A Honeybun and Coffee(2)

By: Sam Cheever

The man chuckled and pulled out a wad of bills that made Angie’s eyes go a little googly. “Make that a vanilla latte with cinnamon and extra whipped cream and make the muffin two glazed donuts and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

The shorter man had been studying the menu board above their heads since approaching the counter. Finally his cool, black gaze dropped to her. “I want a small, plain coffee.”

Angie nodded, “One Grande mundane coming up.”

The man shook his dark head, dislodging the shiny ponytail at the base of his thick neck. “I don’t want no Grande, Grande means big don’t it? I want a small, plain coffee.”

Angie smiled at him determinedly. “Yes sir, the Grande is the smallest coffee we have.”

He scowled at her. “Is it small?”

She shook her head. “Not really.”

His scowl deepened and Angie fought the urge to shiver. “Why don’t you people sell no smalls?”

Angie just shrugged. “Sorry.”

He uttered a particularly foul deprecation and turned toward the man wearing the cowboy hat. “Why do you always gotta go to these fancy coffee shops? Look at that, it’s three bucks for a plain coffee. That’s just stupid. And they don’t even gotta small.”

The taller man rolled his eyes at Angie and smiled. “I’ll buy ya the stupid coffee, Louie. Don’t worry about the three bucks.”

The man lowered his head and muttered. “It’s the principle of the thing, Bones. What has this country come to. Three dollar flippin’ coffees the size of my head.”

Angie fought back a giggle and placed a plain Grande on the counter in front of the grumpy guy. “Here you go sir. I only filled it halfway. That will be a dollar and a half.”

Mr. grumpy smiled. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.” He took his coffee and headed for a small table in the back corner of the shop.

The man called Bones threw a twenty on the counter. “Sorry about my cheap-assed friend, darlin’. He don’t get around much.”

“I heard that!” Grande bellowed from the table in the back.

Angie grinned and thanked the slightly scary stranger, ringing up his purchase and giving him back his change. When he left to join his buddy she turned to Petey, the most senior of her two counter helpers. “I’m going to the ladies. Hold the fort until I get back, okay?”

Petey nodded and then, as Angie rounded the corner and headed toward the restrooms at the back of the shop, called out, “I forgot to tell you, some lady just told me the toilet’s overflowed again. Apparently her kid stuffed half the roll of toilet paper into it.”

Angie closed her eyes and bit her bottom lip to keep from uttering foul deprecations. Then, opening her eyes and looking around she said, “That’s okay, it’s all women in here now except for those two and they just sat down so I think I’m safe. I’ll use the men’s. Do me a favor and stop them if you see them coming toward the restroom will you, Petey?”

The boy nodded distractedly and turned to help the next customer in line.

Angie opened the men’s room door and called softly into the room to make sure it was empty. When she got no response she entered the single stall and sat down with a sigh of relief, leaning over and resting her head in her hands in exhaustion. She’d just sit there for a couple of minutes and take a much needed break. What harm could it possibly do?

THE DOOR TO THE DUNK and Run opened and a small wad of teens bustled noisily through. Petey looked up and saw several of his friends approaching the counter. He smiled at them and offered rock knuckles to a couple of his football teammates. Then he bent to the task of making the complex, sickeningly sweet concoctions his friends requested every time they came to the shop.

He was head down and surrounded by chatty teens a moment later, when the two men sauntered past him and headed for the men’s room.

ANGIE HEARD THE DOOR open as she was pulling her skirt back down and she leapt onto the toilet seat guiltily, praying whoever it was only needed to use the urinal on the wall.

The deep gravelly voice and the slightly whiny one told her that her two newest customers had somehow gotten past Petey. She swore silently and vowed to restrict his donut consumption for the week as punishment.

The sound of a zipper lowering was followed by a hesitant trickle that told her somebody had prostate issues. At the same time, water started running from the bathroom’s only sink. Angie squeezed her eyes tightly closed and prayed they’d just finish up and go. But when the men started talking she forgot to worry about being discovered in the horror of what she was hearing.

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