The sound of the door chimes announced the arrival of the Writer in a café near her apartment.
The Writer fought hard to keep herself awake. Even if rich dark aroma surrounded her, hugged her like a warm blanket, she was still sleepy after staying up late finishing her manuscript. Oh, how she blamed the Editor for mixing up the deadlines.
"Morning!" chirped the cheery barista, welcoming the groggy-looking Writer.
Dressed in a loose sweatshirt, sweatpants, worn-our sneakers, and hair messily tied up in a bun, the Writer wanted to take her pen from her back pocket and stab the barista to the chest, hoping to wipe off the sunny demeanor so early in the morning.
It was eight in the morning and the Writer found it quite alarming for someone to be bright and happy.
"Oh! Here to get a cup of coffee I presume?" asked the barista with a cheerful smile.
The Writer groaned but nodded slowly. She could have retorted some sarcastic remarks like 'No, I would be buying ink' or 'I'm here to kill someone'
But the fact the barista was the source of her drink, she held her sarcasm.
"Yours or your housemate with a great talent in art? What was her name again?"
The Writer shrugged, ignoring the question about her flatmate's name. She took out a few paper bills and handed it to the barista. "Flatmate's."
The barista took the bills, placed the order, and gave the Writer her change. She has an inkling that the two didn't often give their names. "I'll whip it up for you. You can just wait by the receiving area," she said and took a grande-size cup and a marker, giving a 'what's your name' look at the Writer.
But the Writer ignored the silent question that involves her name and went straight to the waiting area. She thought that it was useless since she's the only one in the café who was coffee-less.
The Writer made herself comfortable by one of the empty sofas near the waiting area.
"So, your housemate came here last night," said the barista while making the Writer's coffee, "Ordered the usual salted caramel macchiato. Did you enjoy it?"
The Writer nodded. She was glad the Artist bought her a cup of her favorite coffee. It warmed her nights of editing and writing. A good nightly companion while working on her manuscript.
"So... that Artist said you're working on another novel. Is it the theme?" the barista asked while preparing the order of the Writer.
The smell of bitter aroma mixed with sweet chocolate filled the small shop that brought a relaxing feeling to the Writer. It was enough for her morning grumpiness to fade.
"Not like I would write anything else," she said huskily, finally out of her drowsy state.
The barista chuckled. "Yes. And how our patrons loved your flash fictions that you posted on our bulletin board. Same as the Artist's quick sketches."
The bulletin board that the barista was talking about was hanging on the wall across the Writer. One exclusive for announcements and the special column for writers or other artists.
The Writer looked at where the bulletin board was and hummed softly. There were a few sketches from her flatmate pinned on it and beside the sketches were the flash fictions she wrote.
There were others from another set of writers or artists but she solely focused on hers and her flatmate's work – theme to be exact.
Their theme was always 'coffee'. The Writer and the Artist love their caffeine and their chosen creative paths that they didn't mind sharing some of their passionate works to the patrons of their favorite café.
"ONE GRANDE CAFE MOCHA WITH A SHOT OF ESPRESSO FOR-"
Even before the barista could finish announcing the perfectly prepared order, the Writer stood up and took the grande cup from the barista. With a soft 'thank you' and an acknowledging nod, she left the cafe and went straight to hers and the Artist's flat.
Arriving at the apartment that she shared with the Artist, she went straight to the Artist's room and looked for the sleeping woman within the unkempt room.
It didn't take long for the Writer to find the Artist among the sea of dishevelment. Buried under several blankets – all stained with paint, ink, and other colorful stains – the Artist was sleeping with a light snore.
Finding the owner of the messy room, the Writer approached the Artist, ignoring the mess on the floor – paint tubes, pens, pencils, crumpled paper, magazines, and comics – and placed the cup of coffee on the bedside table near the sleeping Artist.
"Wake up." The Writer softly poked the Artist's cheek, hoping to wake her up. "Sleepyhead, wake up." she poked the Artist's cheek once again but a bit harder that she felt the clenched teeth of the Artist through the cheeks.
The scent of the bitter yet relaxing aroma and the continuous pokes on her cheek, the Artist stirred awake in search of the magical drink.
"Mm... Coffee?" she asked, blindly reaching for her drink on her bedside table. When her hand touched the hot container, she gently grasped it on the cardboard sleeve and at the same time, slowly sat up and cradled her beverage with both hands.
"Your deadline's tomorrow. Just letting you know." The Writer said, yawning in the process.
"Stay here?" the Artist offered with a sleepy smile.
The Writer turned to face the Artist with a blank expression. "With a room like yours?"
The Artist nodded.
The bed was inviting, the Writer thought. Her body yearned for a soft fluffy bed and just shut off from the world after a night of typing and squeezing her brain for ideas.
But the Artist's room wouldn't give her the relaxation her brain needed; even if the bed was indeed inviting. Shaking her head, she turned her back to the Artist and said, "Nah." and left the messy quarters.
When the Writer left, the Artist couldn't help but giggle and drag herself to her worktable. She placed her coffee on the table and shouted, "Thanks for the coffee!"
"Thanks for the macchiato." The Writer hollered back.