The boy’s spine curled forward, similar to a shaved orange peel, though he clearly wasn’t an orange. Silent words opened his lips, puckering like a fish, but he most definitely wasn’t a fish.
He continued to mouth silent words and curl his spine, drooping his chest over his lap as he sidled up to the cafe bar. Quirky friendliness oozed from him, though she didn’t think he’d like an unsolicited interruption, so she stayed put, watching.
He splayed his feet ballerina-style, heels touching and toes pointing outward on the bar’s foot-shelf as he slouched and plucked silent keys on his phone. Every few seconds, his body tapped and bounced to whatever music he listened to, unable to contain himself, or so she assumed.
She sat behind him in a booth, nibbling her fingernails, attempting to get the too-long nail off in one bite. Once she did, she flung it into the air, hoping to snag his shirt, then he’d be inclined to take her with him.
Not aerodynamic enough, her nail landed on the edge of her table, hooking nothing except her annoyance. She brushed the nail onto the floor, wishing she had more nails to gnaw, but she’d already chewed through all ten fingers.
Her eyes dropped to her cup, distracted with her hot spiced apple cider. She dipped her pinky in it, not liking the feel of the spice coating her finger.
Her gaze slipped to the floor and followed stray legs, curious of people’s shoe choices. Shoes said so much about a person, but when she looked up to align her assessment, sometimes she was wrong. Maybe she didn’t know that much about shoes, after all.
She sighed and sipped, the granulated spice debris coating her lips and tongue, making extra work to swallow it down. She wasn’t sure she’d order the spiced cider again.
The boy caught her thoughts, snagging them like a baited hook plopping into a moving current. Would he like spiced cider? she wondered. She assumed not, thinking his cup looked more like a coffee cup than a cider cup, not that there was a visible difference—she could just feel it.
He obviously needed caffeine to fuel his erratic bouncing and tapping.
The boy suddenly looked up, straightening. He adjusted his glasses and peered out like he’d come up from down deep and needed fresh oxygen to continue. Then he rolled his chest inward, mumbling more, and resumed his texting and head bouncing.
She stretched her arms overhead, realizing she’d folded over the table she sat at, shielding her cider cup from view with her breasts, and her back was kinked. Maybe a breast reduction was in order, shim them up, then she’d never hide anything again.
She took another drink, a longer draw, needed to finish, get up and get going. Yeah, not going to order that drink twice, she thought.
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