Drop #100: Coffee

cappuccinoBrunch. Eggs Benedict as usual. Jay had met his sponsor here every Saturday for a year. Good-looking family at the table next door. They reminded him of his own family growing up: upper middle class, with a teenage boy and younger girl, both well-behaved and neatly dressed. Jay would have been around the boy’s age circa 1990, with a similar height and build.

‘You want a cup of coffee, son?’ the father asked his son after ordering a cappuccino for him and a mimosa for his wife. ‘You’re not a child anymore. Might be time to try the stuff.’


When it came, the boy added milk and sugar and took a sip. Jay watched discretely, thinking about all that had transpired in his life since his first cup of coffee over twenty years ago: a failed marriage and a son of his own he hardly saw; hundreds of parties and a string of stale affairs; thousands of drinks and cigarettes and substances consumed; possessions acquired and sold and broken. A perpetual feeling of loss, warmed through on resentment. A life already lived, its opportunities nonchalantly squandered, its potential running on empty.

All since his first cup of coffee.

And sitting with his eggs on an old-fashioned chair, Jay acknowledged sadly, that he’d still had a chance back then, and for a second, had a bizarre notion that if he had never had that first coffee, things might have been different, that he might have lived the life of another. But of course, it hadn’t been the coffee’s fault; he owned the blame entirely.

‘What do you think?’ the father asked his son, good-naturedly.

‘I don’t like it,’ the boy answered, making a face, and Jay remembered disliking his first cup too.

‘Fair enough.’

‘I don’t get it, dad. It’s so bitter. It tastes awful.’

‘Ha! See if you feel that way in five years.’

Jay cut into his eggs, allowing the golden yolk to ooze onto his plate. ‘Waiter,’ he said solemnly, cup raised. ‘I need a refill.’

By E.M. Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

4 Responses to Drop #100: Coffee

  1. Love it. Favorite line – “its potential running on empty”.

  2. Ryan says:

    This is exactly reflecting my own sentiments at the moment. What is it? Is it that Xmas is just around the corner? Every year this melancholy comes over me during this time.

    Anyway…thanks. 🙂

  3. laurabesley says:

    Don’t blame the coffee! haha!! Liked this one: summed up very quickly and neatly what was going on with this guy.
    By the way – do you know about http://www.flashfiction.org? You can upload your FF there if you like.

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