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A Drop Among Other Things: Chapter 4

I stayed at Tori's house until three o'clock, right until she had to go to work. She told me that I didn't have to come in and train with her that night, but I insisted. She knew she had to make me feel better, and I didn't want to lose that even though I wouldn't see her for five hours until I went in.

By Shelby BakerPublished 5 years ago 10 min read

I stayed at Tori's house until three o'clock, right until she had to go to work. She told me that I didn't have to come in and train with her that night, but I insisted. She knew she had to make me feel better, and I didn't want to lose that even though I wouldn't see her for five hours until I went in.

I had done my makeup (simple but enough to not feel insecure about myself) and finished the laundry that included Parker's hoodie and sweatpants he had let me borrow. The rest of the five hours by myself was spent laying in my bed watching YouTube videos and trying not to think about Laura.

I got to the Brew'n'Cup at around 7:40 PM. Which was still earlier than the 8:00 Tori and I agreed to, but I couldn't stand being by myself anymore. When I walked in, there was not as many people as I expected, but there was still around 15 people in the shop. The only problem was that Tori wasn't at the counter when I came in. Instead, some blonde haired boy with round, Harry Potter-like, glasses was filling a grinder with coffee beans.

"Hey, I'm Maia. I'm here for training." I looked at him with a smile.

He checked me out and looked at me blankly. "Uh, okay?" he said as if he couldn't give a shit less.

"Is Tori around?" I still was smiling at him even though he was being rude.

"The back." He sounded annoyed which annoyed me. Is this how he acts around the customers? Tori wasn't wrong about these people being monkeys.

I walked to the back room and when I passed the spot on the floor where I had gotten soaked in water from the mop bucket, a chill went down my spine. The reminder of the night before made a ton of possibilities run through my head. There had been no customers in the shop last night, but what if there were? Would I be the talk of the town? I pictured a newspaper headline reading, "Is Brew'n'Cup's New Girl Fit for the Job?

With my thoughts buzzing around in my head, I couldn't find Tori in the back room. My heart started pounding and I started to panic a little. What if something happened on her way to work? Or here at work and she had to go home? That boy told me she was back there even though she wasn't. Useless. While I stood in the back room awkwardly, an elderly man opened the office door. I knew it was Wilson.

"Ah! You must be Maia." His voice cracked a little. Wilson walked up to me and reached out for a handshake. When he took my hand, he held it ever so gently and put his other wrinkly hand on top.

"That's me." I smiled.

"What a relief you're here! Tori has told me nothing but splendid things about you." He smiled and there was a few missing teeth in the front. The wrinkles on his cheeks smoothed out when he smiled, making him almost look younger. Wilson took his hands away and walked toward a shelf to the left side of the room. I stayed where I was.

"Well, that's very nice of her! Did she tell you about the mop bucket fiasco?" I squinted my eyes at the bucket as if I were holding a grudge.

While laughing, Wilson said, "Yes, yes. I kept telling Tori those black towels would come in handy someday!"

I laughed along with him. "Where is Tori, by the way?"

"She went out to run an errand for me. I know, making my workers run personal errands for me probably isn't the right thing to do, but I'm an old man and Tori is like a granddaughter to me now. Plus, I don't want any of these other hooligans doing it because I know they would mess something up like they do here." For a second, I thought about asking why he kept them around if they didn't do a good job, but I knew how busy it gets.

Before I could respond, Tori came walking through the entryway. "Hey, Maia." I turned to her and we exchanged smiles. I was so happy to see her. "Here you go, Wilson. Five stamps."

"What would I ever do without you, Tori?" He took the stamps from her smooth hand. His hands looked like dried raisins compared to hers.

"For starters, you wouldn't be sending the mail you need to send. Do you want me to go down the rest of the list?" Wilson chuckled and put a finger up in the air.

"No need, my dear." If you didn't know them, you would probably think Tori was his granddaughter. Wilson grabbed a dark green apron from the shelf and handed it to me. "For you. I know Tori already technically hired you, but consider yourself, officially, a part of the Brew'n'Cup family."

It felt nice to feel like I belonged somewhere. Instead of my heart beating fast like it usually does when I'm anxious, it almost felt like it was filling with more blood than it could handle. I felt wanted for the first time in a long time.


The first night of the job ended up not being that bad. It wasn't anything like I had imagined it being, but then again nothing is the same as you imagine it. I thought every customer was going to be rude and I thought I would make a ton of mistakes. Everything ran smoothly, though, and I wasn't as anxious as I thought I would be.

Nine o'clock felt like it came quick since we were busy. The shop wasn't packed full, but there was never a dull moment. Tori and I worked well together too. Whenever I knew she might need something I would be right there with it and vise versa. I had spilled a bit of coffee on the counter and when I turned around to grab a rag to clean it, she was already there with one.

The last customer left at around 9:45. "You made today a lot easier." Tori said. "I'm excited for the days to come, that's for sure. I never thought I'd be excited to work." She winked at me and I grinned.

"Ya' know, I almost didn't come back after I got the application from you. That's why it took me so long to return it." I leaned my back against the counter to face her.

"Well I'm glad you did. Oh! Speaking of paperwork..." Tori went to the back room and I heard the office door squeak open. A few moments later she came out with a short stack of papers that were stapled together. "I need you to fill this all out so that you can actually get paid. Don't worry, you'll still get paid for today."

I grabbed the papers and mulled them over. They were just tax forms and stuff like that. I set the papers on the counter and thanked her for grabbing them for me. The door dinged, and immediately I thought of Parker. He was probably here to pick Tori up. I turned around and it was a woman who looked to be in her late thirties.

"On Google it says ya'll close at nine, but your 'open' sign is still on so I figured I'd see if ya'll were still serving. I'm just passing through town and I still have a long road ahead. I'd prefer your fancy-shmancy coffee over gas station muck. If not, I'll just go to the gas station down the road. It's worth a try, though." Her southern accent was thick.

"I always forget to turn off the sign. If you don't mind waiting a few extra minutes, I'll be happy to take your order." Tori turned on her "customer-service voice" and smiled the entire time she spoke.

"I'll take uh..." The lady ordered but I wasn't listening. Through the window, I noticed Parker pulling into a parking spot.

"Maia?" I snapped out of my trance and looked to Tori who was looking at me intently. "Will you start some espresso, please?"

"Ye-yeah. Sorry." The door dinged and I watched as Parker walked in. Before he looked at Tori or the lady, he looked at me and smiled. I swear. That smile is going to be the death of me. After I got the lady's espresso ready, Parker stood in front of me across the counter.

"Hey." His voice was calm and sweet.


"Can I talk to you for a minute? Whenever you have a chance." He laid a hand on the counter and leaned a little more toward me.

"We're talking now, aren't we?" My heart was pounding in my chest but I managed to seem calm.

"Yeah, but I mean with no one else around." My stomach jumped.

"OK, sure. I have your clothes in my car." I took off my apron and set it on the counter. "I'll be right back," I told Tori. She nodded while pumping some flavoring syrup in a cup.

Parker and I walked out to my car. I opened the passenger door and grabbed his hoodie and his sweatpants that were folded neatly. He was right behind me, with his hand on the top of the door. I turned around to face him.

"So listen. I really am sorry about being a dick earlier. I didn't know what was going on with you, and even if it was any other day, I shouldn't have reacted like I did." His eyes peered deep into mine and I quickly looked down at his clothes. "If you need someone to talk to, you can always text me."

I looked back up at him. "Thanks." I handed him his clothes that he took with his free hand. The thirty-something year old lady walked out of the shop and thanked me as she walked away.

I stepped out of the way and he closed my door. I started walking back towards Brew'n'Cup when he said my name. It stopped me in my tracks. I turned back around. "I'm serious. You should text me." He sounded serious.

"I might." I smiled big at him and he did the same.


Of course that night I couldn't stop staring at my phone. Should I text him? Should I wait? I honestly hoped that he would text me first, but my phone never went off. It was 12:03 when I finally went to my Facebook messenger app and texted him. A little grey text at the top of the screen told me that he was active just a minute ago. He replied instantly.

Me: Hey

Him: Hey you. :)

Me: What are you up to?

Him: Just talking to this pretty girl. Wbu?

Is he talking about me? He can't be talking about me... play it cool.

Me: Oh really? She must be pretty cool.

Him: Yeah she definitely is. I met her at the coffee shop she works at with my sister ;)

Holy shit. He's flirting with me! How do I even respond to that?

Me: Oh, I know her! She's alright. ;)

I wish I knew how to flirt... stupid.

Him: She's more than alright! Haha, so I'm curious...

Me: Curious of what?

I waited for awhile for a response. He hadn't even seen it after ten minutes had passed by. I started to think he fell asleep, but my phone dinged again.

Him: I'm curious if she would be down to go on a date with me? This Friday. A band I'm into is playing and I want to take her... take you.


About the Creator

Shelby Baker

Hello there! I am a 20 year old suffering through mental illness who's an aspiring author. A Drop Among Other Things is my first teen coming-of-age book, written as I go.

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