The sky was gray and it rained on this silent, calm April day. The kind of soft drizzle you’d like to fall asleep listening to. Jake sat at an empty table texting, or playing a game on his phone as his apron sat on the chair beside him. Susan was fixing an old woman’sorder.
The woman’s hair was white yet perfectly curled. My eyes were fixed on her crowfeet wrinkles that sat at the corners of her eyes,evidence for a history of smiling. My lip curled up into a half smile. With how long she’s lived she’s probably laughed a lot in her lifetime.
A sudden harsh roar of an engine sounded as a bright red sports car pulled up into our Starbucks' parking lot, disturbing the silent atmosphere. Car doors slammed and two hard laughs filled the room as the doors opened. Doug and a guy I had seen at school approached the counter cracking up as if they’d just heard the best joke ever. Their laughter came to an end with sighs as they approached the counter. The old woman grabbed her order and quickly headed for the door, frightened by the two wild teen boys.
“Heysweet pea! How’s your spring break goin’ so far?” Doug let out through his huge smile.
“Notso bad, just working,” Susan replied. “How’s yours?”
“Awesome! We just kicked some major butt!” Dough exclaimed.
The guy next to him started laughing again.
“Really?Who’s?” Susan said, a thread of worry in her voice.
The guys looked at each other and smiled.
“Notliterally Sue, we raced Damian here and got lucky. We caught all the green lights while he got stuck waiting on almost every red one!” His grin grew and he high-fived his friend. Susan rolled her eyes.
“Can I get a frappacino, tall?” his friend ordered.
“Sure. And what can I get for you Doug?”
Susan went about fixing their drinks as Doug’s eye caught sight of me.
“What’doya know, it’s good old Juliet! How’ve you been?” He made it sound like it’dbeen ages.
“Great,”I said from far off behind the counter where I was standing.
At that moment more loud guys threw themselves through the doors to add to the commotion Doug and his friend had already started.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Alex walked toward the spiny trunk of a peach tree, and took a seat beneath its canopy.
This wasn't the first time he'd searched for solace here, staring up at the fuzzy little fruits that dangled like precious jewels from thin branches. This was the first time he didn't find it.
The situation in itself had been overplayed, used to much and now void of any signifigant value. He couldn't find calm here. Not in the breezes that rustled the tree leaves and not in the poppies that blossomed around it's trunk. The moss around the tree didn't tickle his fingers anymore, it just left dark green stains on the sides of his jeans. The fireflies didn't glow bright enough and the mosquitoes bit, marking their territory with tiny red bumps on his forearm. And for once, what was wasn't nearly enough. He wanted more.
Something about Georgia had gotten to him. Enveloped him in a vacuum-sealed bag of sweltering-heat he couldn't escape. Just looking at row after row of peach tree after peach tree...it was a labyrinth, and it's clean swept paths, in all their neat and perfectly planted glory, led to nowhere.
Alex stood up, crushing the life out of a few innocent dandelions that crossed his path, splattering peach pulp between the ground and the heels of his black boots. Morning was nature's favorite time of day, and the air radiated around him with cardinal chirps and the quick buzz of insect wings. Alex swatted. He stomped more dandelions, and walked faster. Once he'd made his way through the maze, he crossed the field to stand by a small powder-blue delivery truck.
A woman was loading crates of peaches into the back.
"It's about time," she said to him. "Where have you been all morning?"
"Good. So you know where you're headed, don't you? It's a long drive. Very long."
"I'm fine. I'll be fine."
"Don't be afraid to ask for directions."
"I don't need them."
"You'll need them. Trust me. I know how men are."
"Yeah, whatever, just ask. And call back if you get lost. I know you haven't driven this far out before, so...I'm not even sure why Michael couldn't take care of it."
"I'm fine. I can take care of it."
"Ok." She pulls down and locks the back of the truck. "Well, have a nice drive, I guess."
"You don't sound too certain," he says and smiles at her.
"Just be safe, you know."
"I will," and with this he steps toward the door and takes a seat behind the wheel. She walks toward the window.
"We'll miss you."
"It's not gonna be that long! Relax," he smiles. "I'll be back in no time." he puts the key in the ignition, and starts the truck.
"Yeah, well, you'd better be."