Coffee Shakes

Kyle sipped his coffee, the light, milky drink sliding down his throat. It was still warm, but only just barely. He had waited too long. He threw the rest down his throat, then waited for the waitress.

When she came by – a portly woman with hair up in a bun and an apron sporting a nametag that said “Agnes” – he waved his mug and she poured him another cup, steam coming off as the black liquid moved from one vessel to another.

“Thank you,” Kyle said. Agnes nodded and carried on.

He grabbed a sugar packet from the ceramic dish, shook it a few times, then tore it open. He emptied the contents, took the teaspoon – a misnomer, now – and stirred. He opened the tiny plastic tub of cream and dumped it in as well, stirring again. He peered at the liquid, judging the colour. Still too dark, he thought. He opened another tub of cream, then tried to stop himself partway through pouring. It was too late. Too light. Damn, he thought.

Kyle stirred, then sipped. The coffee was just the wrong side of cooling off. Still warm enough, but it wouldn’t last. He’d have to drink it quickly, like the last two. He did, not quite chugging but not sipping leisurely, not enjoying the warmth, disliking the jitters. He finished the drink, and waited for Agnes to return.

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