It’s a rainy afternoon.
“Millennials are too broke but still buy expensive coffee” reads the headline of a Facebook post from one of the oldest news agencies in the world. The featured image is of a young man, maybe in his twenties, wearing round spectacles and sporting a trimmed beard – laughing. In front of him, a small cup of coffee.
“Very subtle” he thought to himself. Although one for speaking audibly even when alone, a habit that has helped get him through college, doing so in a quiet coffee shop may draw unwelcome glances toward his way.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including this fossil of a writer who still can’t let go of her penchant for animal fur clothing accessories.
Although having some form of reliability – the article is a mishmash of biased rambling and factual presentation – it’s clear it was written from a position of derision. And then, right there at the end, is the cliché of an argument: “if these hipsters refrained from buying expensive coffee every day, they can actually afford insurance.”
“Pretty convenient statement considering you’re sponsored by a life insurance company.” This time, he had to really hold himself back from blurting this out. His sigh right after did elicit a look from a young lady seated by the window overlooking one of the most famous (some say infamous) stretch of road in the country.
If he was reading this a couple of years back, he would have slammed his broadsheet to his table in disgust. Now, a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen of his smart phone evokes the same response. He’s pretty sure slamming his metal and glass phone on the table would not only warrant glances but some may actually approach him to check if he’s alright.
The noise from the semi-busy street permeates the shop; the door has just been opened. In walks a young woman, adorned in loud ensemble of colored fabric. She haughtily approaches the bar, never acknowledging the young barista that has a genuine smile across her face. He stares at her, waiting for her to say it:
“Do you have frappes?”
The barista, still keeping her genuine smile, empathizes that they cannot offer “frappes” as they feel it masks the taste of their choice beans. She attempts – with all the enthusiasm she can muster – to offer an iced mocha, their most decadent drink in the menu; an offer that, unsurprisingly, gets turned down.
“You will never make it as a coffee shop! Not even a single frappe! Who drinks black coffee?” exclaims the woman with matching hand gestures that would make any mime jealous. The barista, ever the trooper, keeps her composure and continues to empathize. She even musters a “have a great day!” to the visibly angry woman. He sees this woman take a picture of the front of the store with her phone and walks away obviously typing vigorously.
“You’re going to be famous on Facebook” he says to the Barista. They both exchange a light laugh. He has been frequenting this particular shop so long, some might even assume he’s the owner. With his matte hair streaked with silver and the stately looking barong he’s sporting, it won’t be easy not to.
He leaves a generous tip on his table, bids the barista a good day, and begins walking towards his company’s office next door. Some would think the CEO of a multinational clothing company walking all alone in the streets would be preposterous. But he, like most millennials, cannot work without getting his daily fix of good coffee. “If anything happens, our guards can respond immediately anyway” he always told his staff.
He wished, however, that he brought the umbrella his late wife bought for him just a year ago. “Big enough for two” she said with a beaming smile, masking the obvious pain her sickness was causing her. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her days just lying down in bed. She wanted to go places with the love of her life, sit with him in coffee shops even though she never drank the stuff. Just like when they were young.
This umbrella, they bought strolling through the mall one day, a few days before she succumbed to death. She didn’t want him to walk the two blocks to his office after he had deposited her to their family van, on her way to visit their eldest son’s family deep in the North.
“Just what the best CEO needs, a sturdy umbrella.” Were the last words she ever said to him.
It was a rainy afternoon.
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Categories: stories with kape