His coworker, Angela, shrugged and gave a customer their coffee. "Like, fast fast?" Claude nodded, scratching his neck embarrassed. "Then there's only one option: sell yourself," she deadpanned and grabbed Claude's chin. "With that body and face of yours, you wouldn't have a single problem."
Claude took her hand away from his chin. "Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't want to involve myself in that line of work," he said, chuckling slightly.
When Angela saw that the cafe was almost empty, she let herself slack off a little. "Why do you need money? Did something happen with your girlfriend?" she asked.
"She's kicking me out for some bullshit reason," he replied, shaking his head, "and I still have two days left before that happens."
"What have you done this time?" she sighed as she leaned onto the counter.
"She thinks I'm cheating on her with a girl I met online. We've been talking for a few months now because of an online game we play together, but never met in real life." Claude crossed his arms. "There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but she likes to over exaggerate every little detail."
"Yikes," she muttered. "Do you have a plan yet? Like staying with your parents or one of your friends?"
He clicked his tongue as he began tapping his elbow. "My parents live too far away from our university and staying with a friend..." Claude's face scrunched up by the memory of loud trap music early in the morning. "I'm not staying with Raoul again."
"Then the best thing you can do is to find a cheap motel to stay at until you find an apartment."
"What about your place?" he asked, stalking up to her. Her flat expression didn't change as Claude's mouth formed into a smirk. He leaned his face closer to her and stopped right before their noses touched. "You know I could take good care of you. So, what do you say?"
"I don't think my partner would like that," Angela said as she pushed Claude's face away from her. "They would think I brought back a stripper."
"Yeah yeah, it was just a joke," he chuckled, backing away. They both got startled when they heard the front door open and turned to look at the person walking up to the counter.
Claude and Angela straightened themselves and plastered a business smile on their faces. "Good evening, welcome to Cafe Loriane. What would you like to order?"
The customer slightly frowned at Claude and looked at Angela. "Can I get a caramel macchiato?" He turned to Claude. "And I want him to make it."
"Of course~," Angela smiled. "That'll be four dollars."
Claude watched the customer take out a black card and raised his eyebrows. "He must be rich." Claude's gaze went up to his face. He looked at his straight blonde hair, to his light grey eyes which were covered by stylish round glasses. From the beauty mark under his left eye, his eyes wandered to his soft pink lips, which were a little parted. He got out of his thoughts when Angela snapped her fingers in front of his face.
"Go make that fucking coffee," she whispered and pushed him to the counter behind them.
"Fuck, I know," he groaned as he brushed a curl away.
After a few minutes of making the drink, he put the lid on and gave it to the customer. "And it's ready. Enjoy your drink~" he smiled, winking at him.
He nodded shortly. "Yes, thank you," he replied and got out of the cafe.
When he left, Angela hit the back of Claude's head. "Why were you eyeing him up like that?" she demanded. "You have a girlfriend, remember?"
"You're imagining it," he scoffed. "But didn't he seem a little familiar? Does he go to our university?"
"That was that pretty boy everyone talks about, Florence," she nodded. "He's a model and is known for his cold and aloof personality. Many girls tried to befriend him, but he always rejects them harshly."
"Huh," he mumbled and glanced at the clock. He slowly grinned at Angela and clasped his hands. "It's been fun, but I have to go."
"Is it already seven? Lucky," she grumbled. "I still have an hour to go."
"Sucks to be you," he smirked as he loosened the knot of his apron.
"At least I'm not homeless in a few days," she bit back.
Claude paused to look at her and smiled. "Touché."
He went to the back room while taking the apron off. He grabbed his bag from his locker and put his apron in it. Taking his hair out of a bun, he shook his curls around and walked to the front. "I'll see you around, Angie."
"Bye, Claude! And text me if you need anything," she grinned.
With one last wave, Claude walked out of the cafe and made his way back to the apartment. He got met with silence when he opened the door. He was expecting his girlfriend waiting for him ready with dinner, but right at that moment, he remembered that she's staying at her friend's until he's gone.
Claude took his shoes off and dropped his bag next to the couch. "Why won't she just break up with me? Maybe she has a reason not to." He flipped the light switch, lingering his hand on it as he stared at it. "Raoul did warn me that she only falls for black people." He shook his head. "Fuck that. That has nothing to with the situation. Hah... let me just take a shower for the time being."
Claude's phone chimed some time after he finished his shower. He put his instant ramen on the table and sighed out of relief when he saw that his online friend texted him.
Lore: when are you coming online? We still have the event to grind
Claude chuckled at her impatience and opened the convo.
SkyHigh: yeah, I'm here
SkyHigh: how are you?
Lore: I'm fine, hbu?
"Should I tell her?" Claude thought and leaned into his chair as he began ranting.
SkyHigh: well, I'm getting kicked out of my apartment Monday, and idk where I could stay...
SkyHigh: boohoo, it's so sad cause I don't have many friends in the area to stay with until I can find my own place
SkyHigh: do you have some options for me?
Lore: ...you mentioned you lived in the same area as me, right?
Claude furrowed his eyebrows out of confusion.
SkyHigh: yeah I do
Lore: can you cook?
SkyHigh: I can't say I'm a pro, but I've helped a lot in the kitchen of my parents' restaurant
Lore: you could stay with me if you want to
Lore: you don't have to pay a big part of the rent in exchange that you cook for me
He stared at the text messages. "Is she for real? Am I supposed to become a maid for her?" he thought and tried to erase the memory of him in a maid outfit.
Lore: you see, I live in a reasonably big apartment on my own and I'm living on a noodle diet
Lore: and I know you for a few months already, so that's why I'm offering the deal
"It doesn't sound bad... and I am desperate for another place." Claude narrowed his eyes at his phone.
SkyHigh: that does sound good, but can we meet first?
Lore: sure. How does 4 PM at the XL grocery store sound?
SkyHigh: yeah, that's ok
SkyHigh: I'll see you then ;)
Lore: yes, but first the event!