April rain washes away the sins of sinners, the weight of despair, and the impurities of the soul,
And it was that very mantra my rubber boots radiated as they walked over to Bernie’s one April morning.
I tagged along,
The grizzled bells chimed cacophonously as I opened the door, running my calloused, fidgety fingers against its dull scratches. I was immediately submerged into the heavenly aromas of vanilla and mocha: a struggling college student’s nirvana.
Nellie smiled, taking my order with a simple nod and the batting of thick flaky eyelashes. I guess you could say I’ve been here a few times.
I slid into my booth, the one in the far left corner. Where the chipped green paint is hidden shamefully behind a poorly-hung painting. Where the upholstery of the seat has deteriorated to the point where it’s texture resembles the red rock beaches of Tasmania. Where the heater murmurs softly and the chilled film on the window is perfect for drawing on. I used to do that as a child, drawing mustaches and then running outside to the other side of the glass to pose behind them. My dad would heartily chuckle from inside, and scratch his salt-and-pepper beard with his crooked pointer finger. To me, I was Charlie Chaplin, but to him I was simply his daughter, making a fool of herself, without a care in the world.
Nellie sat the hot cup in front of me. I closed my lukewarm eyes and took a sip.
The sugary poison slid down my sensitive throat, tingling my taste buds and thawing my hollow inside. I opened my eyes,
and there he was.
Smiling and laughing,
emitting his famous,
inescapable aura of light and-
He left as quickly as he came.
A dollar on the table.
A mustache drawn hastily onto the window’s film.
I’ll be back next April.
FIARA LLAGUNO is a fifteen-year-old sophomore student in the Bay Area. Fiara enjoys writing flash fiction, short stories, and poetry, but her other hobbies include swimming and playing the ukulele. She lives with her parents and two younger brothers.