Friday, February 24, 2006

Coffee & Smokes

Lily arrived at Starbucks before Sam. She tapped her foot impatiently, the sole of her shoe making a sharp staccato sound on the pavement. Lily craned her neck and strained her eyes left and right. A small white dog ran happily by, panting and pulling it's owner anxiously in the direction of the nearest telephone pole. Groups of people passed her, window shopping and laughing privately at a joke Lily could not hear.

After taking one last look around, Lily walked into the Starbucks and ordered 2 lattes. Sam would be there soon enough. She poured 2 packets of brown sugar into one, and 4 packets of white sugar into the other for Sam. She sprinkled a sparkly dab of cinnamon onto the top of the lattes, and watched as it seeped slowly into the foamy tops, finally dipping under, turning the white milk a creamy shade of brown. She meandered outside and chose a seat on the patio under the bright, afternoon sunshine, facing the buzz of activity on the street. While she waited for her latte to cool, Lily pulled a pack of DuMaurier Lights out of her black purse and laid them on the table with her lighter resting gently on top. She would wait for Sam to arrive before she had her first cigarette of the day. Lily leaned back in her chair and surveyed the crowds of people walking by on the busy street. Everyone seemed to be in a light and happy mood. And why not, she thought stubbornly. The sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful shade of blue, and she was hitting the club that night.

Lily picked up her latte and took a long sip. The smooth liquid slid down her throat, tickling it pleasantly with the flavours of brown sugar and cinnamon. She squinted into the bright sunshine, content, as it's rays poured over her shoulders, warm like her morning shower.

“God! Sorry, I’m late.” Sam flopped into the chair across from Lily, picked up her latte, and downed half of it in one fluid motion.

“You’re always late,” chided Lily.

Sam laughed, “Yeah, I know. Thanks for the latte. It’s good. You ready for a smoke?” she said, picking up the pack of DuMauriers on the table. Without waiting for Lily's reply, Sam pulled out a cigarette, lit it and passed it over, before lighting one for herself. Lily sighed with pleasure as she took a long drag. The combination of espresso and nicotine was giving her a nice buzz. The perfect prelude to the bigger buzz that awaited them that evening, she thought slyly.

She took another sip of her latte and contemplated the evening’s events, “So, you ready for tonight?”

“Damn right!” Sam said, slamming her hand down on the table loudly. She looked around, realizing that people were watching her, and burst into loud giggles. “Don’t I deserve a night out?” she asked the people around her. A few smiled awkwardly at her, but most just turned around, and were soon lost in their own conversations.

“Sam!” Lily shrieked, laughing. Sam was a riot. She could always be counted on to push things far past where they should go. “Let’s go. We’ve got a lot of shopping to do.” Lily stubbed out the last of her cigarette, crushing the filter, and picked up her purse. Sam followed her out onto the street and into the crush of people walking by.

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