Let's start by saying this is a work of fiction. The characters do not actulally exist, though pieces of them are based on the people I know and pieces are based on how I view the world, people I've met, and how I think it should be. On that note, I should also tell you this is not the beginning of the story. Perhaps it is the beginning of the second act, I'm not sure yet. It is the introduction to the character Antoinette, who may or may not be a "love interest" for the narrator. If there is a love interest at all, so far I think she would make the best, though it is not a love story in the least. It is a journey. The journey we all have to make as pint glass philosophers with high ideals in the idealessness of society in modern America. The occaisional venture into sexual odyssey. Over-caffenated. Sometimes even violent, this is a book of first impressions. I want the story to be viewed by the reader as if they are the new face in the group. The narrator is a mutual friend extending an inviting hand and introducing the characters involved. It is the story of you and I, yet we are not part of it. Fictitious reality.
"The usual?" That voice was so sweet. And the looks she'd give along with it could tear a man in half. The poor sap ordering his morning latte had no idea, but I knew the reality behind those words. Those lips. Those eyes. She despised everything about jokers like him.
Seeing her as a barista always seemed so awkward, yet strangely appropriate. Selling coffee and bagels, yet she couldn't stand the flavor of either. I take that back, she only hated bagels plain or with cream cheese. She did love the shop's aroma, though. That's what she told me, anyway. She loved what it meant. What it stood for. "An uncomfortable drink for uncomfortable silence", she'd call it. Perfect for those morning afters with someone you didn't know or hadn't planned to. Before you say your only good-byes.
We had a lot of those, the two of us. Perhaps it was the many we had shared that caused her to share that view with me.
Sweet, sweet Antoinette. Such a strange name for a 21st century American girl. Still, it was her name. Named for her father's mother, she had told me once. We had both been well under the influence and properly preparing for one of those morning afters we would look back on so fondly. She wore it proudly. Never going by any other name, nor allowing anyone to call her any sort of shortened pseudonym. She was Antoinette. No more, no less.
Most days, that was where you would find her. Behind that bar serving steaming paper cups and soft, fresh-baked wheels of bread. Always in those black V-cut sweaters, just barely showing a birds wing on her right breast in a brilliant blue that seemed more like actual feathers than ink. Or maybe it was just strategic placement. Like the way her auburn hair perfectly framed her face, or the way her eyes seemed more like emerald lakes than mechanisms for mind control.