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“Can you meet me for coffee this afternoon at Cafe Abella?” she texted.
Everything was set out with care on her couch — a bottle of Whispering Angel rosé, a custom handcrafted flower crown from a local florist, a customized scented candle, and a card that she had paid $50 to have “Will you be my Maid of Honor?” written on it in calligraphy. She wasn’t nervous to ask, but more nervous about the fallout that could possibly ensue.
“Uh, duh,” she received in response. “I’m taking the afternoon off for an appointment so whenevs works for me.”
She breathed a sigh of relief. Unwilling to delay her decision even further, she was comforted that the entire process would finally come to an end. After confirming a 3 o’clock rendezvous, she looked down to the ground where Sperry sat looking up at her.
“Okay, my little one, let’s go for a walk.”
“Excuse me,” she said to the barista who stood making a latte. “Can I ask you a huge favor?”
Stunned, the barista looked up from the task at hand and looked at her in confusion. This particular coffee shop worker’s job was solely making drinks and calling names. “Uh, yeah, how can I help you?”
“Is there any way I can ask you to reserve a table for me for the next hour or so?”
Still perplexed as to why they were being bothered by this question, the barista answered, “Ma’am, I, unfortunately, have to ask you to wait in line with the other customers.” She coyly pointed away from the espresso machine and toward the door, where about a dozen or so other patrons stood waiting to place their order.
“Um, so yeah,” she began as the barista looked on. “So I’m not looking to order a drink yet. I’m simply looking to have that corner table over there cleared off so I can make a life-changing decision.” Pointing with much more conviction than the barista had, she gestured toward a highly sought-after table. It sat beneath hanging ferns right in the window of the cafe — just out of the way of the line but still in view of the rest of the establishment.
Well-knowing that this conversation was not going to go the way either of them wanted it to, the barista set down the paper cup she was attempting to fulfill an order in. “Unfortunately we don’t accept reservations or reserve tables, so it’s first come, first serve.”
She stood shocked, nearly dropping the paper bag that overflowed with the gifts she had meticulously prepared for the occasion. Spilling out of the top of the bag was tissue paper and other stuffings she had purchased from Paper Source — it was evident to even the barista that something was happening.
“I don’t think you’re understanding me,” she reiterated. “I don’t want to reserve the table, I just want the table cleared off so I can get it before anyone else.”
She looked over her shoulder to make sure it was still vacant but out of the corner of her eye, she saw another couple making eyes at the table. They, however, also had yet to order anything which meant that it was a perfect opportunity for her to swoop in and take.
Quickly whispering, she told the barista, “I’m going to go over there now so no one steals it — please have someone come wipe it off so I don’t ruin this gift.” The barista breathed out a sigh of anger and relief before going back to making yet another Americano.
Checking her Apple Watch, she realized that she had only about ten minutes to set everything up. Seconds after looking up in anger wondering when the hell someone was going to wipe down the table, it was to her pleasure that she saw another different barista walking toward her with a wet rag and tub of dishes.
“Ugh, I thought you’d never arrive,” she said while looking at her hair in the reflection of the window. “My friend is going to be here soon — can you please wipe this down?”
The second barista clearly had no idea what was going on, nor did she realize that this ordeal had taken over the previous few minutes of her coworker’s life either. Knowing that her life would be much easier with this out of her hair, she quickly cleared the table leaving behind only a slightly wet surface.
Standing angrily in leggings and her Patagonia pullover with denim shirttails sticking out of the bottom, she took the corner of her fleece and attempted to get the layer of moisture off where she intended to set the bag. Groaning out of aggravation that her former favorite coffee shop could possibly treat her like this, she finally sat down — without drink — and perched the bag perfectly in front of the seat across from her.
Again, she looked at her watch. Almost game time. Debating whether or not she should stand up and order two matcha lattes prior to her arrival, she decided against it for fear that the couple standing in front of her would disregard the gift bag and swoop her seat.
It was just after that moment of decision that she looked to the door and saw someone walking in.
“Caroline!” she screamed as she rose to her feet. “Over here!”
Caroline’s eyes looked her up and down before diverting to the bag sitting at her place.
“Oh. my. God.” Caroline said before covering her mouth. “Are you freaking kidding me?”
Without much of a response to Caroline, all she could do was stand in front of her and cover her mouth with fake scream noises coming out. They both hugged and jumped up and down before realizing they were rattling the drinks of everyone around them.
“Of course, I’ll be your Maid of Honor!” Caroline gushed while sitting down. “TBH, I thought you’d never ask me — you were taking longer than Todd took to propose!”
“I’m scared to ask, but have you broken the news to Katie yet?” .