The bakery was just beginning to wind down from the lunch rush leaving two winded employees behind the counter. “Let’s go out tonight.” Indigo decided while stretching their arms high above their head. “Oh yeah? Where?” Mari asked, busy putting fresh pastries in the display. “The usual?” Indigo offered. Mari was squinting to better clean out crumbs when she laughed, “Okay. Which one though?”
Just then a man walked into the shop. “Oh god. Can you take this one? He’s such a pain the ass.” Indigo mumbled, moving around Mari to take over the display. “Yeah. Why?” Mari whispered though she never received an answer. The man was already waiting. Stepping over to the register Mari put on a smile. “Welcome! What can I help you with today?”
The man wasn’t that much taller than her with a sullen expression seemingly etched permanently on his features and bleak eyes staring down uninterested. “Black coffee, but not too bitter.” His voice was deep almost sounded…compressed to her. “…Okay.” Mari began to ring him up, “Do you have any allergies? She cast him a brief glance. “No.” He answered plainly. Mari nodded to herself and finished ringing him up, but before she could even announce the total he was already handing over money. “-Thanks,” Mari smiled, “It’ll be right up.” Leaving to brew his coffee she felt Indigo at her side. “Black coffee, but not too bitter?” Mari bit her bottom lip while running her eyes across possible additives. “And he has no idea what he likes. Every time it’s a shit show.” Indigo rolled their eyes, “Good luck.” Indigo quickly stepped away to help the next customer leaving Mari to fend for herself.
“Okay!” Mari popped up at the end of the counter with a cup in hand. “One black coffee, but not too bitter.” Handing over the cup she watched him take a sip to get…no response. He simply walked away and left. “I guess it was okay then?” She murmured to herself. “You won’t know until next time you try to take his order.” Indigo pipped up. “Well then…” Mari shrugged, “I’m going to assume I knocked it out of the park.” She clicked her tongue for emphasis. “Mhm. Just wait. I’ve been trying to make the perfect blend for over a month now.” Indigo sighed. “There. There.” Mari gave them a pat on the shoulder. “Oh, piss off.” Indigo chuckled before getting back to work.
“I’ll meet you there!” Mari waved Indigo off before heading to the underground and catching a train home. Several flights of stairs later she stood in the entryway of her pride and joy of an apartment. Walking through the short entry hall it opened into a single room with a kitchen to the left and a small dining set up between the kitchen and the wall opposite the door. The wall ran the entire length of the apartment with two large windows overlooking the street below. In sight of the first window was a couch with it’s back facing the kitchen and a chest like table in front of it. Between the two windows was her television and in sight of the second window stood her king sized bed flush against the far wall. Across the windows were her bathroom and a shallow, but long closet. The appliances were a bit dated, but she didn’t care. All she’d ever wanted was brick and view of something- anything.
Making her way over to the bathroom she peeled off her bakery clothes and hopped in the shower. Wrapping a towel around herself she wiped the steam off the mirror to see the same old face staring back at her. Dark, almond shaped eyes with brown skin and rose gold curls. She tip toed out of the bathroom to quickly draw the curtains closed before shifting though her clothes. Mari had nearly finished perfecting her eye liner when her phone buzzed. Grabbing it off the counter she tried not to roll her eyes at the name.
Mari tapped the side of her phone thoughtfully before putting it down and getting back to the task at hand. “Let’s not slide down that rabbit hole again…” She murmured to herself. Once finished she made her way back towards the underground.
“Okay. Okay.” Indigo waved their hands. “But do get what I mean by that raw, animalistic kind of love?” Their voice carried across the bar top. “Are you asking me from a sexual perspective? Or an emotional one?” Mari asked. “Hmm…Good question. I guess from either? I certainly wouldn’t mind both.” Indigo chuckled. “You say that, but” Mari raised a colorful glass to her lips for a sip, “wouldn’t it get old? I mean, in the movies it only works because they eventually show a softer side, right?” She stabbed her pineapple slice with a toothpick to take a bite. Indigo nodded, “Listen, it’s all about what you’re looking for-” “And what we’re looking for changes all the time.” Mari cut in with a smirk, “Are you saying you’re looking for a good fuck session? Because we can arrange that, you know.”
Indigo sighed. “It’s harder than you think.” They stirred their drink dramatically. “Really?” Mari perked a brow, “But who could ever resist your charms?!” Purposefully making her voice high she grinned. “You’re such an ass.” Indigo chuckled. “Yes, but I’m you’re favorite ass.” Mari winked. “You never answered my question.” Indigo reminded her. “Oh gosh…” Mari groaned, “I’d give it a shot, but life isn’t a Twilight fan fiction so…I’m not holding my breath on it.” She summed up before finishing off her drink.
“Well I’m not going to throw in the towel.” Indigo tossed back their drink and scanned the room. “I’ll be back.” In a moment they were lost in the crowd leaving Mari to turn to the bartender. “Can we get another around?”
Hours later the two were strutting down the street on their way home with tacos in hand. “Who’s place are we crashing at?” Indigo asked between bites. “Definitely mine. I live closer.” Mari laughed, breaking off from Indigo to twirl around, “So did you find your animalistic love tonight?” She asked mid spin. “I can’t nail it on the first try. It’s a delicate process.” Indigo explained as if they were describing a fine wine. “Ahuh.” Mari waved them off. “IT’S A PROCESS!” Indigo yelled, running up to grab her from behind. “OKAY. OKAY.” Mari burst out laughing, “LET’S GO.”
Indigo slumped down on the couch with a sigh. “Water me.” They held a hand out without opening their eyes. “On it.” Mari made a full glass and placed it in their hand “Drink on up.” Walking over to the windows she pulled the curtains shut before heading into the shower. By the time she got out Indigo was passed out leaving her to finish her own glass and head to bed.
ONE WEEK LATER
The two were working in the bakery when Indigo nudged Mari. “Look who’s baaack. Time to find out if you really ‘knocked it out of the park‘.” Indigo smirked. Mari scrunched her nose, “Time to see if you knocked it out of the park.” she mimicked before putting on a smile just as Indigo pretended to be busy. “Hello again. Black coffee, but not too bitter?” She asked. Everything about the man was exactly the same as last week from his expression to his posture to his eyes- only his clothes changed. “Yes. Not as sweet as last time.” Once again he held out payment before she could say anything. “Oookay.” Mari ignored the barely concealed snort from her friend, “It’ll be right up.” With her back to the customers she tried to brainstorm. “…Looks like you can now join the club.” Indigo teased. “Shut up. I got rid of the bitterness.” Mari pointed out with a smirk. “Mhm. Mhm. Sure.” Indigo nodded profusely before leaving her to attempt the mission.
THREE WEEKS LATER
“…Another fail, hmm?” Indigo whispered, resting their chin on Mari’s shoulder as she practically stared through the ingredients. “You know; I’m going to keep a cool head about this. We’re just on a journey to find the perfect mix…and I’m going to find it.” Mari murmured. “That sounded a bit obsessive…” Indigo gently pointed out. “It’s fine.” Mari gave them a wink, “I got this.”
SEVEN WEEKS LATER
“You want me to give it a try?” Indigo offered. “Does he comes every day and do the same thing?” Mari spoke as if she hadn’t heard the questions. “Uh. Pretty much.” Indigo admitted. “Fucking ridiculous.” Mari mumbled, crossing her arms over her chest. “I could tell you what I’ve tried so far?” Indigo peeked over at the man who seemed completely unaware. “No. I can do this.” Mari took a deep breath. “It could all be in the ratios.”
EIGHT WEEKS LATER
“Less of a vanilla taste?” Mari repeated his words back to herself. “You’ve gotta let this go. I just get annoyed, but you’re like- invested.” Indigo gave her a pat on the back. “It’s literally impossible. There’s no pleasing him.” Mari whisper-yelled before spinning around, “I’m going to confront him.” She decided. “Mari do not confront him.” Indigo murmured. The words fell on deaf ears; however, and Mari walked to the edge of of the counter. “Sir.” She smiled, waving him over. The moment he stepped up she just began vomiting words. “Hi. Are there particular flavors you like? Clearly not vanilla, but you know…just some sort of flavor to maybe work with?” Mari attempted to smother her frustration with lots and lots of kindness. Too bad her kindness was met with the same expression. “Not bitter.”
Indigo thought Mari was going to reach across that counter and drown him in fresh brew. “That’s not a flavor, but I’ll get it done.” Mari bit the inside of her cheek before turning around to get to work. Indigo merely pretended not to pay attention while trying not to laugh. When Mari returned with a fresh cup she was expecting him to try it, but instead he just went on his merry way.
“I guess you’ll have to wait a week to find out.” Indigo snickered. Mari rested her head on the counter. “You’d think someone who’s that particular would at least give feedback immediately.” She grumbled.
THE NEXT DAY
Indigo was working the counter the next morning when they looked up to see the infamous customer. “Morning. The usual?” They reflexively held one hand out for the cash while the other rang in the order. “Yes. The way the girl from yesterday made it.” The man’s words almost made Indigo rear back. “Did you say the girl from yesterday?” Indigo looked at him like he was crazy. “Yes.” The man stated, pre-coffee irritation starting to seep through. “…Okay…” Indigo’s voice came out a bit strained as panic set in a little. Several minutes later Indigo handed over a cup. “I don’t know how she did it, BUT I’ll find out.” Indigo assured him with an smile- it was not returned. As soon as the man was gone Indigo took out their phone and shot off a message.
Mari had just finished checking her work emails when her phone buzzed.
Indigo: how did u make it last time? u BEAT him
“Hell yeah!” Mari punched the air before realizing several coworkers were looking in her direction. “I uh…I beat the level I was on.” She shrugged it off with a brief laugh. Turning back to her phone she sent a gif of someone saying to ‘bow down’.
Indigo rolled their eyes after opening the message. “Not an answer.”