A Story by CinnamonAlla

Monday night at Heathrow.

At 7.14 pm on a Monday night, the forth terminal of the Heathrow airport is extremely busy.  

Families that try to shush their kids by letting them lick the whipped cream off their coffee. They have a lost look on their face, maybe because they wish they hadn't had kids at all, or maybe they wish for that miserable looking mountain of whipped cream on top of their boring Americanos. 

A man travels alone. 
He has a black bag flung on his back, he's handsome. There's a sad looking white piano in the hall that begs for someone to run their fingers across its keys and bring some happiness to this place. 

He sits and places his bag onto the floor. 

Busy faces don't even bother looking at what he's doing, they're too busy figuring out what gate their flight borders at, or which coffee they should get only to rely on their poor choice that they make everytime. "We'll try something different," they say. 

"May I help you?" 

Then they sigh, and look down onto the counter. 

"One americano, please" then they realise that maybe that was too poor of a choice, that maybe that choice bored the Barista to death, even though she doesn't give a crap, and she actually thanks God that they ordered something she has mastered. 

"With whipped cream, please"

Their eyes widen at the though of having whipped cream on top of their coffees, but then they remember that their kids will lick it all off.


     The barista is tired. Her ponytail swings lazily from one side of her head to the other. She's been making boring Americanos all day long, and she just can't wait to be home. 

She likes working in an airport, seeing the faces of people that leave, people whose flights have been delayed for hours that just need a coffee to come back to life because they are all looking and acting like zombies. 

She likes seeing people saying one last goodbye, kissing their partners or lovers goodbye for months, or years, or even forever. Who knows? She doesn't know, she's just a barista at an airport cafe. 

She likes seeing people that meet for the first time. People whose flights cross paths, people that have met on their journey and are saying goodbye over a coffee to people they might have everything in common with, but are never going to see again. Ever. 

She works at an airport, but she's never been anywhere outside her home country. She feels so stupid, and when there's not a line for stupid boring Americanos, she likes to guess who's going where and why. 

At the counter, a girl with a huge blue luggage that stops the way of every person in the cue, swings her ponytail from side to side, just like she does,  before ordering one of the Christmas specials. 'She's a usual,' the barista thinks, 'she knows what she's ordering.' 

She likes the stranger in a ponytail, she never thought that maybe she was into girls after all. Between a coffee shot and pouring the caramel in the cup, she gives the stranger in the ponytail quick, sneaky glances. 

Where is she going….? Where is she coming from…? 

Who knows? She'll never know, she's just a barista at an airport cafe.


     The girl in the ponytail is not too tall, 160 cm, maybe. She smiles to herself and looks at the pianist, she wanted to be a pianist, too. He's now playing Halleluja, a beige trench coat falls lazily over his shoulders. He's so into the music, he doesn't realize the girl in the ponytail is staring at him. And so is a girl that's taking pictures of him. 

She's ordering the fourth coffee of the day, she's been travelling since early this morning. She's going home for Christmas. 

She stepped out of the elevator of the departure floor at the Heathrow airport at precisely 6,49, dragged her humongous suitcase out of it and directed herself to the gates. But hers was still closed. She asked a worker what time the gate would open, he said "I've got no idea". Well f**k it, she thought. Maybe I'll go for another coffee. 

So after weighting her luggage and reassuring herself that it is not over 23 kilograms, she established that her heart was at peace, so she went for a coffee, again. She thought that maybe she was spending too much today, but then she realised that it's for a good cause. Coffee is always a good cause. 

Now she sits alone on a table for two, sipping her coffee. You can barely see anything of her but her bouncy ponytail. She is curved upon her macbook typying what seems like a papyrus. She's been typing for the past 30 minutes. 

She wonders if the gate is now open. She looks outside the window and, walking in circles under the drizzles of rain, stands a man in a green coat and grey pants. 


     The man in the green coat and grey pants walks in circles under the drizzles of rain. A cigarette trapped between the fingers of his left, shaking hand, his phone in the other. He waits for a taxi he called 40 minutes ago. 

On the floor next to him, a hiking backpack, and a smaller pack lays on the dirty outside floor. And he walks, in circles, under the drizzles of rain. He takes a puff of his cigarette, then exhales it and looks at the sky. 

It f*****g sucks to be back after you've been to Africa for months. Then the taxi comes and he disappears in the rain. 


     At 7.43 pm on a Monday night, the Terminal Four at the Heathrow airport doesn't seem as busy anymore. 

The girl with the big blue suitcase starts to walk to her gate, her coffee is finished yet she carries the cup with her because she collects them. The barista with the ponytail takes her apron off because her shift is over; the boy playing the piano disappeared what seems to be hours ago. The man walking in circles under the drizzles of rain has disappeared and is now probably stuck in the infernal traffic of a busy Monday night. Not what he had in Africa at all. 

Another barista starts his shift, another person sits at the piano, another person walks in the rain and another girl with a big suitcase looks lost and crazy. 

Because we're all busy, because we're all the same. 

Because there is nothing as busy as the Heathrow airport terminal four on a Monday night. 

© 2014 CinnamonAlla

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Added on January 22, 2014
Last Updated on January 22, 2014
Tags: travelling, writing, plane, airport, coffee, rain



Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom

"She was a curious girl, a wanderer, who spent her summers chasing fluttering pieces of prose and eating strawberries." - Michael Faudet, Strawberries more..

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A Poem by CinnamonAlla