Convenience Store Coffee

Pete sat at a red plastic table sharing a tight space with the entrance of a convenience store. To either side of the table and door were piles of toilet paper bundles, juice gift sets, and unopened boxes of stock. The walls of cardboard and plastic narrowed the sidewalk by half. In this squeezed-in cafe, Pete was drinking cheap coffee from a tin. After each gulp, he set the tin down on the table’s Coke bottle logo and danced it back and forth. When he wasn’t shaking the tin or tracing the curves of the bottle logo with the bottom of it he stared at passersby across the street. Soon bored of watching xeroxed office men in black and white suits trudging to a parking lot, he leaned far enough across the table to look up and down his side of the street. Up the sidewalk were a gaggle of schoolboys tittering about something on a mobile phone. Too far down the sidewalk to examine well was a woman walking towards him. He sat back in his seat and sucked the last mouthful of sugary coffee out of the tin. In a few minutes, the woman he had seen earlier came into the storefront’s narrow field of view and he recognised her as the cute secretary from school. She was wearing a short pleated skirt without nylons and flashy high heels. He quickly tried to stand up but clumsily knocked over the table and coffee tin before he could say hello. The secretary glanced his way for a second as she breezed past talking on her mobile. She disappeared past the wall of premium juice multi-packs as Pete fumbled with the collapsing table legs.