Jake and Ann (part 1)

Faithful readers, I promised that the Tuesday serial would include a romance.  I’m not sure if I like this beginning yet or not, but it is what it is, so we’ll just have to see if Ann and Jake can improve it as they go.  For those who are waiting, Tomorrow is poetry, Thursday is Otis part 2, and Saturday has apparently been hijacked by a Professor Hinklemen from the future, so who knows what that’s about!  I appreciate those of you who have spared me the Twilight Zone moment (“Is anybody out there..anybody,please…) by commenting.  I do appreciate it. 🙂

Jake and Ann

Ann inhaled deeply over the paper cup feeling the familiar tingle of anticipation as the steam drifted in through her nostrils and seemed to settle deep in her bones.  She sighed cradling the cup like a lover’s face, staring into the open cup, relishing the moment.

“You,” she whispered quietly to the cup, “are my best friend, my hot cup of strength.”

She chuckled to herself and took her first sip.  That was when she remembered what she always remembered at this time.  She didn’t really like the flavor of coffee.  She came to Starbucks because she always had, for the tradition, for the smells, because she never really felt like the day began until this ritual passed.  She came because it’s what graduate students did.

Oh, and she came because the others expected her to bring them their drinks as well.

What would happen today, she wondered, if she just stayed here all day.  What if she just sat like this holding her cup, taking it in.  The feel of the cup on her hands, the warmth in her throat, the smells, the sounds of early morning coffee community?  What if she let her tired brain just drift? Soooo tired. What if she gave in to the usual morning desire for just a little longer…what if..


Sighing again, she dragged herself to her feet, collected the other four cups of coffee in the cardboard carrier and walked out to her car barely noticing the young man who held the door for her, murmuring thanks as she walked past him.


Jake held the door for a tired young woman and wondered fleetingly what made her so tired.  He pondered for just a moment who she might be, what her life might be like, what could make such a young person seem so tired.   In that brief moment he saw what most would miss.  The crease of anxiety, the shuffle of fatigue, the  confident posture compensating for the uncomfortable eyes.

He was not, in truth paying particular attention to her.  He saw so many tired people, so many hungry, needy, sad people, and he had a sort of quick instinct for it.   In truth, it just made him tired.

That’s why he had come to Starbucks, cause he was tired.  Sooo tired.  He needed some time alone, time for prayer and mediation; or at least he thought that’s what he needed.  Pastor’s were supposed to get time alone with God; it was supposed to give them strength for the day.  So here he was, at Starbucks, looking for a table at which to pray quietly and read his bible.

He moved quietly to a soft looking chair in the corner, berating himself for being so late.  He had meant to come earlier, but he had given in to his desire to just lay in bed and let his brain drift.  He had given into his usual morning desire for just a little longer…and now here he was just a little later than was intended.

What if by being late he had missed some special blessing of God?  What if there were some unexpected encounter, some encouraging message of hope, something to keep him going.  It was a stupid way to think, Jake knew, but these were the things he wrestled with more and more…What if…

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