Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee

A Story by Max Allan

This story is about life, it is designed to make you think. It's biggest theme is the human nature of letting chances pass us by.

Imagine that today is your last day. Not only is it your last day, but you don't know it. It is just a normal Monday. A Monday; the universally accepted worst day of the week. You get up at half-past-sun-rise and put on your shoes, walk to the bus, you consider yourself to be environmentally friendly because of it. A good looking girl sits opposite you on that bus, she is unable to afford a car; bus is the only option.

You sip your coffee, your elbow brushes the arm of the person next to you as you do. The lid of your take-away cup isn't properly in place so you drip a little on your pants with the third tilt to your mouth. As you try to rub it off with the napkin you had in your pocket from the fast food last night, the girl smiles. She knows that you care. You care about how you look, what your boss will think.

She doesn't care. She has no make-up on, her hair is tied back and her jeans are dirty; the laundromat is closed on Sundays. She is on her way to work at the coffee shop near your office, you see her every morning at the same time. Her smile wakes you up at the same rate as the caffeine flows through your veins.

The days she isn't on the bus turn out to be pretty s**t days. Even when she sits with her back to you, you can't see her face, the days seem to go slower. Although, today is your last day, wouldn't you want it to go slower? Enjoy it a little more. It doesn't work that way.

The faster the day the more you do, the more you live. The more you live the quicker you die. That thought riddles you. She riddles you. How can she go on knowing that all she does every day is make coffee for people like you; placing lids on take-away cups, incorrectly. People like her caused this fresh stain on your pants.

The bus stops, picks up two more passengers, with no room to sit one of them stands in between you and her. The connection isn't broken, you can feel it and she can feel it. The bus takes off, the new passengers are unprepared and stumble slightly. This stumble gives you another glance at her green eyes. She isn't looking at you, just out the window.

What is she looking at? You turn to see, nothing but the blur of early morning street lights and the sorry many on their way to their unfortunate lives. You turn back to look at her just as she turns to look at you, her smile again drawn across her face. It reminds you of nothing.

Nothing has compared to her before. Natural, beautiful, untouchable. The irony of this bus ride is she feels it too. She stares out the window hoping to catch your eyes on the way back to her book, which sits un-read on her lap. If only you knew that this was your last day. What would you say to her? probably nothing.

The bus reaches your stop, and hers. You walk past the bus driver, she is behind you. She says 'thank you', you wish you had of done the same. Out the door you turn right, she turns left. You will have to wait until tomorrow to see her again. Too bad it's your last day.

Work goes slowly, you don't think of her. She only exists on the bus, not in the office, not at your desk. Andrew Smith comes into your office. Generic name, generic person. He hands you some papers and asks about your weekend. It was good, you say. You don't think that though. You went out drinking with your friends, whom you feel don't really like you. Friends from highschool, a goldfish relationship than ended up extending past the social bowl that school provides.

Andrew reminds you of a s****y comedy. He has stupid facial expressions that don't go with his black suit nor his short, stylish hair cut. He leaves, you go back to work. Her smile creeps into your mind. Straight back to work.

Your last day on this planet, imagine spending your last day ever sitting in your same everyday office at that same everyday job still sipping that same everyday, now cold, cup of coffee. How would you rather spend it? With your family? Probably not, you would rather spend it with her. Drinking a coffee out of a real cup, at a table, talking about all the times you had spent on the bus staring at each other. That doesn't happen.

Life doesn't work like that, you don't get to chose the moment you die. Although, when you think about it, you do get to chose the moment you live. Make that conscious decision to sit next to her, instead of across from her.

She isn't a person, she is the person. She knows it, you know it; anyone who ever looked at the way you two act on that bus would know it. Go to her coffee shop, drink her coffee, comment how good it is and ask if she would like to join you on her break. Take that chance.

What chance? Every chance. Every moment is a chance, and then you die.

You don't just die. You disappear. You become nothing to anyone ever, eventually. Your family will miss you, but then they will die and there will be no one. No one. You are already the thing you are going to become, no one. So why not be everything else in between?

That thought rattles around in your head as the car hits you. Too late, too bad. Don't know the car hits you, you don't know you are dead, she doesn't know you are dead. She didn't know who you were, all she knows is that someone got hit crossing the street from your work to hers. Her boss told her enthusiastically, the news is news and the news excites people. The news, however, is that the person she longed to talk to can now no longer talk.

She doesn't know it though. She doesn't know you, she doesn't know anything about you. Only that you dress nice and your coffee isn't made by her. She wishes it was. Every day on the bus, especially Mondays, she wonders where you are. What happened to you. It doesn't occur to her that it was you that was hit by that car a couple of months ago. You are just gone.

I'm not trying to say that I would have said 'hello', I'm not even trying to say that I would spend my last day on earth differently. One day you will wake up, and that same day you won't go to sleep. The difference between you and this girl, at least, is that she lives to be old.

She is younger than you, not by much, but enough to be dumber than you, ignorant is probably a better word. She isn't just working at this coffee shop down the road from your office, she dreams there.

She dreams of things you have never dreamt, and never will. She dreams of exotic adventures and men than change her and hurt her. You will never be that man, but maybe, just maybe, that's for the best.

To her, you will always be that guy on the bus who spills his coffee every Monday. You will be the guy that turns right when she turns left. Says nothing when she says 'thank you'. You will never be the guy who hurt her, or left her. You will never be the guy that grows old with her either.

She dies at 83, asleep, dreaming of things that were. You died at 26, thinking of things that never will be. Is that what you want? is that how life happens?

Right now I travel, I plan on doing this for a long time. I can look back on the past year and think, 'wow, has anyone ever had a better life'. And I can Honestly think that. However, what I can't do is say hello to that person. That girl sitting opposite me on the bus. That person who lifts the air and drains the soul, pulling you in.

One day, maybe. Until then, I can go on thinking, that today isn't my last day.

© 2012 Max Allan

Author's Note

Max Allan
Let me know if it made you think? what it made you think?

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Very exquisite usage of imagery. It comes to make me think of how a simple interaction may seem bigger than one may believe.

Posted 10 Years Ago

WOW, emotional touching read, well that is what i got from it.
Like the detail and imagery.

Posted 10 Years Ago

It makes you think about death, about how fragile your life really is, and makes things seem small and insignificant.
Thank you, hopefully I will take something from this and apply it to my life, seize the moment and not just let it pass me by.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Max Allan

10 Years Ago

Thank you! I'm glad that's what it meant to you. Tell me if you do seize a moment you normally would.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on September 8, 2012
Last Updated on September 8, 2012
Tags: Cold, Coffee, Life, Death, Car, Crash, Bus, Girl, Choices, Chances


Max Allan
Max Allan

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Hey, my name is Max and I travel. I write a travel blog, and in my spare time write some small bits a pieces. I hope you enjoy my work! If anyone is interesting in reading about some of my tra.. more..