It was nearly empty, vacant tables dotting the walls, unfilled chairs skewed at odd angles from earlier departures.

I hooked my backpack over a deserted chair, choosing a table with a view, then stood waiting at the register.

A quick swirl of unruly blond hair caught my eye as a woman plunked herself down at my table.

I spun, reached a hand out towards her. “Oh!” I said, “You’re…”

“Yea, that’s your backpack, right?” her sharp tone sheared my sentence in half.

“Yes, I…”

“You don’t mind if I sit here while I wait for my drink, right?” snip, snip

I couldn’t help but glance at the bare tables on either side of her. Her tone was quick, snappy, brooking no nonsense. ‘Surely,’ the tone implied, ‘you won’t cause a fuss at my very reasonable request.’

“No, of course, that’s fine. Just didn’t know if you had seen my stuff,” I replied.

“Oh, yea, yea, I saw it,” she said rapid fire. Loose waves of blond hair spilled over her shoulders, uncontained, lawless. Loose top and flowing pants, brisk steps, hasty movements.

As I turned to order, they called her drink: “5 shots of decaf, iced, no milk”. By the time I was done, she was gone in a rattle of ice.

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