltering his face, I can tell that small smile is still there. 

“Like a date,” he says, with an awkward smile that tells me he’s trying to be funny.

“Sure, like a date,” I say, feeling my knees wobbling beneath me. At that, he raises his eyebrows, but he doesn’t seem upset by the idea. 

“Yeah, I’d like that,” he says. 

I know it isn’t much, but I smile too. I wish this moment could last forever.

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About the Contributor
Audrey Weaver
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.
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