He creaked open the wooden door and walked into the little coffee shop. Small, yes, but only in size. The name embossed over the window and the logos on the mugs identified that the young man had walked into one of a large chain. Security, rather than risk was what he needed in his coffee. Harrison walked to the counter and glanced at the menu, only to ensure he had enough change. A skim of the tables told him that it wasn’t peak hour, but rather just after. Empty chairs left ajar at tables with dirty cups and plates showed that it had been busy and the staff were running behind on their chores. Three customers remained in the shop; an elderly couple sitting by window, sipping their coffee in silence; and a girl with her head down in a novel, the crumbs from her sandwich remaining on her plate with a pot of tea to its side.
Harrison smiled at the boy at the counter and gave him his order – cappuccino, medium, 2 sugars – and glanced at the pastries, but decided against it. As the cashier plugged the order into the computer, the young man couldn’t help but notice the bags around his eyes. It was nearly half three in the afternoon, the boy must have started early. He was far too young to be of any position of management, it couldn’t be the stress that had caused his tire.
“Nearly home time?” Harrison asked.
“Nah, just been in an hour or so” prompted the cashier.
Ah, of course. Not an early riser, just an average student.
Harrison took the sign with his order number and turned to choose a seat. Against the wall, facing the outside so he could play psychic to passers by. He pulled out the chair, unintentionally making far too much noise in the process. The girl with the novel looked up, smiled, adjusted her book and returned to it. Harrison noticed the title – Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins – and smiled.
“Any good?” he broke the silence once again.
The girl looked up and gave a polite grin and nodded.
“Better than the first” she returned, her eyes flicking to the pages.