Of Terrible Yo Java and New 'Friends'
He came every Saturday.
Every weekend, rain or shine, at nine o' clock sharp.
And sat at the same booth.
And ordered the same thing.
Every. Saturday. Without fail.
You considered yourself an expert on this subject. After many early shifts at your place of employment (a crummy little chain coffee shop with the ironically brilliant name Yo Java), you could confirm that the same Halloween Lupe came to this shop and ordered an Azzle Coffee and a Berry Jam Croissant at the same time on every. Single. Saturday.
"Honestly," you would gripe to your friends, "no one likes Yo Java THAT much. I am sensing an ulterior motive."
"Yeah, I bet he just comes here because this is where the spirits tell him to go," giggles Attie, your fellow waitress and best-friend-for-lifesies. She tosses her teal Faerie Draik curls over her shoulder and flounces away from the kitchen, two twin cups of Black Tea in tow. Why she does every movement with effortless grace and you usually move like a startled Dofrey in Osiri's Pottery, you will never be able to understand.
"Or maybe he just comes here to be entertained by you and your tendency to overreact, Evie," Luna teases. She reaches out to flick your messy braid over your shoulder. "You should go talk to him and find out what his deal is!"
"Fine," you huff. Anything to get away from these idiots. "I'll go investigate. At least I will have solved the Mystery of the Creepy Werelupe at Booth 8. You're welcome in advance."
Snatching your pastel-blue braid from Luna's reach, you pile the Azzle Coffee and Berry Jam Croissant onto your tray and attempt to flounce from behind the counter. Unfortunately, your flounce comes out as more of a half-hop and you end up tripping over Burt the janitor's suds bucket.
Luna and Attie can't contain their giggles and, with horror, you notice Creepy Werelupe is smothering back a grin as well.
That tears it.
You march across Yo Java, patrons gaping in your midst, and slam down the tray onto the Creep's table. He jumps as if you startled him, you notice with smug satisfaction. Good; the only person allowed to laugh at your klutziness is Jhudora herself, and only on a good day.
His eyes widen upon seeing your scowl. "Here, take your caffeine and sugar. That will be 500 Neopoints, thank you for coming to Yo Java, where We Make Yo Java With Our Pleasure," you hiss. Odd, you've never said the company motto with such venom before. It was one of those mottos you couldn't say with a straight face.
"Normally, people ask what you'd like to order before slamming the food down on your table like they're trying to squish a Fleaf," he informs you with a quirked eyebrow. His voice is deep and slow, like the kind of voice you picture the Money Tree having.
"Well," you sputter, "normally people don't order the same thing so many times the entire staff has what you want memorized!"
He laughs at that, making the blood rush to your cheeks. Second time you've heard his obnoxious chortling in the past thirty seconds. This is unacceptable.
"Why do you do that, anyway?" you ask snidely. "No one orders the same thing thirty times in a row, unless you're like at Kelp or something where you pay so much for the food they don't dare complain about your odd eating habits."
"You have the most unusual eyes," he remarks casually as if you're having a chat about the weather.
"They're icy blue; not just the iris but the sclera as well. Don't Royal Girl Bori like yourself typically have hazel or gold eyes?" He grins at your indignant expression.
"Okay, buddy, let's get something straight. First of all, do not spew your science-y nerdbabble at me about my eyes while I'm attempting to discuss your weird fascination with that awful Azzle Coffee. Second, yeah, they're black and blue, like your eye will be if you don't stop mocking my appearance!" You're acting childish and you know it; you often list throwing temper tantrums as a hobby. But seriously, who did this guy think he was?
The other customers are staring at you, a tiny little Bori screaming your head off and threatening to give this hulking monstrosity a black eye. It's probably the most entertainment they have gotten all morning. But, hey, aren't you just everyone's giggle-fest on this particular morning shift? Whatever; maybe you should just go back to the kitchen, fix yourself a Lavender Mint Tea, cool down a bit, maybe have an invigorating chat with good ol' Burt the janitor --
"My name is Sam," the Creep blurts, crashing your train of thought.
You look back at him, suddenly exasperated.
"I'm Evie. Satisfied?"
"I believe so, Evelyn. Now that we have the proper niceties such as name exchanges and a screaming match out of the way, would you care to join me for breakfast?"
Attie bullies you into hanging up your work uniform for an hour and joining Sam for breakfast. You change into your Tasteful Black Cardigan and Purple Paisley Skirt. You yank out your headache-inducing work braid and stuff your hair into a messy bun. When Luna deems you satisfactory, you are shoved out of the kitchen and back into the limelight.
And it's definitely the limelight, with every one of your loyal customers aching to see the breakfast showdown between the Azzle Coffee Creepster and the Angry Yet Stunningly Beautiful Bori (hey, it could catch on!). Sam is waiting for you at Booth 8. As it turns out, he has taken the liberty of ordering for you: a Choco-Hazlenut Crepe, a Plate of Bacon and a tall glass of Fresh-Squeezed Florange Juice.
"You make my order for me, so I chose what to get you for yours," he smirks, probably proud of himself.
You seethe quietly as you devour your crepe. Admittedly, he has decent taste in breakfast fare; why he insists on the same crummy meal every Saturday you still have no idea. Maybe you never will.
As you eat he stares at you, as though he's fascinated by your breath-taking visage. Or maybe you have bacon crumbs on your face. You swipe discreetly at your lips with a napkin just to make sure.
"As Attie tells me, you are quite a snappish and sarcastic individual, Miss Evie," Sam says matter-of-factly. You almost spew Florange Juice in his eye. Who buys a person breakfast and then says something like that? And that it came from Attie, no less?
"Well, my brain tells me that you are a creepy and obnoxious individual, Miss Sam," you grumble.
"I would like to be friends with you," he announces loudly, smiling maniacally as if this is the best decision since TNT renovated the Battledome. His voice booms across the room as if he's broadcasting Yooyuball to the far reaches of Lutari Island. Does he come with a volume adjustor? Better yet, does the volume turn all the way off?
"Hate to break it to you, but I already have friends. Bonus, they're not annoying and they know how to curl hair," you inform him.
"I have accomplished everything I hope to achieve in life, and so in order to improve Neopia, I will do it a favor by becoming your friend and making you into a happier person!"
Arrogant, much? Why did he assume that barging into your life would make you kinder or smilier or sparklier or better or whatever he expected from you? Is this why he came to Yo Java every Saturday? A sick feeling enters your stomach.
How did he plan to do that?
"I will be coming to your place of employment, have long Neomail conversations with you, and take you to lunch at the noble establishment known as Hubert's Hot Dogs! We'll have a great time, Evie, you and me and Attie and Luna!"
In shock, you swivel your head to the kitchen, where Attie and Luna are barely containing their laughter and giving you two thumbs-ups (what is even the plural of thumbs-up?).
This is going to be a looooong summer.
Stay tuned for more adventures featuring socially-awkward Sam and eternally-annoyed Evie!