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Which NSM member do you think is embodied in Parker


Author Topic: Café Crossroads (Episodes 5&6 - 07.12.12)  (Read 1458 times)


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Café Crossroads (Episodes 5&6 - 07.12.12)
« on: May 02, 2012, 08:21:32 AM »

Keeping in line with other NSM stories, discussions about the story can be found on this thread

A few key points to make:
1. Any languages other than English (and there will be stuff... and it won't just be French) will be translated at the end of each Episode (in the PDF)
2. At the end of each episode, a PDF will be available for download, so you can keep your own copy of the story.
3. Do not reveal which character in the story who corresponds to a person on NSM. Let's leave this up to our imaginations, but I feel you'll all get it eventually. (I may run polls after the 5th or 6th episode)

The Release Date for the Next Episode: Episode 7 - Whenever

Main Cast:
Colin -- DrP
Colette -- Roz

Supporting Cast:
(To be filled in as supporting cast appears)

« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 09:16:31 PM by DrP »


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Re: Café Crossroads (Bio and Prologue - 01.05.12)
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 06:37:05 AM »


   Colin looked back at the building. Its ornate design really made it beautiful, as many building in Paris were. It had been his home for the past six years. He was beginning to embark on a new chapter in his life.

   Colin had resigned from his job as a senior manager for one of the global accounting firms. He felt that it was time that he had to move on with his life and enjoy his new passion, using the knowledge he learned while taking classes in France. He wanted to own a café back in the States and his dream could finally come true, especially since he could make the greatest pastries in the world. After months of searching across the country, Colin found a café on a delightful corner in Seattle, Washington.

   Colin checked his mail for the final time. Inside was a letter from his girlfriend who was planning to go with him back to the US. The letter was a poem written in French:

À Paris, sous la pluie
On s’est embrassés, en anglais
On s’est embrassés, et tu pleurais

Mais rien n’a paru
Tes larmes sont disparues
Avec les gouttes d’eau
Les frissons dans le dos

Où tu vas aller
Je ne peux pas aller avec toi
Où tu vas aller
Je ne peux pas venir, mon cher

Fermé mon parapluie
Sauté dans le taxi
Et on s’est quittés sur le champ
Et on s’est quittés sans s’échanger nos adresses

   So now, Colin was returning to the United States with no one. He was starting over a new life entirely. He quickly sautéed dans un taxi and left Paris behind.

   Colin stood on a dark, rainy street corner in Seattle. It was a few minutes before midnight and soon he would begin the toil of working on the many pastries before opening his café for the first day. His dream was finally true. After a month of preparation and getting it outfitted for the opening the next day, it was still just him going to be working. He took his keys and let himself inside to begin his arduous task.
   The opening day was going smoothly. People were curious about the café, others were tourists wanting to get coffee at a “Seattle Coffee Shop”, others were regulars of a coffee shop that closed across the street, which was now a store specializing in cheeses.
   A woman came walking in, looking quite intrigued with the café.

   “Hi, can I come in and just sit?” the woman asked. “I really don’t like coffee that much.”

   “That’s fine,” Colin answered. “Would you like something to eat?” Colin motioned to a refrigerated case filled with different types of pastries and breads, that seemed to look like professionally made (and then bought) baked goods.
   “I’m fine,” the woman said quite hostilely. “Those look like they came from a bakery that mass produces them.”

   “I can assure you that they did not come from a bakery,” Colin said quite assertively.

   “And how can I be assured?” the woman asked.

   “It’s because I made them less than six hours ago!” Colin smiled. “Would you like a sample of one?”

   “Ok, well, I’ll try the éclair!” the woman pointed to a long pastry that only had a few remaining.

   “Good choice,” Colin said in a happy manner. “It’s my spécialité!” Colin handed her a small piece of one he cut for other customers and the took a bite.

   “This is FANTASTIC!” the woman said. “It’s so creamy I could die! This truly isn’t store bought! I am so sorry. I draw to conclusions too quickly. My name is Willa.”

   “It’s my pleasure,” Colin answered. “I am Colin.”

   “So you finally dove into the business of operating a café,” Willa pointed out. “I used to frequent the one across the street before it went out of business.”

   “Well, I’m a bit different,” Colin said. “I am open for change and I am armed with the recipes I created when I moved here from France last month.”

   “You’re from France??” Willa asked shocked. “You sound American! You have an accent from somewhere back east.”

   “I was born and raised in New York,” Colin stated. “I then moved to France after graduating from UCSD in California. I guess I have lived all over.”

   “That’s really awesome!” Willa replied quite astounded. “I actually have to go, but I’ll be sure to come back often. I always like supporting small businesses... especially if they have great products to offer!”

   “Well, here’s my card,” Colin handed Willa a card. “Tell your friends about me and I’ll look forward to seeing you back here! It was nice to meet you!”

   “Nice to meet you too!” Willa said waving as she was leaving the café.
   “It’s been a month and I am in over my head,” Colin said. “I never knew we’d become pretty popular. There are only so many hours a person can work in a day.”

   “Well, you should hire on more help,” Willa answered sipping a chai latté.

   “I should,” Colin thought out loud. “I have the financial potential to hire a barista and a small kitchen staff for the night.”

   “See, you can take a break from your cooking duties and work on managing your store,” Willa pointed out. “That is if you don’t mind getting rid of that duty. I know how much you like to cook. I could even help you!”

   “Thanks, Willa,” Colin sat down a bit depressed. “I will have a kitchen staff and I will oversee them for the first few weeks. I will, still, make the éclairs every morning. I can hire a barista for the morning while I am making the éclairs! How could I get someone?”

   “You can always go to the local universities,” Willa suggested. “College students always need jobs. I can look into it and find some candidates for you!”

   “That would be perfect,” Colin said assured.
   “Well, Colin, I have someone I want you to meet,” Willa brought a young man over. “This is Alex. He was a student of mine last year before he graduated. Now he’s a graduate student!”

   “Nice to meet you, Alex,” Colin extended his hand. “So do you want a job?”

   “Are you serious?” Alex was a bit stunned. “I don’t have to interview or slip you a resume or anything?”

   “No, your professor’s recommendation is all I really need,” Colin assured Alex, whose nervousness subsided.

   “What would I be doing?” Alex inquired. “Taking out the trash? Cleaning tables? Cleaning the floor?”

   “Not necessarily,” Colin smiled. “You’d be helping me do a bunch of stuff. We would do the same things for the most part. It’s wherever you’re needed, except working the in kitchen. You will serve drinks and take people’s money, you will help stock stuff and refill goods and you will clean. This is a pretty fun job, come to think of it. You’ll be paid $11 an hour and you will work between 4-6 hours a day. How does that sound?”

   “That’s perfect,” Alex smiled and sounded extremely ecstatic. “I can’t wait to start!”

   “I can’t wait, too!” Colin said joyously. “You’ll probably come in for 2 or 3 hours in the morning at 6am and then return in the afternoon to help close, probably around 4 or 5pm.”

   “Sounds good to me,” Alex said. “I’ll make my schedule around these times.”

Prologue PDF


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Re: Café Crossroads (Prologue - 02.05.12)
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 10:03:48 PM »

Episode 1: A New Beginning

   “... I really don’t know mom,” a young woman was walking down a street on a Friday afternoon, while on the phone with her mother. “I’m doing fine!! I feel like Seattle is finally warming up to me, both literally and figuratively.” The young woman continued to walk down the street, completely oblivious to where she was.

   “I have no clue,” the young woman continued, frustrated with her mother, not knowing what she’s been going through. “Let me figure out what I’m supposed to be doing and I’ll get back to you.”

   The young woman punched the end button on her cellphone and jammed it back into her pocket, utterly furious with the conversation between her and her mother.

   “There is no way you can slam a cellphone down like those old phones to prove your point to the other side,” the young woman thought carefully to her self.

   The young woman just stood there, not knowing where she was. She only moved to Seattle two weeks ago for a new job, but she has no idea about the city at all... well, except for the fact it rained constantly. Today was not one of those days. She looked up to see a beautiful sky, filled with a calm blue canvas dotted with puffy white clouds that make you want to cozy up and take a nap in the sun.

   The young woman grabbed her phone. It’s battery was dead and now she couldn’t find her way back home. All she could see was the water, a “Public Market”, and a hill leading somewhere. She decided to walk around and figure out how to get home.

   “Here is your tea, Willa,” a man in an apron set down a large cup of tea besides a woman engulfed in a novel.

   “Thanks Colin,” Willa answered cheerfully.

   “Is there anything else I can get for you?” Colin asked politely.

   “Sure, how about everything in your kitchen!” Willa grinned and winked.

   “Ok, fine, I’ll get you your special, “ Colin sighed and left to the back of the café.

   Colin operated a small café on the corner of First Avenue and Pine Street. It was a quaint little café, serving some of the best rated pastries in Seattle, as well as famous coffee and lots of tea. People seemed to enjoy it’s atmosphere, wanting to sit down and relax. Some people just wanted something other than Starbucks, which was situated just down the street on Pike Street.

   Colin reappeared from the back kitchen with plate, upon which was a large object, smothered in chocolate and whipped cream. “One éclair for the lady wearing the stunning glasses,” Colin said jokingly in a French accent.  Will got super excited when an éclair appeared on her table. She quickly placed her credit card in her book and dropped it to the floor.

   “This looks AMAZING!” Willa exclaimed, knowing full well this was probably her 150th éclair. “I’m going to eat this right now!”

   “Wait!” Colin answered abruptly, the moment before Willa removed the chocolate soaked éclair piece and shoved it in her mouth. “I did something to the recipe.” Willa’s excitement instantly turned into something Colin would call “angered sadness”

   “WHAT!” Willa answered quite disdainfully.

   “Well, after having numerous éclairs here, I was thinking that you might want to try something new,” Colin explained. “I want to expand my éclair line, and I feel that you would be my favorite guinea pig for this.”

   “I don’t want to be anyone’s guinea pig!” Willa crossed her arms with a looked like a kid about to complain.

   “It DOES mean you get free éclairs,” Colin replied with the voice of a salesman trying to cut a deal. Willa’s eyes lit up at the sound of Colin’s newest proposal.

   “So what new concoction do you have in store for me Mr. Chef?” Willa interestingly asked, wanting to know what was in the éclair.

   “Well,” Colin began. “Instead of making the custard the normal flavor, I decided to purée oranges into the custard. I really the chocolate orange concept, so I decided to put a spin on it.” Willa took a bite of the éclair. She chewed slowly, making it dramatic for Colin looking on as if it was a contest for the best éclair.

   “It’s...” Will said swallowing the éclair. “It’s fantastic! I personally don’t like oranges in desserts, but this was utterly divine.”

   “That’s great,” Colin answered quite relieved from the tension from Willa’s response. Colin proceeded to pick up the éclair but he was stopped by a hand.

   “I do want to finish that,” Willa said bringing the plate down to the table with Colin’s hand still attached. “Be a dear and bring me some more tea, I am fresh out.”

   “Ok, Willa,” Colin said happily. “Just make sure you don’t get the chocolate on your students’ papers. They won’t be happy to see chocolate staining their papers.”

   “But they may want to see where the chocolate came from and want to come and try it for themselves,” Willa reasoned with Colin about her clumsiness when dealing with liquid, sugary things.

   Colin walked back behind the counter to see what else needed to be done. Besides Colin, Alex worked behind the register and was the barista. There were a few other employees that helped Colin in the morning prepare the food for the day. Colin still made the famous pastries himself, throughout the day.. Alex was of the awkward sort, not really that loquacious and really didn’t know what to say at the right moment, but was eager to learn and in his off time, wrote piano concertos and . Alex was currently in graduate school, studying music composition, hoping to get his PhD someday. Colin taught Alex everything he knew about making the perfect coffee drink.

   “How’s business going today, Alex?” Colin happily asked Alex.

   “It’s not too bad, I guess,” Alex answered making a cappuccino. “It’s all our regular customers.”

   “Do you know what I always say?” Colin asked.

   “Keeping a customer is always better than having a one-time customer,” both Colin and Alex repeated in unison.

   “It’s always nice to have one-time customers, because word of mouth is spreading,” Colin added. “But having repeat customers like Willa over there really make me want to keep doing what I’m doing.”

   The young woman had been wandering around Seattle. She walked around the downtown area, going to many of the sights like the first Starbucks, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Library. She didn’t want to ask for direction. She wanted to experience Seattle on her own first before returning home. After a few hours of walking around, she found herself back at the place where her phone died, First & Pine.

   It was beginning to get dark and the no longer happy day she was experiencing was turning to night, going colder with dark, gray clouds rolling in from over the Puget Sound.

   “Rain’s a-comin’,” a man said passing by the young woman, who clearly looked like she didn’t belong in Seattle.

   “Thank you,” the young woman answered as she walked in the opposite direction. And just as she crossed the street, she felt a drop of water fall on her head. She looked up into the dreary sky and yet another drop fell on her, and then another.

   “I guess I should go inside somewhere,” the young woman thought to herself urgently. She looked around. She couldn’t look up where the closest Starbucks was on her phone, so she just found the closest coffee shop to here. Catty-corner to her was a small café with people inside having a nice conversation, others sipping coffee and reading a nice book, and others eating pastries while playing cards. The young woman decided to run in and enter the warm café.

   The moment she stepped in, she was greeted with a massive warm block of air. She decided to survey the café before stepping any further inside. To her left were many tables with people enjoying their beverages and food. In front of her was a counter, adorned with many different signs, a refrigerated case with many different pastries and a tall guy standing behind a cash register and an even taller one fidgeting with the espresso machine. Behind them were many chalkboards with the menu, prices and the different drink and food offerings. And situated underneath those were many different baskets, though many were empty, the remnants contained breads and other products.
   “This place is awesome,” the young woman thought to herself. “This place seems really cozy, like I can snuggle up with my dogs here if I could.” The young woman proceeded to walk to the counter.

   “Can I help you miss?” the shorter of the men asked politely.

   “Um...” the young woman answered slowly, glancing at the menu. “I’ll have a nonfat Chai latte, please with a chocolate croissant. Is there any way you can add cinnamon to the latte?”

   “Um, we can dust some on top,” the man answered shyly.

   “That would be awesome,” the young woman lied. She wanted to have it mixed in the latte itself so it tastes like a cinnamon roll. She didn’t want to be picky like at a Starbucks.
   “Would you like your chocolate croissant warm?” the man asked again.

   “Sure, why not!” the young woman replied happily. “It’s always nice to have a warm pastry with your coffee.”

   The two settled their bill and the woman left to sit in one of the armchairs near the lone woman engrossed in her novel, though she was constantly changing between reading a page, marking on some papers and taking a sip of tea. She continued to observe around watching the guy who took her order making her coffee drink and doing other things behind the counter. She seemed fascinated watching her drink being made. It didn’t dawn upon her that she had to get home some way, but she had to ask someone random where she could find her way back home.

   The man quickly finished the young woman’s drink, and did some other things to help the other customers. He quickly got into a heated conversation with the taller man behind the counter, which ended with him leaving from behind the counter with a large, round coffee cup on a saucer and a plate with a large flat pastry with rich chocolate oozing out the sides.

   “Here you go, miss,” the man said setting the two items down on her table. “My name is Alex. If you need anything else, do not hesitate to ask.”

   “Why thank you, Alex,” the young woman replied politely, beginning to take a sip from her latte. “Why don’t you have a seat?? I’ll bet you want to take a small break before heading behind that espresso machine.”

   Alex looked back towards the other man behind the counter, who just nodded back at him. Alex felt a bit uneasy, even though his boss let him take a short break.

   “What brings you to our humble café... um, I didn’t catch your name,” Alex politely asked.

   “My name’s Kat,” Kat answered a bit uneasily. “It is a pleasure to meet you.” Both Alex and Kat were a bit uneasy, both being quite awkward in these types of situations.

   “I was actually lost,” Kat continued. “I am relatively new to Seattle, and my battery on my phone died a few hours ago and I spent the past few hours exploring the area. Now, I have absolutely no idea where I am.”

   “Well, have no fear,” Alex answered happily. “Seattle is such a fun city to get lost in, and people like us will be happy to give you directions!”

   “Why thanks, Alex, you’re really sweet,” Kat smiled cheerfully, which made Alex blush a bit.

   “What brings you to Seattle?” Alex asked, intrigued in what Kat has to say.

   “I recently got a new job here after graduating from college and so far, I am really enjoying every bit of Seattle,” Kat answered quickly, excited to be talking about her job. “I really do love my job. It is what gets me up in the morning.”

   “What do you do?” Alex replied, not wanting to slow the momentum of one of the most interesting conversations he had in weeks.

   “I am...” Kat paused for a quick moment to phrase her job title. “... a designer. I design things.”

   “Well, that’s pretty cool,” Alex replied quite fascinated. “If I had any artistic talent whatsoever, I’d want to be the forefront of designing so many different things. I should let you get back to your latte. If you need anything else, come ask! It was great to meet you!”

   “Thanks, Alex!” Kat answered contently. “It was great to meet you too!”

   Alex returned to his spot behind the counter where his boss talked with her quickly and he got back to work. His boss shuffled though some papers and wrote down on some of them. He returned to the back behind the counter and came out with a large éclair, smothered in a red sauce and whipped cream. He walked up to where the woman was reading a book and Kat eavesdropped on their conversation.

   “I got another éclair for you Willa!” Colin cheered delivering his newest creation to the table of perhaps has biggest critic: his best customer.

   “Ooh! This one looks even more fantastic,” Willa answered quite fascinated in the éclair. “It has no chocolate! What about this éclair is making me want to eat it?”

   “Well, it’s a bit different,” Colin replied to her question. “It is my special custard recipe, but with notes of lemon added to the mix. It adds a little zest to the entire dessert. And it is topped with a homemade raspberry purée sauce and of course my world famous whipped cream.”

   Willa did not say anything, but she had to stop her mouth from letting out the saliva forming in her mouth. She quickly grabbed the fork and took off a piece and ate it.

   “OH MY GOD!” Willa yelled out, like her taste buds finally came to life and continued shoveling pieces of the éclair into her mouth. “THIS IS AMAZING! It is seriously your best yet. I like your classic one, but this is a pretty fresh take on what you can do good. The raspberry and the lemon go well together perfectly!”

   “I am glad you like it,” Colin answered with a smile on his face. “You know its customers like you that get me up in the morning.”

   “Well, duh!” Willa quipped. “If you didn’t get up in the morning, you’d be waking up to me pounding on your door to open your café to make me coffee and whatever breakfast I wanted.”

   Kat got up from her table after devouring the chocolate croissant and walked over with her latte in hand.

   “I couldn’t help overhearing,” Kat grabbed the attention of the two in their conversation. “You make éclairs?”

   “They are really fantastic!” Willa quickly answered Kat’s question, though she had half her mouth full of éclair.

   “They really aren’t that amazing,” Colin added, trying to not embellish on the compliment. Colin always has trouble giving him the recognition that he really deserves.

   “Oh, hush,” Willa dismissed Colin’s modesties. “You truly are the best. You have a talent.”

   “I would love to try your éclair,” Kat suggested. “Eclairs are my favorite pastry ever!”

   “Well, it’s my specialty,” Colin said getting up. “It would be a pleasure to get you an eclair, um...”

   “Oh, right, I’m Kat,” Kat didn’t realize they didn’t know her name.

   “Enchanté, I am Willa” Willa said, eating the final piece of eclair with a large dollop of whipped cream.

   “Well, I’ll get you that eclair, Kat,” Colin said smiling. “I am Colin, and if there is anything else you need, do not hesitate to ask me!”

   “Will do!” Kat happily answered. She sat back in her chair as Colin left to go get an éclair for her. She continued to observe the area around her, looking out the windows to see the streets lit up by street lights and the cars driving by. The rain was coming down hard and Kat finally realized that she has no idea how she was going to get home.

   “Whatcha reading?” Kat asked Willa, deep in thought with her novel.

   “It really wouldn’t be that interesting,” Willa calmly replied.

   “How would you know that I would not be interested?” Kat asked, a bit annoyed.

   “Well it’s a book on Louis XIV and the War of the Spanish Succession,” Willa pronounced it’s contents quite contently.

   “Ah, history,” Kat brushed the topic title off. “It was never my strong suit. Interesting, but not too interesting that I’d go further with it. What do you do?”

   “History,” Willa answered pompously. “I am a professor of history at the UW. It’s a rewarding experience for sure when you get to tell people about the world’s amazingly interesting past.”
   “Well, that explains the book,” Kat said. “To each his own.” 

   Colin returned with his classic éclair, one of the very same that Willa would have normally ordered. “Here it is, Kat, l’éclair fantastique,” Colin placed the pastry in front of Kat. “Is there anything else I can get you?”
   All Kat could think about was consuming the éclair, but then she just remembered about getting home.

   “Actually, yes,” Kat said a bit ashamed. “I actually have no idea where I am. My phone died a while ago, so I can’t find my way back home. Do you think you can help me figure out how to get back?”

   “Well, um... sure,” Colin was stunned, not expecting a question like that. “It would be my pleasure! I take it you just moved to Seattle? Where are you from?”

   “Well,” Kat answered a bit shaky, not really enjoying long conversations with people she just met. “I moved here about two weeks ago from Chicago. I got a job out here and they wanted me to start once the summer was over.”

   “It’s all good,” Colin assured her. “When I first moved here two years ago, I had to get used to everything. I can generally find my way around and know where I am going, but I just have to get lost first. I’m glad you came in here.”

   “MMM!” Kat uttered in delight. “I am sure glad I came in. This is seriously the best éclair I ever had!” Willa stared at Colin from over her glasses.

   “Well, thank you,” Colin took the compliment. “I am really happy you like it. I put lots of time and effort into making my pastries.

   “Where did you learn to make these?” Kat asked.

   “I lived in France for four years,” Colin explained. “While working there as an accountant, I took cooking classes in the mornings before work. I learned a lot, but I really loved the pastry classes, so I focused on pastries for two years. It was a rewarding experience.”

   “That must have been,” Kat answered fascinated. “I’ll bet you enjoyed your time in France.”

   Alex came running up to Colin, pointed to his watch and said, “Colin, it’s 5:50.”

   “Oh, yes, that’s right,” Colin answered.

   “What’s going on?” Kat asked.

   “We close at 6,” Colin replied. “We normally close at 5, but on Friday we close at 6. I’m here at 5:30 every morning, so I am tired. It’s just Alex and I plus two chefs that come in early in the morning to make pastries for us from my recipes. I still make the eclairs, but I just need more help so I can work fewer hours, but I just love being here, so it doesn’t matter!”

   “I’ll bet,” Kat said happily. “You must really love your job. It’s evident in your eclair.”

   “Oh, right,” Colin said. “You don’t know how to get home? Do you know what neighborhood you live in?”    

   “I live in Capitol Hill for the time being,” Kat answered a bit unsure. “I still have to find a more permanent place.”

   “Well, if you don’t mind waiting until 6:30,” Colin suggested. “I can take you home. It’s on my way home to Issaquah.”

   “Thank you very much, Colin!” Kat exclaimed smiling.

   Everyone in the café began to leave, leaving Colin and Alex left to clean up, count money and prepare for the next day. Kat couldn’t believe that she stumbled upon a place like this, but she was happy she didn’t have to spend hours wandering around in the rain to get home.

Episode 1 PDF


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Re: Café Crossroads (Episode 2 - 05.28.12)
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 03:46:28 AM »

Episode 2: Welcome to Seattle
Colin woke up the next morning. Saturdays was his day to enjoy the morning before he went into work at nine. For him, seven was late for him to be getting up. Back in his college days, he was lucky to be up before nine. Colin walked out to his living room, overlooking Lake Washington. He walked out and stood on his deck, the delightful breeze gracing his face. It was a beautiful September day, sun shining bright with white, puffy clouds floating in the sky like dollops of whipped cream.

“Today is going to be the perfect day,” Colin thought to himself as he returned back inside his home. He got ready for the day and prepared to leave. His phone decided to ring just then.

“Hi Parker, how’s it going?” Colin answered his phone in a happy tone. “I’m just about to leave my house.”

“I’m doing quite well, Colin,” Parker replied. “I have your stuff in. What time do you think you will be opening the café today?”

“I am on my way out,” Colin said a bit out of breath, having to walk up a hill to his car that was parked at the end of the driveway. “I should be downtown in about an hour, maybe a bit less. I think Alex will be in a little bit before me, so you can drop off everything with him.”

“I can wait,” Parker replied. “You know it’s my day that I can relax from everything. I’d prefer to do it reading a nice book and having a nice cup of tea.”

“Ok, I’ll call you when I get close to the café!” Colin replied and hung up the phone.

Colin took the windy roads to get into downtown Bellevue before getting on the freeway to head towards downtown Seattle. Unfortunately for him, I-90 was bumper to bumper with long lines of cars.

“Oh, what the hell is going on?” Colin screamed frustrated. “Don’t people know that I have a place to be. Seriously, what STUPID idiot has to ruin my life by making me late!”

Colin wasn’t much of a patient person, or he just learned from Californians on how they drive: impatient and easily angered. Colin was now stuck in traffic, letting the skyline of Seattle inch closer and closer to his car. All he could do is wait, turn up the radio and just go with the flow.

“Where the hell is he?” Willa asked herself as she stood impatiently in front of Café Crossroads carrying a canvas bag filled to the brim with papers. Willa was just eager to get her grading done. She had an important date for dinner and she knew that this grading would take at least four hours, so she wanted to get it done in the morning. All Willa could do now is just sit on the bench in front of the café and begin to grade the papers. Willa whipped out her red pen and began to conquer the massive stack of papers, much to her chagrin. She would’ve preferred to be grading with a cup of tea in hand.

After grading a few papers, a car pulled into a spot in front of the store. Willa kept grading her papers without batting an eye. It seemed she was in deep thought that seemed it couldn’t be disrupted. A man stepped out of the car carrying multiple cloth bags and walked up to the door of the café. He peered into the windows and looked a bit irked while looking at his watch. He looked around and walked toward Willa.

“Why hello there Professor Willa,” the man said looking over his sunglasses at Willa getting quite angry at the paper and heavily marking the page. Willa did not respond to the man’s greeting. She continued to scribble in the red ink on the page while making grunting sounds.

The man reached down and grabbed her hand from continuing to turn the entire page red by the pen. “Whoa, calm down there!” the man scolded her. Willa looked up at the man who grabbed her arm.

“I’m so sorry Parker,” Willa said. “It’s this student. They completely do not even have the slightest clue what this class is about. Their paper talks about how George Washington ended the French Revolution by throwing a massive party with Czar Nicholas II and Adolf Hitler and since it was ‘da bomb’, it ended the war.”

Parker began to say, “Wow, this guy sounds pretty...” He paused from saying anything further.

“Stupid?” Willa added.

“Yeah, something like that,” Parker said with a short laugh. The both began to laugh a bit more hysterically while Willa put a big F on the paper and put a sad face next to it.
“So, what are you doing here?” Willa inquired.

“I have stuff for Colin,” Parker replied, holding up his many bags.

“It’s tea day again!” Willa exclaimed with glee. “I love it when you bring new stuff.

What do you have for Colin today?”

“I have the normal stuff that is the most popular: Earl Grey, Oolong Green, Roobios and Darjeeling,” Parker began to list. “Basically the stuff I grew. But then I made some blends from the stuff I’ve imported and mixed with stuff I grew. I have Lavender, your favorite, Vanilla Ceylon, Apricot Pear Assam and Chamomile.”

“Ooh, yippee!” Willa clapped her hands rapidly. “I can’t wait to drink the Lavender tea... if Colin gets here soon, that is.”

“Yeah, I just talked to him as he was leaving his house a little over a half hour ago,” Parker sighed. “I hope he gets here soon. I want to sit in a comfy chair and continue reading my book and unwind from the week.”

“Did you have a stressful week?” Willa asked.

“Yeah,” Parker said sitting down. “The mayor unveiled a new plan to revitalize the landscapes and parks in Queen Anne and Magnolia, so I have to submit a proposal of many plants that would be great to go in there. I really don’t see the problem with changing the current plant life growing over there.”

“I can see why,” Willa replied. “I love the plant life over in Magnolia. It makes me feel like I live in quiet suburbia, even though it’s still Seattle. What exactly does the mayor want?”

“More trees,” Parker answered quite sarcastically. “Magnolia already has the highest density of trees in all the neighborhoods of Seattle as it is.”

As Parker was talking to Willa, another car pulled up and parked on the other street, next to the café. Both Parker and Willa looked at the car for a moment and sat there. Willa then proceeded to gather her things and walk towards the door.

“It’s about time!” Willa said quite irked. “You were supposed to open half an hour ago!”

“Where’s Alex?” Colin asked hurried to open up his shop. He quickly opened the door and changed the closed sign to an open sign. “Can you help me get set up and take down chairs since Alex wasn’t here to do it.” Both Willa and Parker put their stuff in their normal places and began to help out a flustered Colin. After a few minutes, everything was set up right and Colin’s shoulders finally relaxed.

“You know, that kid is good,” Colin ranted while bringing out the pastries. “But that kid forgets so much, so many times. What do you guys want?”

“What’s your blend for the day?” Willa asked walking up to the counter.

“I was planning on using the Kenyan and Sumatran today,” Colin answered as he turned on the coffee machines and began to grind the beans.

“I will have a Sumatran latte with nutmeg on top,” Willa replied disdainfully, not liking either choice, since her favorites generally came from South America and Hawaii. “And remember light foam, I don’t want to be drinking a cappuccino!”

“I’ll just have a cup of Jasmine,” Parker yelled, bent over in his general area grabbing the tea he had in his bags.

“OK, I’ll get these done right away you guys,” Colin answered quite cheerfully as he began to steam the milk for Willa’s drink. He still was setting everything up, turning on the computer and making sure everything else was brewing. Other customers began to trickle in and order food and drinks. Parker walked up to the counter after a few minutes.

“I have your latest tea order,” Parker dropped a lot of meticulously made tea bags in specially marked bags.

“Thank you so much Parker!” Colin exclaimed. “You always have the best teas I’ve ever had. I still can’t believe you can get tropical teas growing here.”

“It’s all a matter of manipulating the soil,” Parker answered in his lecturing tone. “Yep, all it takes is getting the soil right and giving everything tender, loving care.”

“Not to mention that greenhouse of yours,” Colin added.

“Oh, hell, it’s all in the greenhouse,” Parker laughed with Colin adding to it. “Well, I’m still happy you make tea,” Colin said happily. “It’s truly the best. I can’t
wait until I get the tea wall added in a few months. That will spice things up and I can sell bulk coffee and tea in my store.”

“Well, that will be one amazing day,” Parker answered quite smug. “And I will be able to retire early since I’ll get so much business from you.”

“I still can’t believe you do this in your spare time,” Colin said, astonishing himself. “You do so much and you have the time for everything!”

“Well, I should get back to my book,” Parker said moving aside to reveal a line of people behind him. “With Alex somewhere, you have to do this all yourself.”

“Could you call Alex for me and see where he is?” Colin asked graciously.

“Absolutely,” Parker smiled, taking out his cell phone and walking back to his spot. Colin began to wait on customers and get their drink orders fulfilled.

“I can’t believe Alex is not here,” Colin thought to himself. “He should know he’s working today, not to mention it’s really only me and him for the most part throughout the day. I really should hire someone else to add to my staff. We should provide some flexibility. It would give me some flexibility and I can be at ease on somedays. Maybe I can finally take a vacation without having to close the store altogether. We do have all that money stored up and we do have room for growth.”

Colin continued to think as all the customers got all their food and drinks. He was finally able to relax after a good ten minutes. Parker walked back up to Colin and said, “Well, it seems that Alex completely forgot about work, so he said he’d be here in half an hour.”

“Did he say what he was doing?” Colin asked, suspecting something was up.

“He said he was doing his homework at the park,” Parker answered.

“No, he was probably doing a music thing down the street and he probably wants to finish the set before coming up here,” Colin said pounding his fist on the counter. “I know when he’s lying. He’s not a great liar anyways. Thank you Parker!”

Parker got a tea refill and returned to his seat and commenced a conversation with Willa about Alex.

Kat entered the café again, after finding her way back downtown. Luckily for her, this time, she had a phone with full battery and her car parked outside.

“Hello Kat,” Colin greeted her. “Welcome back! What will you be having?”

“Vanilla latte and a blueberry scone!” Kat said happily, while taking a seat next to Willa.

“Hi, Willa!” Kat said hi to Willa grading her final paper. “How’s it going?”

“Fine,” Willa said a bit reserved. “Just finishing these papers. Seriously, some of my students are terrible little horrors.”

“What do you teach?” Kat asked, a bit intrigued.

“I am a Professor of History at the University of Washington, specializing in European History,” Willa pronounced her job title quite prestigiously.

“That’s pretty fancy,” Kat answered. “I work in design. I love my job and I bet the people who use my stuff love my work.”

“Well, I teach undergrads and two of my classes that I teach are general education,” Willa said quite sadly. “The majority of them aren’t truly enlivened with history as I am.”

“Well, no offense,” Kat said. “But if I took your class, I’d probably be sleeping like the majority of kids in the back of your class.”

“History is for the passionate,” Willa admitted. “If only I could wake them up by spraying them with water or slamming a book on their desk.” Both of them shared a laugh.

A young woman walked into the café carrying a computer, wearing some pretty fancy clothes for a Saturday.

“Can I help you ma’am?” Colin asked from behind the counter. The woman looked at the menu boards, studying them for a few moments.

“I’ll have...” the woman began. “Um... I’ll have... Sorry, I really have no idea what I want right now. What do you suggest?”

“Well, let me ask, what are you planning on doing here,” Colin replied. He generally had a good idea of what people want to drink from what they wanted to do while in the store, not to mention depending on the weather, too.

“I have really no idea,” the woman sighed. “I really have nothing to do. I really wish I did. What can that get me?”

“I really can’t make a decision from that, but how about a nice latte and an eclair?” Colin suggested pulling out his most popular drink and food from his menu.

“That would be just splendid,” the woman answered with a smile.

“Well, it will be up shortly,” Colin said returning a smile to the woman and then asked, “What brings you to my café?”

“A company I wanted to work for interviewed me here a few weeks ago,” the woman said a bit sadly. “I really enjoyed the atmosphere here and I was walking by after another interview, so I decided to come in.”

“Thanks for coming back,” Colin said handing an éclair to the woman. “I’m guessing you’re a lawyer.”

“Yes, how did you know?” the woman asked quite intrigued.

“The only company that interviews here is Crowley and McKenna and they are a law firm.”

“Good eye,” the woman said. “I’m Colette, by the way.”

“I am Colin,” Colin answered extending his hand and smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Colette. So I am guessing you don’t have a job?”

“Unfortunately so,” Colette said sitting down at the counter near Colin as he was making her drink. “I’ve been trying for the past three months ever since I moved up here, but I’ve really needed a job since my boyfriend broke up with me a few weeks ago.”

“I’m so sorry, that really sucks,” Colin replied in a solemn tone and patted her hand to make her feel better. “I wish I knew lawyers. All I know are accountants.”

“Why is that?” Colette replied.

“Before I opened this café, I was an accountant.” Colin answered handing her a finished latte. “I really enjoyed the work, but I feel this was my true calling.”

“An accountant?” Colette asked puzzled. “I never would’ve guessed, you seem like... you have a personality.”

“I guess I am a one-of-a-kind accountant,” Colin laughed at himself. “The only accounting work I do these days are the books for my café and my tax return that I file every year. Other than that, I focus on making coffee drinks and pastries.”

“This éclair is so creamy and so delicious,” Colette said as her eyes lit up, looking like color has entered her black and white life. “It is so amazing! Did you make this?”

“Well, no,” Colin answered truthfully. “But I did create the recipe for it.”

“How’d you learn to make éclairs?” Colette inquired, quite intrigued.

“Before I opened this café, I worked in public accounting,” Colin began his story. “After one year on the job, they moved me to France. I have always been interested in cooking, but now that I was actually in France, I could take classes. That’s exactly what I did, too. Every morning before work, I took classes in French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu, but whenever we made pastries, I felt like it was my new calling. After one year doing general classes, I focused solely on baking and pastries. All of the foods here were originally created by me.”

“Oh, Je t’envie,” Colette responded to my story in French. “Je voulais toujours prendre des cours en cuisiner!”

“Tu parles français?” Colin asked, shocked to hear someone speak French. “Où viens-tu?”

“I was born in San Francisco,” Colette brought the conversation back to English. “My dad got a job in Montreal, so we moved there when I was 3 and I grew up learning French in school and English at home. We moved back to San Francisco when I was 10.”

“That’s really cool,” Colin said, fascinated. “I wish my family moved. I grew up on eastern Long Island, in the middle of nowhere. It was awesome, but I wish I got a change of scenery.”

“What brought you to Seattle?” Colette wondered.

“Well, I wanted to move back to the United States,” Colin said. “I wanted to open a café somewhere, and I did not want to move back to New York. I also realized that Seattle was the type of place where a café like mine would go perfectly, so I moved here. What brought you here?”

“I followed my ex-boyfriend,” Colette said shamefully. “He got a job at Amazon and I had an offer from a law office in San Francisco. I followed him here since I thought he would be ‘the one’, but that was not the case. Now I am trying to find a job and in a few weeks, I will be out of my house because I can’t pay for it.”

“I am really sorry,” Colin empathized with her, really feeling bad for her situation. “I wish there was something I could do.”

“That’s fine,” Colette answered quietly. “I have no clue with what’s going to happen, but in the end it will be good.”

By this time, Alex had come in and started working, completely under the nose of an oblivious Colin talking with Colette. He had been eavesdropping on the conversation between the two while helping the customers angered by Colin’s long conversation with Colette. Alex was a bit mad since he was doing all the work and it was a fairly busy Saturday.

“AHEM!” Alex cleared his throat quite rudely and got Colin’s attention. “You know, there could be something you could do. Remember the thing we talked about yesterday?”

“Oh right,” Colin answered. “I do remember that. Oh, by the way, Alex, this is Colette. Colette, this is Alex.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Colette shook Alex’s hand.

“Yes, pleased,” Alex replied, a bit uneasy on what to say.

“Colette, I might be able to help you,” Colin offered an explanation. “We are looking to hire someone here to help us work, because we have a small staff and we have grown faster than expected.”

“I don’t know...” Colette thought out loud.

“I know this isn’t your area of expertise, but it sounds like you don’t have many fish biting,” Colin tried to sway her. “I can offer you $15 an hour, plus lots of coffee and tea and pastries!”
Alex’s eyes bulged out of his head. He didn’t even make that much.

“It’s like the only offer I’ve gotten in months,” Colette replied. “I can do it, but I still should look for work at a law firm.”

“That’s great!” Colin said quite excited. “It’s fine. This can be something to get you on your feet.”

“Perfect!” Colette seemed to get in a better mood and it looked like a massive weight left her shoulders. “When do I start?”

“Tomorrow good?” Colin asked, a bit reserved thinking it might be too soon.

“Tomorrow’s perfect!” Colette said smiling. “I do have to go. I have to see if I can still stay in my place.”

“Well, where do you live?” Colin inquired.

“The Elliot Bay Towers,” Colette answered.

“Those are some expensive apartments,” Colin answered a bit shocked. “Are you sure you can still pay rent?”

“I don’t know,” Colette said.

“Well, let me know,” Colin said handing Colette his card. “If you need a place, I have a four bedroom house and it’s just me. You’re welcome to live there until you can find a place of your own.”

“Thanks!” Colette said. “I’ll be in tomorrow! What time do you want me here?”

“Well, we aren’t open tomorrow,” Colin said. “But we can get you trained and everything tomorrow. How does 11 sound?”

“11’s perfect!” Colette smiled. “See you tomorrow!”

Colette left the café with a skip in her step and extremely happy, as her life has become normal again.

Chapter 2 PDF


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Re: Café Crossroads (Episode 2 - 05.28.12)
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 07:26:26 PM »

Episode 3: Darjeeling Away
“Hey Kat, it’s Willa,” Willa called Kat on the phone. “Parker invited us to his house for lunch today if you want to join us!”

   “That would be fantastic!” Kat said. “I need to get out of the house today. All I’ve done is laundry and taking the dogs for a walk.”

   “I could be by in 20 minutes,” Willa replied. “That good for you?”

   “Absolutely!” Kat said happily. “See you in 20.”

“Hi Dylan!” Colin spoke into his phone. “How’s life treating you?”

   “You know, it’s all the same,” Dylan answered a bit sad. “I can finally take a huge break in a few weeks from work.”

   “What are you preparing now?” Colin asked, quite intrigued.

   “We are getting our quarterly report ready for the SEC and preparing a conference call with the execs, the board and our majority shareholders,” Dylan said a bit stressed.

   “When’s the earnings release?” Colin asked.

   “Friday!” Dylan answered with a bit of happiness in his voice.

   “This means that on Saturday, you need to come into the café!” Colin said. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

   “Well, that’s the life of a controller,” Dylan admitted. “The month before the earnings release, we are really busy preparing the statements and everything.”

   “I understand,” Colin said. “I remember doing my audits for Renault. I was extremely busy two months before the filing deadline.”

   “Now you have it really easy,” Dylan replied. “You have an amazing job, though.”

   There was a knock on the door of the café.

   “I have to go Dylan,” Colin said a bit suddenly. “My new employee is here for training.”

   “You’re finally growing!” Dylan replied quite excited.

   “She’s really great,” Colin said looking at Colette. “You’d like this one. You two would make a great couple.”

   “Oh, stop,” Dylan said, probably blushing on the other end of the phone. “I’m too busy to be in a relationship.”

   “I know, but you need someone to help you out, if you get what I mean,” Colin said a bit suggestively while raising his eyebrows rapidly.

   “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” Dylan replied in response to the terrible suggestion.

   “Call me sometime this week,” Colin said, getting back to the conversation. “Bye!”

   Colin put his phone away and walked over to the door to let Colette in. The café finally could grow and Alex could stop complaining about working too much.

   “Well, it looks like I may have to move in with you,” Colette admitted, quite sadly. “I love my place, but it is WAYYYYYY to expensive.”

   “Ok, well we move you in later, after we’re done if you’re that ready,” Colin answered.

   “I have to pack,” Colette replied. “But I really don’t have anything. All I have is clothes and a few personal belongings. Most of the stuff we brought was my boyfriends and all the stuff I have now belong to the apartment.”

   “I can probably get you moved in tonight and then you can sub-let your place starting tomorrow to someone!” Colin assured her and brought her inside and took off her coat. “Let’s get started with your training.”

“I think this is Parker’s driveway coming up,” Willa said slowing down. “

   “We’re out in the middle of nowhere!” Kat answered, staring out the windows at a forest to her right.

   “Just wait until we get to Parker’s house!” Willa said turning into the gravel driveway, paved with trees for a long ways.

   “He must be pretty loaded,” Kat pointed out as they went up the long drive way, which also began to increase in elevation.

   They passed the tree line to see a vineyard to their right, an open field with a barn to their left and a large house in front of them, completely with a circular driveway.

   “Wow, this place is huge!” Kat exclaimed like a child seeing Disneyland for the first time. “There are so many activities that you can do here!”

   “Wait until you see what’s behind his house!” Willa suggested with a wink.

   They pulled up in front of Parker’s house. It was situated on a small hill that overlooked the entire property. It was truly the perfect place to be. Parker appeared in the doorway as Willa and Kat exited the car, to be greeted with fresh, mountain air.

   “Welcome Willa and Kat,” Parker greeted the two with open arms. “Welcome to my estate. Come on in!”

   “Thank you,” Kat replied, mystified by everything, completely bewildered that a place like this could exist less than 40 minutes from Seattle. She continued to look amazed as she entered Parker’s house.

   “I love what you have done with the place,” Willa pointed to a few plants in the main entryway.

   “I wanted to add a more fresh prospective to the place,” Parker answered. “I also think that I should have more oxygen in here, just in case I can’t keep the windows open.”

   “Well, that shouldn’t be a problem on a day like today!” Willa said happily.

   Kat couldn’t speak, she kept staring out the back windows onto the back side of the property.

   “You. have. a. lake?” Kat was able to mutter out before her eyes changed to the tea plantation before the tree line.

   “Yes, I do,” Parker affirmed Kat’s obvious question. “It’s my own little world. I can fish, farm, hike, swim, kayak. There’s so much I can do.”

   “And you do this all alone?” Kat asked.

   “Noooo....” Parker answered quite quickly. “My sister helps me. She lives here too, but she is not here at the moment, so we have the place to ourselves. Come, let’s have lunch al fresco!”

“Do you have any more questions about the espresso machine?” Colin asked a puzzled Colette, who remained fixed on the machine.

   “Yes, what does this button do?” Colette said, just before she was about to press the button.

   “It ejects the steam from the steam wand to forcefully evacuate milk from the inside,” Colin replied. “It prevents milk buildup so that it doesn’t block the inside.”

   “So that’s why I see the baristas at Starbucks do that whenever they’re done foaming the milk,” Colette pointed out.

   “HOW. DARE. YOU. SAY. THAT. WORD. IN. HERE!” Colin answered with a firm, tense tone, though not yelling. “THEY are the reason why I don’t have lots of customers.”

   “Oh, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to...” Colette replied, in a voice that had remorse for her previous statement, but she was intrrupted.

   “BA HA HA HA HA HA HA,” Colin started laughing hysterically. “I was only kidding. Starbucks gives me business. All the people who hate Starbucks come here, and if they piss off someone, they usually come here.”

   “You really made me feel like I committed a crime or something!” Colette answered a bit irked, but then smiled . “And that is what a lawyer needs, to commit a crime.”

   “Well, don’t feel all that bad, I did get you smiling, after all!” Colin replied smiling.

   “We really should get back to work if we are going to get me moved in before dark,” Colette pointed out.

   “We are just about done,” Colin answered looking at a checklist he made. “Now we have to teach you to use the POS machine and making the specials board every morning!”

   “Let’s get cracking!” Colette happily exclaimed moving over to the cash register.

“Parker, this salmon is FANTASTIC!” Kat let out a loud sound of satisfaction and exclaimed.  “It is what salmon should taste like!”

   “Well, that’s what happens when you’re eating salmon, freshly caught from this morning and then grilled to perfection using herbs grown on this very property,” Parker explained. “It is a little slice of heaven, isn’t it?”

   “YES!” Kat answered. “You and Colin should totally open a restaurant!”

   “That will never happen,” Parker answered seriously. “I don’t want to quit my job.”

   “And what would that be?” Kat inquired.

   “I am a botanist for King County,” Parker touted. “I specialize in trees and shrubs native here in Washington state. I also am on the state LEED board for large projects in Seattle and Bellevue.”

   “What’s LEED?” Kat asked, intrigued in what Parker does.

   “LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” Parker answered. “I was a double major in Botany and Architecture, and I am really interested in building a Seattle with new buildings that can help our growth be sustainable.”

   “That’s gotta be a pretty awesome setup,” Kat replied, a bit stunned by Parker’s job and expertise. “You must be really smart to have done two majors.”

   “I just happened to get the right classes at the right time,” Parker said, shrugging off Kat’s comment and then changed the subject. “I can’t believe Willa brought her work with her. She really needs to do that at another time.

   “What is she doing?” Kat couldn’t make out exactly what she was doing, as she was sitting on a lawn chair by the lakeside as Kat and Parker looked down from a high deck.

   “Well, from the looks of it, it seems she’s stapling something to a bunch of papers,” Parker said squinting his eyes trying to get a better look. He grabbed some binoculars from inside and looked down at Willa. “Yep, just as I expected. Here, Kat, take a look.”

   Kat looked into the binoculars. “She’s stapling Taco Bell applications to the back of those exams??” Kat asked out loud, not really putting the two together. “Well, it looks like she’s only doing it to the papers with red ink all over them.”

   “She does this a lot,” Parker admitted. “I think she special orders a large package of applications from fast food restaurants and distributes them to people who fail her exams.”

   “Then why does she keep on teaching if it clearly seems she doesn’t like what she’s doing?” Kat pointed out.

   “She loves her job,” Parker replied. “She just hates teaching the giant lectures every fall because of the lack of interest in history. The students just take her class to get their general education done. She loves teaching the upper-level seminars to the history majors. She’ll probably be quite content come mid-January.”

   “That makes sense,” Kat answered. “In truth, I really didn’t like history. It was just memorization. You couldn’t get your hands dirty with stuff.”

   “So true,” Parker agreed.

“What the hell do you have in this box, Colette?” Alex asked, lugging a heavy box out of Colette’s car.

   “Those are my law books,” Colette winked and let out a laugh after Alex made a face of disbelief. “I am only kidding. Those are bed linens. My law books can’t be carried by hand.”

   “You actually brought your law books?” Alex asked a bit perplexed. “You only have limited room and stuff.”

   “I’m letting her use common area space,” Colin answered, returning from his house. “I have a nice-sized house and I have given her some bookshelf space in my office.”

   “See!” Colette retorted, sticking her tongue out at Alex, who just wrinkled his nose and marched inside.

   “Come Colette!” Colin motioned over to him. “Come inside.” Colette followed him though the door.

   “Wow, this is fantastic!” Colette exclaimed as she walked toward the back window of the living room. “Look at this view. Lake Washington looks so pretty today. It looks like we’re in the mountains on a lake or something.”

   “Well, we’re close enough to that so it’s almost true,” Colin answered. “Let me show you to your room!”

   Both Colin and Colette walked down the hall to reveal an expansive room that also looked out onto Lake Washington.

   “When you wake up in the morning, you can just draw the curtains and walk out onto the deck and be greeted by the morning air,” Colin explained. “And at night, you can see the sun setting behind the trees and it makes you feel like you had such an amazing day.”

   “This is really amazing,” Colette said, giving Colin a huge hug and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you! This is probably the best thing that has happened to me in years, and probably the nicest thing someone has done for me.”

   “It’s really no problem,” Colin assured her in a calm tone. “You just need to get back on your feet and release the inner lawyer in you. Just take your time. And if you want to stay after you get a job, then that is fine too, though things will change a bit.”

   “Thank you!” Colette could only utter those two words. She wasn’t one to show much emotion, but you could tell that she would tear up if she was alone, behind a closed door.

   “Let’s get you unpacked,” Colin gestured over to him again and he left towards Colette’s car, with Colette following slowly behind.

   “How’s it going, Alex?” Colin asked.

   “Well, from the looks of her list, it seems that I am done,” Alex replied looking down at a slip of paper. “All that’s left is a trip to IKEA to get some furniture.”

   “Let’s try and get some stuff set up before we leave for downtown and get the things Colette needs,” Colin pointed out.

“So, Kat, wasn’t this a fun little outing?” Willa asked.

   “Absolutely!” Kat exclaimed as they were getting back into their car. The sun was beginning to set and Parker had to focus on picking some tea before the sun went down. “I’m glad we did this. I really feel like I am starting to become settled down here in Seattle.”

   “I’m glad you feel that way,” Willa answered.

   “I really enjoyed the fact that there’s a place that I could get away if I want to get out of the city,” Kat pointed out. “Back when I lived in Chicago, I’d drive north into Kenosha to spend a weekend back when I was in college. I really enjoy getting out of a place like a congested city.”

   “Yep, same here,” Willa replied. “Back when I lived in Portland, I drove down to Eugene and I would go hiking in the fresh wilderness, or we’d go on a long trip to Idaho and spend Spring Break on a lake, doing nothing but relaxing!”
   “I’ll bet,” Kat answered. “I feel that humans need to take time to go back to their roots and enjoy nature as it should be... that is before it’s all ruined by our current lifestyles.”

   “It’s inevitable...” Willa said before stopping abruptly and stared straight ahead. “What the hell does this guy think he’s doing? He SHOULD know the rules of the road.”

   “Umm, I think he just wanted to get around you,” Kat pointed out a little quietly, not to anger Willa any further.


   Willa then returned back into the car, gestured to the car in front of her and then remained quiet

   “I don’t think that made any sense,” Kat pointed out, still being quiet and trying to keep the situation stable.

   “What were we talking about?” Willa responded in her normal voice.

   “I believe we were talking about the need to go to nature every now and then,” Kat thought back to a few minutes before.

   “Oh, yes,” Willa remembered. “It’s inevitable because with China’s massive growth, the land we all love will be used for things that we just can’t imagine now. Luckily there’s a growing eco movement and the move towards sustainability is slow, but growing.”

   “I just love nature,” Kat answered. “I want to have a huge piece of property so I can live with my animals when I retire, out in the middle of nowhere and no one to tell me how to live my life. I can’t wait for that to come.”

   “But you’re only starting out,” Willa said point blank. “You should enjoy your younger years first and live life to the fullest.”

   “I know,” Kat admitted. “I can dream, can’t I? At least Seattle still has the feeling of being out in nature even though it’s a big city.”

   “And that’s the reason why I love it,” Willa smiled and agreed. The two admired the sunset over the Puget Sound as the glorious day faded into the coolness of night.

“What the hell is Smöda?” Colette asked in disbelief of the crazy name on the box she was pointing to.

   “That’s what IKEA does,” Colin answered pushing a cart full of household items and some furniture.

   “Well, what is it?” Colette demanded, still wanting to know what it is.

   “You really have no idea?” Colin asked puzzled, as IKEA was a common brand.

   “YES!” Colette replied quite frustrated, since her question wasn’t answered twice.

   “It’s a Swedish furniture that specializes in selling build-your-own furniture and cheap household goods that are made throughout the entire world. I’m surprised you haven’t picked up on that, especially since you’re supposed to be a lawyer.”

   “Well, this isn’t a case that is concerning the constitution, Mr. Nosy!” Colette retorted. “Sometimes I let my guard down when I am not working. Everyone does that! Perhaps it’s my inner Finance major coming out!”

   “You were in finance?” Colin inquired. “Did you want to go into investment banking or something?”

   “Initially, yes,” Colette replied. “I wanted to be an analyst for Credit Suisse or Morgan Stanley, and work on company valuations when they were doing their IPOs, but after taking a few law courses for my major, I decided to go into law!”

   “That’s pretty cool,” Colin answered intrigued. “I really wanted to be CFO of a company, but I really discovered that the work was hard and there is so much scrutiny when you’re up that high in a company, I didn’t want to deal with it all.”
   “You do have to be the person who likes attention to have that job,” Colette added.

   Alex came walking carrying a long, and what seemed to be, heavy box over his head and panted when he arrived at Colette and Colin standing there. They looked like they were about to burst out laughing, mainly due to the look on Alex’s face when he dropped the piece of furniture on top of the cart.

   “What? What’s so funny?” Alex asked as if he just missed out on the joke of the century.

   “It’s nothing,” Colin replied nonchalant, his face returned to it’s normal self.

   “Well, you guys have to go get the mattress, the coffee table and the end tables,” Alex said looking at the list Colin gave him to find things. “All I got was the desk, the chair and the bed materials. I saw a piano a few aisles over, so I’ll be there when you’re done.”

   Alex walked away to find a piano in an aisle as a part of a display of a “build-your-own-piano-stand”. He began to play some stuff just as a tall, gorgeous woman in her mid-twenties walked by to look at the tables on the other side of the aisle. Alex could tell she was listening and began to play something really pretty: The Girl with Flaxen Hair.

   “You play really beautifully,” the woman said. “Is that Debussy?”

   “Why yes it is,” Alex answered, completely lovestruck and smitten when he looked at her face. “I could continue.”

   “No, Debussy is to young for me,” the woman replied. “I love Baroque piano works the best. To me, they express emotion with the melodic lines and uniformity with the basso continuo, something that characterizes Baroque music completely.”

   If Alex was in a cartoon, his eyes would turn into hears, his heart would be pounding out of his chest, and he’d get down on one knee and start kissing her arm.

   “Well, let me play you something I’ve been writing,” Alex stated and started to sing

   “I once met this beautiful girl. She made me feel like a million dollars. When I look into her eyes, I see bright lights. She made me feel like you make me feel. We did it on everything in sight, just so that I can see her make me a meal. She loved me and I loved her. Will you love me like her?”

   There was an awkward silence when he finished. The woman didn’t flee to avoid embarrassment, though she seemed quite taken by what he said (seriously?). She walked up to Alex and slapped him, knocking him off the piano.
   “You are a fucking pervert,” the woman scoffed and then fled the scene.

   “But I love you...” Alex uttered as she left the aisle, just to reveal Colin and Colette standing there as the woman left for somewhere else. They just shook their heads and went to go check out.
Chapter 3 PDF



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Re: Café Crossroads (Episode 4 - 06.19.12)
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 08:29:32 AM »

Episode 4: I Need my 大红袍
Alex did not say a word to either Colette or Colin the next morning. He was utterly humiliated from what happened. He just took orders like he usually did and he made the drinks, as Colin and Colette were talking in the back about keeping the books.

   “So this is how we count money and record it,” Colin said after showing the procedure to Colette. “We then record everything in Quickbooks here on the computer and then I make the bank deposit after we close. I generally pay Alex and myself on Fridays, if that’s fine with you.”

   “Ok, cool,” Colette answered, getting everything he just said and then changed the subject. “Why is Alex so terrible when trying to pick up women?”

   “It’s just him,” Colin replied in a hushed tone. “He’s just awkward about it. He doesn’t do it much and he only does it when he ‘falls in love’.”

   “How do you fall in love with someone you just met?” Colette asked a bit perplexed.

   “I have no clue,” Colin admitted. “He told me that he only goes for people he has fallen in love with, but he is generally in the friend zone when he comes to that realization.    “I totally see where he’s coming from,” Colette replied. “He needs to realize it before the friend zone, or he has no chance. Who’s his latest ‘love’?”

   “It’s this girl in his grad program, I think her name is Michelle,” Colin said, not exactly sure. “It’s this girl that comes in here sometimes to meet with him for something, and I can just see it in his eyes that there’s something. He is always sad when she leaves and looks like he could have said something.”

   “Poor guy,” Colette said in a worried tone. “It seems he’s just a bit scared to ruin a relationship that he already has. Doesn’t he know that it returns to normal if he just gives her space for a few days?”

   “I’ve tried to explain it to him, but no avail,” Colin said, shrugging his shoulders.

   “Well, what about you?” Colette asked to change the subject. “Do you have any lady friends in your life?”

   “There’s this beautiful girl that goes jogging every afternoon about the same time as I do,” Colin answered. “We sometimes talk if one of us is walking when we run into each other. I should get her name and number next time I see her!”
   “Go for it, bro,” Colette answered in a deep voice.

   “Really, Colette?” Colin replied sarcastically. “Really?

By lunchtime the café was nearly empty. Colette was hunched over the counter reading a book, Alex was napping on one of the couches, with a magazine on top of his head and Colin was working on the computer, going over the budget for next month.  It was the perfect time to not really do anything. Colette looked up to look outside. It was raining and lo and behold, there was an extremely wet Kat running across the street and she quickly dashed into the café.

   “Forget to take a shower this morning, Kat?” Colette asked.

   “Some fucker stole my umbrella from work, so I decided to just go for it!” Kat explained her situation.

   “People can seriously be the worst in times where you need them,” Colette answered.

   “I’d like a cup of Da Hong Pao and some biscotti, please,” Kat ordered and then plopped herself in the armchair next to Alex.

   “Sure thing!” Colette replied, beginning to brew the tea. “What’s been going with you?”

   “I was printing some invitations for a party I’m putting on,” Kat answered. “I finally moved into a new place, so I’m inviting everyone from here and my friends to come!”

   “That’s pretty awesome!” Colette pointed out. “Where are you living now?”

   “I found a little 2 bedroom on Mercer Island,” Kat replied a bit cheerfully. “It’s perfect for me and my pets.”

   “You never want to go too big until you get to the point where you need the space,” Colette said, a bit serious, not wanting others to suffer from her same misfortunes. “Sometimes, you just need to figure things out first.”

   “Tell me about it,” Kat answered, completely understanding the situation. “I had issues back in Chicago with a boyfriend, who was a complete dumbfuck, but I moved here and got back to normal.”

   “Men, they can seriously make our lives miserable all the time,” Colette agreed and brought Kat’s order to her. “I’m done with guys until I can get my own life figured out and I could understand what I should be doing.”

   “That’s really great,” Kat replied assuringly. “You seem to have it more together than I do. I just need to get used to Seattle first and get settled with my job before anything else happens.”

A man in a raincoat entered the cafe and shook his umbrella outside before putting his umbrella in a bucket and his coat on the rack by the door. He was dressed in a very sleek pinstripe suit with a bold, red tie. He looked very similar to Colin, but a bit skinnier and a little shorter.

   “I guess Alex has been up too late studying again,” the man pointed out to Colette. “Do you know if Colin is around?”

   “Let me get him,” Colette said, looking a little bit puzzled, not recognizing him. Then again, Colette was really new, so she still had to learn about new people. Colette went to the back of the store and spoke to Colin. “There’s a man here to see you.”

   “Hmm, I’m not expecting anyone,” Colin said a bit perplexed. “I’ll be right out. I really have nothing better to do. This budget is a lot of work.”

   Colin followed Colette out of the back. “Dylan!!!” Colin shouted with much elation. “I thought you were busy all week!” Colin’s excitement startled Alex and caused him to fall out of the couch, providing a hilarious sight for Kat who was taking a sip of tea.

   “I thought so too,” Dylan replied giving Colin a hug and then sitting down on one of the stools. “We finished the report early, so it’s all in the hands of the internal auditors and my staff.”

   “That’s pretty nice,” Colin said quite relieved. “I can’t believe I used to audit the annuals for my clients. That was a pain in the ass.”

   “I hate dealing with the auditors,” Dylan admitted. “They make my life a living hell.”

   “Well, I’m sorry if I made you feel that way,” Colin laughed. “I’m being a little rude. This here is Colette, my newest employee and that is Kat over there cleaning up the mess Alex made waking up.”

   “Don’t blame me for being startled when I woke up!” Alex retorted. “It’s all your fault for getting excited!”

   “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dylan,” Colette said shaking Dylan’s hand.

   “Likewise,” Kat replied sitting back down and biting into a piece of biscotti and began to do something on a tablet.

   “So that basically means you’re free tonight!” Colin pointed out, quite cheerfully.

   “I guess,” Dylan replied scratching the back of his head. “It’s not like I have anything better to do or anything.” Dylan was thinking about attacking the mountain of paperwork he had back on his desk at work.

   “That’s great!” Colin answered. “We could go to a nice Boîte or something.”

   “That sounds nice,” Dylan answered unsure, not knowing to say yes or no.

   “C’mon Dylan!” Colin urged him. “You really have no social life. When it’s financial statement season, you’re a shut-in and when you have free time, all you do is watch How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock reruns. There is more to life than TV.”

   “WOAH!” Parker screamed out, making his entrance into the café known. “How dare you insult How I Met Your Mother like that, bro! You know our lives revolve around that, too. It’s too LEGEND... wait for it... DARY!”

   “Sorry bro,” Colin apologized a bit sarcastically. “I’m just giving Dylan motivation to get off his sorry ass and join the normal people.”

   “Dylan! How’s it going? It’s been like a millennium since I last saw you!” Parker exclaimed and then went to order a drink.

   “You know, quarterly SEC filings, the usual,” Dylan answered.

   “I don’t mean to interrupt,” Kat interrupted. “But if none of you are busy tonight, I’d like to invite you all to my new place for a small get together, possibly watch a movie or play some video games.”

   “That sounds like fun,” Dylan said, smiling. “I forgot the last time I played video games.”

   “You think there might be...” Alex began to say and the paused. He just looked around.

   “He wants to know if there will be alcohol,” Colin admitted.

   “Of course,” Kat answered laughing. “No party is complete without getting hammered!”

   “I have to go, but I am going to call Willa and see if she wants to go tonight,” Parker  said grabbing his cup of tea. “I’ll catch you all later. Kat, just text me your address and time I should be there and I’ll be there!”

   “Ok, awesome!” Kat exclaimed, waiving as Parker quickly left. “Anyone else planning on coming?”

   “You can count on Dylan and me,” Colin replied putting his thumb up.

   “I can come, I don’t have anything and Colin is kind of my ride,” Colette added.

   Kat looked at Alex as the final person to make an answer as it was super important. Alex said, “I thought that was a given when I found out that you’d be serving alcohol. I’ll be there.”

   “Awesome! Well, the address is 7245 SE 24th Street and the party starts at 6 PM,” Kat said handing out little cards with information on them. “It shouldn’t be a huge thing, so it will be the perfect thing. I gotta deal with some last minute things, so I am heading out!”

   “We’ll see you later!” Colin said waiving as Kat ran back into the rain with no umbrella.

Dylan, Colette and Colin arrived at Kat’s house a little before 6. By now, the rain had stopped, but the trees were still dripping and the roads were still wet. The sun was beginning to set over the western sky and many hipsters were making their way out to their hipster bars in downtown Seattle. Kat lived in a nice home, of modest size, and it had a few bedrooms so she was comfortable in a nice house.

   Everyone walked up to the front door and walked inside, since the door was already open.

   “Hey guys!” Kat exclaimed getting up from a table. “Welcome to my humble abode. I’m really glad you guys came!”

   “Where’s everyone else?” Colette inquired, noticing that there was no one else there.

   “Willa and Parker said they are coming, but are currently stuck in traffic,” Kat answered. “And my other friends decided that they wanted to go out to some bars and meet guys tonight, so they bailed. I think Alex should be here soon, so it will just be the 7 of us tonight!”

   “This is going to be an awesome little get together,” Dylan admitted. “I didn’t want to deal with a bunch of strangers on my first night off in a month.”

   “Well, I’m glad you came!” Kat winked and showed everyone to food. “I have a Wii hooked up to the TV and I have a stack of board and card games and I got a karaoke machine if anyone is up for that.”

   “You’re going to have to get me drunk to do that!” Alex exclaimed walking in.

   “But you’re a music major, you should want to sing!” Colette pointed out.

   “True, I am a music GRAD STUDENT,” Alex emphasized. “But a music student has to also have a great voice.”

   Alex took a seat on couch and put his feet up, which prompted Colin to silently gesture for Alex to take his feet off her coffee table.

   “Didn’t you say you have pets?” Colin asked.

   “My dogs are sleeping in my room and I don’t know where my cats are,” Kat said, looking around for her animals. “I think they might be in the backyard with my rabbit.”

   “You have a rabbit??” Colette asked. “That’s so cool!”

   “Yeah, she’s an Angora rabbit,” Kat explained. “She’s a real fluffy bunny!”

   “Have no fear, the alcohol is here!” Parker’s voice boomed to reveal him and Willa carrying two boxes with lots of bottlenecks sticking out the tops.

   “Yay, Parker’s here!” Kat exclaimed, clapping her hands together. “We can get really get going now!”

   Kat quickly took the boxes from Parker and Willa and began to mix drinks in her kitchen as everyone got settled in the living room with Apples to Apples. Alex turned on the stereo and everyone waited for Kat to finish making the drinks.
   “Ok guys,” Kat answered bringing out a tray of large, funky-looking glasses. “Let me introduce my Long Island Iced Tea, the greatest west of the Mississippi!” Everyone grabbed glasses and commenced playing the game.

“Heh heh heh heh,” Parker was laughing. He was standing in Kat’s front yard with Willa.

   “This is going to be very awesome!” Willa screamed out.

   “SSSSHHHHHH!” Parker said, stumbling over to Willa. “We need to be quiet to this to work.”

   “You guys are seriously going through with this,” Colin called out from the front porch.

   “Uh, duh!” Willa answered.

   “You think you have enough toilet paper?” Colin called out again.

   “YEAH!” Parker yelled back. Both Parker and Willa went to a house across the street and over from Kat’s house and began to toilet paper this gigantic tree in their front yard. Colin just shook his head at the two and returned inside. Alex was passed out on an armchair and Colette and Kat were playing Mario Kart, and weren’t really doing all that well.

   “Well, it looks like Willa and Parker are pretty hammered,” Colin pointed out. “They stole some of your toilet paper and went to go toilet paper your neighbor’s yard.”

   “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Kat burst out laughing. “I never knew they were back in high school?”

   “Drunk people do craaaazy things!” Colette said playing another card and then taking a sip of her Cape Cod.

   Willa and Parker came bursting in and were laughing hysterically.

   “That was sooooo legend... wait for it because it was so epic... dary,” Parker called out.

   “Yeah, totally legendary!” Willa added. “We should totally do something more epic.”

   “KA RA O KE!” Parker exclaimed running over to the machine.

   “That really sounds like fun,” Colette answered, putting down her cards. Everyone quickly grabbed more drinks and Parker began to sing Bohemian Rhapsody with Colette and Dylan.

Colin opened his eyes and discovered he was on a couch. He looked outside to see it was day... or maybe morning and it was raining pretty hard.

   “What the hell happened?” Colin thought to himself. He looked at his watch. “7:30 AM??? I am really late.” He looked around. Willa was sleeping on top of Parker, Kat was sleeping on the table, Dylan was sprawled across the floor with a vodka bottle in his hand, and Colette was where Alex was the night before, however Alex was missing. Colin quickly ran outside and saw that Alex’s car was missing. Colin quickly took out his phone and saw there was a voicemail from Alex.

   “Hi Colin,” Alex said in his message. “It’s about 5:30 AM. I’m on my way to open the café now. I took your key since I don’t have one and I’ll open at 6. You should take the day off since apparently you all had too much to drink today. Just tell Colette to be in by 8:30 so I can get to class. See you later!”

   Colin became less stressed and went back inside.

   “Psst... Colette,” Colin said shaking Colette. Colette’s eyes began to flutter and then opened. She sat up.

   “Woah!” Colette came to realization from her slumber. “What happened last night?”

   “Well, we all got really hammered,” Colin pointed out. “Do you have a hangover?”

   “Uh?” Colette said and then waited a few seconds and then stood up and then waited a bit more. “Nope, I’m fine.”

   “Ok, good,” Colin said assured. “I need you to go into the café now and hold down the fort while Alex goes to class. He opened this morning before we got up.”

   “Well, I can do it,” Colette answered. “I just need to fix my hair. But didn’t Dylan come with us?”

   “I can take him back to my place,” Colin replied. “He probably has the day off, but will probably get a shitton of emails.”

   “Alright,” Colette answered. “I’ll be right back.” As Colette entered the bathroom, Colin picked up Dylan and moved him into his car outside. Colin got a glimpse of what Willa and Parker did. The tree was covered with toilet paper and the rain basically made it stick like glue to the tree. Colin began to walk back in and noticed Dylan waking back up.

   “Good Morning Sunshine!” Colin said a bit flirtatious.

   “Oh, ha ha,” Dylan answered sarcastically. “Were we going somewhere last night?”

   “No, I just put you in there since Colette and I are leaving,” Colin pointed out. “I was going to take you back to my place.”

   “That’d probably be good, since I really have no desire to go downtown today,” Dylan said.

   “Are you off work today?” Colin asked.

   “Yeah, so I could do whatever,” Dylan answered. “I’ll just check and make sure I have everything.” He quickly patted himself down to check for his stuff. “Yep.”

   Colette came running out after Dylan got back in the car. “I’m all ready and I left a note for everyone else inside,” Colette said getting into the car.

   “Ok, let’s go downtown,” Colin said turning on the car.

“... and that’s what I told her,” Colin said talking about the girl he always sees jogging.

   “You’re going to go for it?” Dylan asked.

   “DUH!” Colin said, pointing out the obvious. “I’m gonna drive by her house and see if she’s home.”

   “The Drive-By,” Dylan winked. “A Classic.”

   “Well, here’s the freeway exit,” Colin said. “It’s a bit nerve-racking figuring this stuff out, but it’s always awesome to take the plunge.”

   “I totally forgot you live in a nice area,” Dylan pointed out as Colin made his drive-by. “I make like 8 times more money than you do, and you have a nicer place than I do.”

   “Well, that’s because you live in a penthouse overlooking downtown Seattle,” Colin said. “You can’t compare the view of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and the city to a 4 bedroom house on Lake Washington.”

   “But I want a house,” Dylan complained a bit.

   “No, what you want is a serious girlfriend so you can get married and buy a house,” Colin pointed out the truth.

   “You know me too well,” Dylan admitted. “Woah, is that her at that house up ahead?”

   “Yep,” Colin affirmed, quickly speeding up. “I don’t want her to notice me, though.”

   “Smooth,” Dylan said sarcastically. “You should just stop and tell her point blank.”

   “And that’s the reason why you’re still single,” Colin retorted.

   “And that’s the reason why I’m never talking to you again,” Dylan crossed his arms and pouted.

   “You’ll find someone,” Colin said. “Maybe this girl might know someone, or even better, a super hot sister.”

   “Well, go for it,” Dylan said just as Colin pulled into his driveway.

   “Let me go change,” Colin said, quickly jumping out of the car and into his house.

Colin began his jog towards the girl’s house, which was a mile up the road. The rain slowed to an intermittent drizzle, just delightful for a run. It was literally the perfect type of weather to go for a jog because you could stay cool enough, but not get pummeled with water leaving you soaked by the end of the jog. After about half a mile jogging, Colin saw the girl on the other side of the road. They both acknowledged their presence by taking out their earbuds and slowed down.

   “Fancy seeing you out here,” Colin said walking to meet the girl in the middle of the road.

   “You usually don’t jog at this time,” the girl said. “It is the perfect time though. The rain makes it feel so perfect.”

   “My thoughts exactly,” Colin answered, a bit unsure of what to say next. “Did you have an enjoyable weekend at all?”

   “For the most part, yes,” the girl said. “My sister came in to town from Vancouver, so we had a little party for her. How about yourself?”

   “It was fantastic,” Colin answered. “I helped a friend of mine move in and went to a party for a friend who just moved here.”

   “That’s pretty cool,” the girl replied. “Oh, I am Katie, by the way!”

   “Colin,” Colin answered. “I’m surprised we haven’t done this a while back.”

   “Yes, I’m quite shocked,” Katie said.

   “Well, if you’re not busy tomorrow, would you like to get coffee or dinner somewhere?”

   “Either would be perfect!” Katie exclaimed.

   “How about Café Crossroads in Seattle?” Colin offered a suggestion.

   “A friend of mine said I should go there,” Katie pointed out. “She really enjoyed it when she was there.”

   “It’s a fantastic little place,” Colin said. “They make the best eclairs.”

   “Well, here’s my number,” Katie said reaching into her bra to pull out a business card. “Just call me tonight so we can set up a time, but I do have to do something really soon.”

   “It was really nice to run into you, Katie,” Colin said, a bit smitten at this point and a little surprised that he got this far. “I’ll talk to you later.”

   “Au Revoir,” Katie said putting her earbuds back in and continued on her jog.

   Colin just stood there, completely smitten and basically in love. He just couldn’t believe that something like that could happen to him. He quickly ran back home to tell Dylan what happened.
Chapter 4 PDF


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Re: Café Crossroads (Episode 4 - 06.19.12)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 01:00:26 AM »

Episode 5- A Visitor on Pike
   Colin was busy getting ready for his first-date with Katie. He was trying to figure out what to say and what to do when they get to his café. Many thoughts ran through his head and so many different scenarios played themselves out. According to Dylan, that’s one of his faults: proposing too many scenarios and then just choosing the worst one that would happen, though it is almost never the case.

   “I don’t know what to do Colette,” Colin said really worried. “What if I say the wrong thing or I forget to do something.”

   “Stop freaking out,” Colette tried to assure him. “You’ll do just fine.”

   “I know I will, but there’s always that chance,” Colin said still a bit nervous.

   “Just breathe and relax,” Colette said calmly. “No girl wants to go out with a guy that looks like he could explode at any moment. I have to take a shower since today was long and kinda grimy.”

   “Ok, fine, I’ll try and relax,” Colin said taking a deep breath. He went over to sit on an ottoman and tried to continue the exercises to help him relax. All he could do is think on how was going to screw the first date he had since his last girlfriend, Aurelie, dumped him for some other French guy. He never appreciated dating, but he wanted a family, so he thought he could give it a go and work at it. He rose from the ottoman and decided to make a latte in his kitchen. Coffee is a stimulant for many, but for him, it helps him relax when he’s stressed. This is added to the effects that generally help him wake up in the morning.

   “I wonder what Dylan might think about this,” Colin thought to himself as he was steaming the milk. “He’s always offered a decent word of advice about this. He’s always been my wingman... ever since UCSD.” Colin finished his drink and sat on one of the barstools by the island in his kitchen. He looked out the window into Lake Washington and just kept thinking about his future and his past until Colette came out of the shower.

   “Well, this is quite nice,” Colette said coming into the kitchen, wearing nothing but a towel on her head and another wrapped around her body. “It feels completely amazing to finally relax after a long day and a long night.”
   “I’d bet,” Colin answered in a calm tone. With Colin, if anything is in a quiet tone and he’s not that talkative, there is generally something wrong with him.

   “I’ll go take a shower now and get ready,” Colin answered getting up and going into the bathroom. Colette just sat down and picked up a cooking magazine and started reading it, completely forgetting she had to change into clothes. After quite a few minutes and after Colin made it into his room, the doorbell rang. Colette still unaware of being in a towel, decided to answer the door.

   “Yes,” Colette said as she opened the door. Katie looked quite shocked as she looked at a nearly naked Colette.

   “Um... I’m here for Colin,” Katie finally answered. She dressed quite nicely, wearing a fancy dress and it looked like she had her hair done.

   “Yes, come on in!” Colette replied ecstatically. Katie entered a bit awkwardly. “He should be out shortly. I’ll let him know you’re here!”

   Colette went into the back and reappeared with Colin wearing a nice pressed shirt and slacks, unlike the t-shirt and jeans with the apron that he wears normally.

   “Wow, you really overdressed, Katie,” Colin said walking up to her and kissing her on the cheek. “You know this isn’t really a formal thing. We’re just getting coffee.”

   “I know,” Katie said, gazing into Colin’s eyes. “I just felt like putting on something fancy. It’s not often I do that.”

   “I agree,” Colin answered. “I never have enough excuses to wear nice clothes. Let me just talk to Colette real quick.” Colin took Colette into the living room as Katie stood in the foyer.

   “What is it?” Colette wondered, a bit surprised.
   “You know you’re still in a towel,” Colin pointed out.

   “Oh my, you’re right,” Colette realized. “I’ll go fix this.”

   “It seems that Katie has gotten mixed signals, you know...” Colin said.

   “Got it,” Colette replied, quickly running back into her room.

   “Ok, so now we can go,” Colin said walking toward Katie and took her by the hand outside.

Both Colin and Katie arrived on the corner of First and Pike.

   “Well, here it is!” Colin announced their arrival.

   “It doesn’t look like it’s open,” Katie pointed out. “Is there some place else we could go?”

   “Don’t give up just yet!” Colin said enthusiastically and then took out his keys and opened the door.

   “How do you have a key?” Katie asked, completely shocked about this change.

   “Oh, well, I own this café,” Colin answered as humbly as he can.

   “You OWN it?” Katie asked, still shocked. “Now I like you even more!” The two stepped inside.

   “What do you want?” Colin asked.

   “What can I get?” Katie asked.

   “I can make you anything you want,” Colin said smiling. “It can be on or off the menu.”

   “Ooh, then this will be a tough decision,” Katie said, looking quite amorously at the menu boards. “I’ll go for the classic éclair.”

   “You do know me quite well,” Colin answered. “It’s my specialty! Come back to the kitchen and I can show you how they’re made.”

   “Exciting!” Katie said walking back into the kitchen.

   “This place is my life,” Colin said showing the kitchen around. “It’s my sanctuary for everything.”

   “I can see,” Katie replied. “It’s so clean. I am so jealous. I wish I had a commercial kitchen!”

   “You really get used to using this and then you have a hard time going back to your personal one back at home,” Colin pointed out. “Using commercial appliances really makes better food.

   “So just how do you make these éclairs?” Katie wondered.

   “Let me show you!” Colin said smiling.

A young man was standing outside SeaTac looking a slip of paper and carrying a suitcase. He set it down and reached behind him to go through his backpack and find his cellphone.  He opened the Maps app and punched in the address on the sheet of paper. He was wondering if he should hop on the light rail or take a taxi. He walked over to an island in the middle of the road and stuck out his hand to hail a taxi.

   “I need to get to 1490 SE Shoreland Drive in Bellevue,” the man said to the taxi driver.

   “Absolutely,” the cabbie replied. “Hop on in!” The man got in the cab and dialed his phone and called someone as the taxi drove north towards Seattle.

“That’s so cool!” Katie exclaimed while she watched Colin squeeze the filling into the éclair.

   “The filling is what makes the éclair what it is,” Colin replied. “This boysenberry filling is one of my most popular fillings. It then add a vanilla crème frosting on top and then I top it with a raspberry or chocolate sauce.”

   “And you can’t forget the whipped cream!” Katie added.

   “You can’t!” Colin agreed. “I make everything here from scratch and I only use the finest ingredients, even if I end up making a minimal profit from what I sell.”

   “It makes it all the more healthier!” Katie said a bit sarcastically.

   “They’re finished,” Colin announced. “Let’s go make some coffee! Do you know what you want?”

   “Surprise me!” Katie said a little suggestively, rubbing Colin’s arm as they walked out of the kitchen.

   “You’ll really enjoy my special latte,” Colin replied in a flirty voice. Colin leaned over and kissed her shyly. Katie was a bit shocked at first, but gave in after a few seconds of awkwardness and surprise. The moment was intense and there was so much heat and energy between the two. After what seemed like an eternity, and though only a few seconds, Colin pulled back and just gazed into her eyes, put some of her hair behind her ear and brushed her cheek.

   “You are absolutely fantastic,” Colin said amorously. “You are so beautiful.”

   “Thank you,” Katie answered blushing.

   “I have to admit, I’ve been trying to ask you out ever since we passed each other jogging in the mornings and afternoons,” Colin admitted. “I thought to myself ‘she seems that she has the greatest personality combined with being absolutely stunning’.”

   “Ever since the first day I wondered, ‘When is this guy going to ask me out?’” Katie answered softly, seeming ashamed for admitting what she said.

   “I guess that we had some sort chemistry before we even knew it,” Colin figured. “This totally feels like it’s happening in a movie or TV show.”

   “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Katie laughed out of realization. “You’re totally right.”

   “We had our little meet-cute while jogging in the morning,” Colin said. “You know it’s super awesome when you  can compare it to something.”

   “Totally,” Katie replied. “So, why don’t you get me that coffee.”

   “Right,” Colin said getting back in the events of the evening. “You’ll really like my special latte.

   “Ooh, what’s in it?” Katie asked.

   “I can’t say until you try it!” Colin answered, brewing coffee and steaming milk and adding some flavorings into the cup. “You can really get addicted to these.”

   “This is going to be fantastic,” Katie said, anxiously awaiting what Colin is promising. “And from what I have heard so far, this won’t be an empty promise.”

   “We’re here,” the taxi driver said. “1490 SE Shoreland Drive.”

   “Thank you,” the man said and paid the cab driver. The man grabbed his baggage and walked up to the house. The only light around were the lights illuminating the street. He walked up the driveway shrouded with trees to reveal a front yard with some flowers and a fountain in the middle. He couldn’t figure out why there was no one home. He walked around the house and sat on the deck and decided to wait for the people who lived there to get home. He picked up his phone and dialed a number.

   “Hey, it’s me,” the man said, picking up the voicemail of the person he was calling. “I just got into Seattle and it seems no one is home, so I’ll just wait until they get home. I’ll call you when I’m getting ready to leave! Bye.”

   The man reached into his backpack and took out some books and read them under the moonlight.

“OH. MY. GOD!” Katie exclaimed. “This tastes exactly like a tiramisu, but it’s coffee!”

   “I know,” Colin answered sipping his cup of coffee. “I learned how to make it when I was in Italy learning to make coffee.”

   “You lived in Italy?” Katie asked.

   “When I was living in France, I took a few weeks off every spring to go to Florence and take Italian coffee making classes as well as dessert classes,” Colin explained. “I really wanted to learn to make Italian food, and I got some training there, but my main area of expertise was dessert.”

   “Wait you lived in France?” Katie asked, still astonished. “That must have been the most amazing part of your life!”

   “It was amazing,” Colin admitted, but looked downtrodden when thinking about it. “At the same time, it was quite a horrible time in my life. I just graduated college and I moved to France to start work. After four years, I had to leave because of a terrible break-up and I didn’t want to be an auditor anymore.”

   “Oh, I’m sorry,” Katie empathized with Colin, scooting closer to him on the couch and gave him a hug. “It sucks you had to leave. I’d bet that France was enchanting, a place to discover yourself and to live life to the fullest while eating great food.”

   “Don’t get me wrong,” Colin said. “France is a beautiful country. I took my car and drove around the country before I even started work. I experienced so much, took way too many photos. I miss it, but I don’t want to go back unless something is making me.”

   “We’ll see about that,” Katie answered putting her head on Colin’s chest and ran his fingers through her hair.

   “Maybe one of these days we can go there,” Colin replied, kissing her on he forehead.

   “Yes, let’s,” Katie replied sleepily and let out a yawn.    

   “Do you want me to take you home?” Colin asked, noticing that she was falling asleep.

   “You can... take me to your.... place,” Katie replied dozing off. Colin got up and grabbed the dishes. He cleaned up everything and carried Katie into his car. It seemed that everyone was falling asleep on him and he had to take them home in his car.

   Colin decided to call Colette. “Hey Colette,” Colin said when Colette picked up her phone. “Are you home at all?”

   “No, I went out with Kat and Parker to a pub in Kirkland,” Colette answered.

   “Can you drive home?” Colin asked, wondering if she was just a bit too drunk to drive.

   “No,” Colette replied. “All I’ve had were 2 beers, and that was about half an hour ago.”

   “Ok, well, come home soon,” Colin asked. “Katie fell asleep on me and I may need help carrying her in.”

   “Well, did you have anything to drink?” Colette asked.

   “All we had were the tiramisu lattes that I made,” Colin replied. “So, just a minimal amount of cognac.”

   “I love how you embellish it before you say what it actually is,” Colette said letting out a laugh.

   “Ok,” Colin answered. “I should be home in 20 minutes.”

   “Awesome,” Colette replied. “Same here.”

   “See you soon,” Colin said hanging up the phone and starting his car.

The man sitting outside the house finished reading what seemed like to be an assignment and closed his book. He looked at his phone and let out a yawn. He came in from the other side of the country and though his clock read 10:21 PM, it was actually 1:21 AM for him. He put up his feet on the table he reading, flipped his sunglasses down, tightened his peacoat and shut his eyes.

   As he was falling asleep, he could hear the faint sound of a car coming up the driveway, but he didn’t budge as he shifted deeper and deeper into sleep. The car stopped and the driver turned off the car, but they did not get out of their car. Another car came up the drive way a few minutes later, which prompted the first driver to hop out of their car. There was a brief exchange of conversation, then the second car started up and left. The two people seemed to be carrying a heavy load and walked up to the front door and entered the house.

“She is not that heavy,” Colin said to Colette as they were carrying Katie inside their house.

   “Where are you going to put her?” Colette asked.

   “We can put her in my bed,” Colin answered. “I can sleep on the couch in my office.”

   “Ok,” Colette said nodding her head. She flipped on the lights in the hallway leading to Colin’s room and they put her in his bed.

   “Can you grab me some blankets for the couch in my office,” Colin asked. “They are in the cabinets in my bathroom.

   “Sure thing,” Colette answered and left the room.

   Colin tucked Katie in his bed and kissed her on the forehead. “I really enjoyed our date tonight,” Colin said running his fingers through her hair. “Have a good night sleep.”

   Colin went into his office to set up his bed when Colette came running into his office.

   “There’s a guy...” Colette said, out of breath and a bit anxious. “There’s a guy sleeping outside on our deck.”

   “What?” Colin said shocked. “Here in Bellevue??”

   “Yeah!” Colette said a bit calmer, but still anxious.

   “Let me take a look,” Colin said walking outside his office and into the living room, his worried expression changed to a stunned one. “What the hell is he doing here?”

   “Who’s ‘he’?” Colette asked, shocked from the changed outlook on the situation.

   “The ‘he’ is my brother, Sean,” Colin answered. “I didn’t know he was coming in from Long Island.”

   “You have a brother?” Colette asked. “You never mentioned him at all.”

   “I wouldn’t have to mention him since I didn’t realize he’d be coming up in conversations at all,” Colin admitted. “He’s a pretty cool guy, but we still tease each other. You know how siblings are.”

   “Yeah, but my brother is just a big douche,” Colette replied. “We get on our nerves a lot, but it is more real than teasing out of love. He just really pisses me off sometimes.”

   “Well, we’re going to have a little fun with him,” Colin said rubbing his hands together. “In the cabinet under the TV, there are some portable speakers in there. Grab those and I’ll get my iPod. He’s going to have a nice awakening to Slayer!”
   “You’re really mean,” Colette replied, going to the TV cabinet.

   “Don’t worry, we’ve done it all,” Colin answered. “We’ve done all the classic pranks, but after he turned 8 and I was 12, we really got creative. My dad was generally on my side and my mom was on his side. We all had a mini war going on and we were constantly  setting off pranks and thwarting each others’ plans.”

   “It sounds like you had too much fun as a child,” Colette said. 

        “Well, growing up in Northport, there was really nothing to do,” Colin admitted. “We had to keep ourselves entertained.”

   “Are you ready to go?” Colette asked as she was plugging the iPod into the speakers.

   “Yep,” Colin answered. “So, I’ll turn off the lights and you’ll sneak outside. I will be inside with the remote. Once you come back in and shut the door, I’ll press play. Make sure you’re hidden behind something. I should probably set up my iPad looking at him.”

   “You really are pretty brutal,” Colette whispered as she was opening the door outside as Colin set up his iPad and set the video to go. Colette quickly came back inside and closed the door. Both Colin and Colette hid behind the couch as he pressed play.

   Colin and Colette couldn’t restrain their laughter as Sean was completely startled as he was woken up abruptly. He then proceeded to fall backwards, which he began to wave his arms trying to get him to stop from tipping back, but he fell backwards as he rolled off to the side, kicking the table over in the process.

   “COLINNNNNN!!!!” Sean screamed furiously. Colin and Colette turned on the lights and Colin opened the door.

   “What the hell are you doing here?” Colin asked a bit madly.

   “Why the hell did you do that to me??” Sean answered with another question.

   “I didn’t feel like carrying you in,” Colin answered. “You know I like to have my fun!”

   “You’d better be expecting something to get even, then,” Sean replied with a malicious laugh.
   “Deal,” Colin replied giving Sean a hug. “Sean, this is my roommate Colette.”

   “Pleased to meet you,” Colette extended her hand.

   “A good friend of my brother’s doesn’t get a handshake,” Sean replied and moved closer to Colette. “They get a hug.”

   “So why are you here, Sean?” Colin asked.

   “We need to talk,” Sean said quite seriously.


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Re: Café Crossroads (Episode 4 - 06.19.12)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 01:06:19 AM »

Episode 6 - Botherly Troubles
   “What’s going on?” Colin asked worried, thinking something terrible had happened. “Is it about mom?”

   “About mom?” Sean replied, not expecting that to come out of Colin’s mouth. “Noooooo. It’s about this girl.”

   “Pssh,” Colin scoffed. “Of course it’s about a girl. You’ve been chasing them since I taught you how to ask one out.”

   “I really don’t see the big deal about this,” Sean answered like nothing was wrong. “She’s smart and funny and beautiful.... and hot!”

   “Well, you can tell us about it in the morning,” Colin replied, I have to be at work early tomorrow, and Colette does, too.

   “Ok, fine,” Sean said pouting. “I’ll go to bed.”

   “We’ll make up the couch for you,” Colin said grabbing blankets from a linen cabinet and throwing them on the couch. “See you in the morning.”

Colin awoke to his alarm going off. Usually he was awake before it, but the events of the past few weeks have kept him much more tired than usual. “Owning a coffee shop is hard when you want to keep a tight budget and do stuff yourself, yet maintain a life of my own at night,” Colin thought to himself. Colin got up and walked to the bathroom to take a shower.

   A few minutes later, Colette awoke and proceeded to do the exact same thing. The morning began to get busy as the sun rose. The moment the sun rose, Sean was instantly awake and got up. As Colette exited the shower, she was drying herself off, not paying attention to her surroundings.

   “Why hello there, Colette,” Sean said in a low, deep voice quite suggestively. Colette turned around and looked like a deer in headlights, completely shocked to have gotten noticed. She then noticed that her breasts were exposed directly facing Sean.

   “SEAN!” Colette screamed angerly. “WHAT THE HELL!” Colette quickly grabbed for a blanket and wrapped it around herself.

   “I’m sorry,” Sean apologized. “I didn’t mean to see that... those... I’m sorry.”

   “Well you better be,” Colette answered and then began to rant, as Sean kept on staring at her breasts. “You should be ashamed...”

   “Colette! Colette!” Sean said, trying to get his voice through her rant.

   “WHAT!” Colette said as Sean got her attention.

   “That blanket is a relatively open weave,” Sean said quite quickly. “And I can still see your... ... nipular area.”

   “Augh!” Colette scoffed and quickly ran back into her bedroom.

   Sean sat out in the living room as Colin emerged with Katie, with her arm around his waist.

   “I had a great night last night!” Katie replied, turning to Colin, hugging him and kissing him deeply.

   “Ahem!” Sean interrupted the two. “You don’t have to do that out here.” Katie turned around and looked quite puzzled on who tried to get her to stop kissing her boyfriend.

   “Oh, sorry Katie,” Colin quickly broke the tension between the two. “This is my brother, Sean. He appeared unannounced as we got home from our date.”

   “Yep, that’s me!” Sean said pompously.

   “You don’t have to be a show off,” Colin said ushering Katie into the kitchen.

   Colette emerged from her room and walked out to the living room where Sean was still sitting. The twos’ eyes met and then started to drift. Colette quickly hurried into the kitchen and walked to the coffee pot, quickly grabbed a cup and yanked the pot to pour the coffee.

   “What has gotten into you this morning?” Colin asked a bit unnerved with Colette’s behavior.

   “It’s your brother,” Colette replied disdainfully. “He saw my boobs when I was walking out of the shower.”

   “BA... HA... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! SNORT!” Colin started laughing. “You seriously have no boundaries with all that! You should get dressed before deciding to get food... or at least put on a robe!”

   “Well, if only I HAD a robe,” Colette suggested.

   “And you just asked for your birthday present,” Colin replied brazenly. “When is your birthday?”

   “It’s August 7th,” Colette answered. “But don’t change the subject.”

   “Sorry, you really should know better, especially since we have guests,” Colin explained. “It’s only common sense. You don’t see me walking out here in a towel to make a cup of coffee or grab the paper.”

   “Fine,” Colette said calmly and walked outside.

   “We have to go, Katie,” Colin said wrapping his arms around her. “Call me later?”

   “Definitely!” Katie replied kissing Colin and then grabbing her stuff and leaving to return home.

   “So Sean, you’re coming with me,” Colin said. “We can talk about this when we get to the café.”

   “But I haven’t had anything to eat yet,” Sean pointed out.

   “We ARE going to the café,” Colin said putting his hand on his face and shaking his head. “I think that’s a given that you’re getting food there.”

   “Oh, yeah, right,” Sean said walking out the door in front of Colin.

“So, you satisfied now?” Colin said after bringing out a smörgåsbord of pastries.

   “Maybe one more croissant and blueberry scone,” Sean demanded, though apparent that he was full.

   “Are you sure?” Colin asked, waiting to see if he would change his mind.

   “Nevermind,” Sean answered, letting out a huge breath, officially indicating that he was full. “I’ll probably just take a nap here.” Colin walked back to the counter where Colette was just making a Café Con Panna.

   “Sorry my brother is being a boob, no pun intended,” Colin said letting out a chuckle. “In all seriousness, he usually can take things that are inappropriate to extremes, though he’s generally good and level-headed now-a-days. You should have seen him when he was a freshman in high school.”

   “I’d bet he would be trying to point out a girl’s... endowments... when they walked by him in the hall,” Colette replied, quite calm and seemed no longer affected by what happened. “I understand. He came all the way out to Seattle for a girl. It’s only natural he probably wants to ‘get the job done’.”

   “Of course he does,” Colin said a bit disgusted. “He’s always been the more ‘outgoing’ one than I was.”

   “I can kind of see that,” Colette said, now making a Latte. “You’re the more sensitive one who takes their time to build a relationship with a person, or at least has a conversation with a girl with no sense of confrontation. You, good sir, have a gift.”

   “Well, thanks Colette,” Colin answered while blushing. “I should get back to work.”

Parker came walking in the door later in the morning. “Hi everyone!” Parker announced himself.

   “PARKER!” many people in the café shouted and then got back to their business.

   “You just had to pull a Cheers joke,” Colin said giving Parker a hug.

   “I do have to have my fun,” Parker replied, putting down the bags he was carrying. “Are you ready?”

   “Of course I am!” Colin answered. “Let me get Alex and you get Willa.”

   Parker walked over to Willa and said, “Hey Willa, Colin and I are experimenting with a pastry if you’d like to try!”

   “Count me in,” Willa said joyfully. “Anything to get me away from inputing grades. My students can wait.”

   “If you really hate grading papers so much, then why do you teach?” Parker asked as they walked to the counter.

   “I love making a difference in students’ minds, however 75% of them are just dimwitted coddled whiners who don’t give a crap about history,” Willa ranted.

   “Maybe get a TA,” Parker suggested. “Let them deal with all the stuff and you can stick to lesson plans and holding office hours.”

   “Great idea Parker!” Willa answered. “I do have a few grad students asking for work. I’ll let them fight to grade papers.”

   “Ok, so everyone ready?” Colin said putting his hands together. “Parker and I are going to make some new kinds of scones and we want you two to try them.”

   “What’s going to be in them?” Willa asked.

   “It’s a secret to everybody,” Parker suggested. “Except us.”

   “Don’t worry,” Colin assured everyone. “We’re not putting in escargot or frog legs in them, but they will be unusual.”

   “Are you guys still game?” Parker asked.

   “Let’s do it,” Alex replied. “I’m hungry anyway.”

   “It’s always exciting to try new things,” Willa answered.

   “Ok, so give us a few minutes to prepare everything and we will bring everything out!” Colin said and the went into the kitchen where he was followed by Parker. As the two went into the kitchen, Dylan appeared outside the café, screaming at a person on the phone. All Colette, Willa and Alex could do was stare.

   “Well, it seems that he’s either firing someone, someone cheated on him, someone messed up something at his house or he is stressed,” Willa gave a few scenarios to what was going on.

   Kat then appeared and walked past Dylan with a pretty gruesome look on her face as she entered the café.

   “What’s going on with Dylan out there?” Alex asked as Kat approached the counter.

   “It seems some idiot messed up something with some sort of statement,” Kat replied, going off of what she heard. “I can’t be too sure about the real details since he was yelling profanities half the time.”

   “That’s gotta be really bad,” Colette replied. “I should help him if something is the matter. I do have a law degree!”

   “You should,” Alex replied, not taking his eyes off the heated conversation outside. “But wait until he approaches you, or at least tells you what happened.”

   “Yeah,” Colette answered. “We don’t want to be too intrusive. Would you like something to drink Kat?”

   “Just a cup of Orange Pekoe please, with a little bit of milk,” Kat answered, also not moving her sight from Dylan.

   “Ok,” Colette said grabbing a cup and getting the tea, turning her back to the conversation.

   “WOAH!” Alex exclaimed, watching Dylan kick a freeway sign outside the café.

   Colette quickly turned around and exclaimed all interested, “What happened! What happened!”

   “He kicked the freeway sign outside and continued yelling,” Kat said not letting her eyes leave the one-ended quarrel.

   “Oh, well, here’s your tea,” Colette said. Colette, Willa, Alex and Kat sipped their drinks together, keeping their eyes glued to the situation. After screaming out a few more obscenities, Dylan removed the phone from his ear, jumped and smashed the phone into the concrete sidewalk. He then looked inside, which caused everyone to scramble and get back to what their were doing. Dylan proceeded to walk into the café and look at everyone, seemingly looking like they have been working for the entire time.

   “Colette, can I get a quad mocha, make it Irish,” Dylan said walking inside and loosening his tie.

   “Something wrong?” Colette asked nonchalantly.

   “Just a really shitty work problem,” Dylan answered. “I really don’t want to talk about it. Where’s Colin?”

   “He’s in the back with Parker,” Kat pointed to the door. “They are making some new sort of scones and we’re gonna be his guinea pigs.”

   “Sounds like you’re all excited!” Parker said carrying out a tray of plates holding mini-scones.

   “They all smell really good,” Kat said. “So, what’s in them?”

   “That’s for you to guess!!!” Parker exclaimed placing the plates with the mini-scones to everyone.

   “So don’t eat yet,” Colin said walking out of the kitchen in his chef’s outfit and hat. “Let’s wait for everyone to get stuff.”

   “We won’t,” Alex promised looking at each scone.

   “Do you want to join us Dylan?” Colin asked Dylan, sitting in a chair away from everyone.

   “It’s fine,” Dylan answered sipping his coffee. “You guys can do it without me. I’m not really hungry anyways.”

   “Ok, well let’s get started,” Parker clapped his hands together. “So removed the Orange flag from the scone and enjoy!” Everyone ate the scone.

   “It’s REALLY good,” Willa answered. “I can taste Honey and a hint of orange, but there is something else I can’t put my finger on.”

   “Yeah,” Alex added. “What ever the added flavor is, it’s keeping everything in balance.”

   “This is our OOH Scone,” Colin stated. “It’s main ingredients are Orange Blossoms, Orange Pekoe and Honey.”

   “Orange Pekoe, as in the tea?” Colette asked.

   “Yes,” Parker answered. “We realized that adding the tea to the batter keeps the flavors in perfect harmony, plus keeping the scones moist and adding great flavors.”

   “So what’s the next one?” Willa asked.

   “Eat the scone with the white flag,” Colin replied.

   “So, this is the French scone?” Kat asked jokingly.

   “Whatever it is, it has a vanilla flavor, but tastes a bit like a stilton,” Colette answered.

   “The apricots are a nice touch too,” Kat pointed out.

   “And I recognize this tea,” Willa answered. “What is it??? What is it??? I know it... It’s Ceylon!”

   “Very Good!” Parker exclaimed. “You definitely have a taste for tea! This one is Vanilla Bean, Apricots and Ceylon”

   “Ok, ok, what’s the last one??” Alex said impatiently.

   “Well, this is Parker’s signature scone,” Colin replied. “You can all remove the blue flag.”

   “This one’s peculiar,” Kat pointed out. “I can taste the Darjeeling tea and the blueberries, but what is this other flavor?”

   “That taste,” Colette said. “I remember it from back in Montreal. I forgot it’s english name, but is it des cassis?”

   “Oui! Absolutement!” Colin replied. “That is black currants for all you non-French speakers.”

   “Wow, just... wow!” Willa exclaimed. “This is the best of them all. It’s truly amazing!”

   “Well, we will be rolling out these new scones in the next week or so,” Colin announced. “Does everyone have any objections to these three scones being sold?”

   “Nope, they’re all amazing!” Kat answered.

   “DO EET!” Colette replied.

   “I’d buy them!” Willa said. “But I’d still eat the éclairs!”

   Parker and Colin looked at each other and Parker said, “This will be the greatest thing since Colin added fruit sauces to the éclairs!”

Kat and Colin were sitting on the couch next to Dylan’s chair. Kat was reading and Colin was dozing off into blank space until he realized that Dylan seemed to not be feeling his normal self.

   “What’s happening Dylan?” Colin asked concerned.

   “Huh, what?” Dylan asked.

   “Apparently you broke your phone,” Colin pointed out. “You only break things when something terrible happens.”

   “Oh, yeah that,” Dylan said. “I was on the phone with the engagement partner at KPMG.”

   “And what did he have to say???” Colin asked.

   “It seems that one of the externals on the engagement found some material misstatement in the receivables and it seems that management has been creating non GAAP reserves that violate various SEC laws as well as a few sections of SOX,” Dylan poured out.

   “I always thought that Costco was the socially responsible company that didn’t do stuff like that,” Colin replied.

   “It seems so,” Dylan answered. ‘That’s why I like it. But now it seems that I’m going to be on the phone with the SEC and the audit committee all next week. So much for my vacation.”

   “Yeah, that really sucks,” Colin agreed. “Has the CEO filed the right forms with the SEC yet?”

   “No, he wants me to take a look at the problem tomorrow before they send the file,” Dylan answered. “I just don’t want to deal with it.”

   “Well, I’ll let you get back to your restful few moments,” Colin said. “It looks like it’s gonna be a bumpy next few days.”

   “Tell me about it,” Dylan replied rolling his eyes and sitting back in his chair.

   “Well, it looks like I have more trouble to deal with,” Colin said watching Sean walk through the door and walk to the counter.

   “So... where’s this girl you were talking about?” Colette asked.

   “She’s... I have no clue,” Sean replied quietly and a downtrodden face. “I really liked her. She could’ve been the one. She left me a message on my phone this morning saying, ‘we need to talk’.”

   Parker covered his mouth and gasped, “UH OH BRO!”

   “Yeah, it’s the worst thing a guy wants to hear,” Colette said. “I know I’ve said it a few times.”

   “Oh, you,” Alex said sarcastically.

   “Relationships are totally lame,” Colette scoffed.

   “Well, that’s coming form someone who just got out of a relationship that really sucked,” Parker snipped back.

   “No, duh Sherlock!” Colette said taking out a scone for a customer.

   “You know it’s not that nice to do that,” Willa said. “Colette has been through a lot, right?”

   “You should have seen her this morning?” Sean answered suggestively. Colette just slapped Sean.

   “COLIN!” Colette said irritated. “Your pervert brother is up to no good again!”

   “WHAT!” Sean angerly replied. “It wasn’t much harm at all.”

   “Ok you two, simmer down,” Colin replied softly, but firmly. “We shall NOT repeat what happened this morning! GOT IT?”

   “Yes,” Colette replied back in her normal tone.

   Sean did not say anything. He wasn’t even looking at everyone. He was looking out the window. No one really noticed until Parker looked up.

   “Look,” Parker pointed out.

   Everyone looked out at the direction that Sean was looking at. There was a beautiful, red-haired woman looking back in through the window, directly at Sean, with an look of displeasure on her face.

   “Who’s the girl?” Willa asked, rejoining the group after napping in her chair.

   “Colleen?” Sean asked quietly.

   Colleen ran inside the café and said in a New York accent, “I can’t believe you haven’t returned my calls. I just want to talk with you, it’s not that big of a deal.”

   “But you said ‘We need to talk’!” Sean justified his actions. “That usually means that you want to break up with me.”

   “I DON’T want to break up with you!” Colleen answered quite irked, then her shoulders relaxed and she smiled. “I just wanted to tell you... ... I love you.”


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