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“Todd, are you almost ready?” she asked from their new living room. She had just prepared a Nespresso on the machine she insisted would be perfect on their marble countertops.
Todd stood in the bedroom in a towel trying to shake his hangover from the night before. Still wet from the shower, he put a shirt on that immediately became wet with water spots. He waited for the Alka Seltzer to stop fizzling in his Tervis before taking it down in a series of chugs riddled with struggle.
“Yeah,” he called back. “Just about done getting dressed.”
On her iPad mini, she scrolled the website of a brand new coffee shop that opened just a block away from their new apartment – Brew, it was called. It was the passion project of a local farm-to-table chef who had been featured in The New York Times earlier that month. She had attempted to get an invitation to the soft opening by emailing his manager with her old fashion blog, but her request fell flat.
As she looked at the menu, she was torn – would she get her usual Americano? Or would she go with the Cortado that the paper had raved about? She settled on asking one of the “brew specialists” for their recommendations.
“Alright, you ready?” Todd asked as he entered the living room only to discover her sitting on the couch wearing white jeans, a chambray shirt, and a light summer scarf wrapped around her neck.
“Of course, I’m ready, Mr. I-Drank-Too-Much-Last-Night,” she responded with a smile (but also a hint of seriousness).
They exited and took the elevator down to their new apartment building’s lobby where they were greeted by the doorman. They exited through the revolving door and each put on their sunglasses while taking a left to walk north towards Brew.
Immediately upon crossing their cross street, she could see the entrance. With four sets of simplistic chair-and-table sets set up outside and a forged metal sign, she knew she had found her happy place. For that Saturday morning, at least.
There was a line that peaked just out the door. Todd commented on how he thought it would have been longer, and she agreed, but they stood in the doorway nonetheless.
Todd attempted to poke his head in a bit further and see what the menu consisted of.
“What’s on their menu?” he inquired. “I could really use a breakfast sandwich and an iced coffee right now.”
“Todd,” she began. “They don’t have breakfast sandwiches here.”
“What the hell kind of coffee shop doesn’t have breakfast sandwiches?” he remarked.
“This type off coffee shop,” she scolded him while pulling up the menu on her phone so he wouldn’t embarrass her in front of the owner, who she could see greeting people next to the case filled with baked goods Todd had never heard of before.
As the line progressed, they inched closer and closer to the kiosk where the brew masters were taking orders and swiping people’s credit cards through a Square attachment that was set up on an iPad Pro.
“Todd,” she whispered. “They don’t have just normal ‘iced’ coffee here. You need to either order a bulletproof coffee, an iced Americano, or a cold brew.”
Still concerned with the lack of breakfast sandwiches, he peered into the case and spotted an ‘everything croissant’ with his name on it. He approached the kiosk as the artist-looking couple in front of them moved to the left to wait for their to-go order.
“Uh, yeah, I’ll have one of your everything croissants and a cold brew,” he said. “Babe, what do you want?”
She ran her fingers through her hair and pretended as if she hadn’t been planning her order for weeks.
“Umm, yes,” she hesitated. “One of your cortados sounds delightful, and I’d love to try one of the cronuts I’ve heard so much about.”
Todd wasn’t sure what a cronut was, but he pulled out his credit card to pay for their order.
The tattooed Brew worker tapped their order into the iPad before saying, “Alright, that’ll be $22.90.”
“For two drinks and two pastries?” Todd asked in confusion.
“Todd!” she scolded. “That’s, like, a steal for this.”
“Whatever,” Todd thought to himself as he handed over his card and added a 20% tip while the worker put their pastries on two small plates that intentionally didn’t match.
“Someone will be right out with your drinks,” they were told. “Just take a seat anywhere and they’ll find you.”
In the front of the coffee shop, there was a two-person table that appeared to be perfect for the occasion. With their croissant and cronut in tow, she took off her scarf and set it over the back of her chair. Todd lumbered behind her and sat down aggressively in his chair (more from the hangover, not from the highway robbery that had occurred moments before).
“Isn’t this place amaze?” she asked while placing her linen napkin over her lap.
“Yeah,” Todd muttered. “It’s nice.”
A bearded man wearing an overboard apron emerged from the back with two drinks in his hand. One was a tall iced drink for Todd, the other a smaller vessel containing her cortado.
“I’ve got an order for Todd,” he shouted. She raised her hand and put a cute smile on her face in an effort to make good with the employees. He walked up to their table and set the drinks down with a little too much care for Todd’s liking. They thanked him as he left and she began to blow on her cortado as it steamed.
Todd tasted his cold brew and said, “Eh, tastes like coffee to me,” as she tore off the first piece of her cronut. As she put it in her mouth, she shut her eyes with a complete look of pleasure and zen on her face.
“So good, Todd, you have to try it.”
He reached over and tore off a piece for himself before she interrupted.
“Actually, you can just have the rest. I’m, like, so full.” .
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