I have been frequenting the same coffee-house for the last eight months, it has become, I suppose, my local. I love it there; snuggling into a corner with my laptop and writing the day away – a good quarter of my book was written while tucking into the establishments frothy cappuccinos. But now things have changed.
Though we chat daily, I don’t know his name. Tanned, with a quaff of rich dark hair and duck-egg blue eyes, he is the barista of female fantasy – the perfect Mills & Boon protagonist. Distracting? Slightly, but then sometimes a little distraction is welcome, it keeps the writing fresh. No, that’s not the problem. The problem is that he has taken to giving me free coffee.
“That doesn’t sound like a problem to me,” I hear you say. But, it is. It makes me feel uncomfortable, is there a hidden agenda? Am I indebted to this dreamy individual? Looking at him was fine – there were no strings attached, but now, now I’m involved. I’m an accomplice to this caffeine charity, I am accepting what I know to be wrong. We’re having an illicit arabica affair. The thing is, I’ve tried to pay – today I tried to slip over some extra cash for the free peppermint tea he brought to my table yesterday (it isn’t a table service place.)
What do I do? I no longer feel relaxed. I feel nervous; constantly worried that when I look up our eyes will meet and I’ll feel the guilt of our little secret. I still love the place and it is extremely geographically convenient, but is it not tainted? Do I need to find a different caffeine dispensary?