Caffeine Warmth in the Cold
A/N: Just a gift for @ink-fireplace-coffee for a prompt that she gave me. Just turned out a little longer than expected and I hope you see your prompt here. ^-^
Takes place in my contemporary WIP five years after college.
Word Count: 1153
The city carries on with the same energetic bustle despite the heavy snowfall. Each sidewalk is covered in frost crystals and footprints mark the coated streets. Most people would be choosing to stay home, however, some certain employees chose to attend to work of their own choosing.
Chantelle Barnett happens to be one of them.
It's even weirder that some of her co-workers did the same thing too.
Either they're here because their families' are busy or they have personal problems at home. It could be the only explanation for why people choose to work in the winter time.
Without their boss marching in and demanding their orders to be done, work has been silent as everyone did their task. Designing a new clothing line for the next winter, because this winter sent inspiration for the designs always looking for a new opportunity to explore.
Chantelle shivers, the room temperature sure to knock her down. If she brought a sweater instead of a cardigan, maybe it wouldn't feel this cold.
"You okay?" Rosington asks, stilling with the measuring tape in her palm.
"J-just f-fine," Chantelle answers through gritted teeth.
"Maybe we can take a break for lunch," the other woman suggests. "What do you think?"
She almost drops the threads of fabric, before catching it in a rush. She plasters a smile and nods.
"Sure, sounds great. I could use a nice warm drink."
"Great! Let's get back to stitching the dress together later."
Rosington practically disappears and she has to trail after her. She retrieves her coat and boots from the designated cabinet, where they keep their clothes after getting into the building. She puts the clothes on, immediately sheltered from the snow.
The other woman's ready in a winter get-up. Chantelle walks beside her as they leave the office to the hallway. They take the first elevator that they find. She blows a breath, watching it turn to brittle ice that falls apart in seconds.
She frowns at it, leaning against the side.
After the ride brings them down, they leave the premises and onto the snowy sidewalk. Chantelle zips up her coat as the cool breeze brushes on her skin.
She rubs her nose at the sensation. At the path they're taking, she sees a building up ahead that she recognizes.
A quaint coffee shop that she goes to, on break time everyday. It's no surprise that her co-worker knows about this place too. From the glass windows, she sees plenty of people and a long queue to the cashier. Damn it, they're going to take a while to wait for their order.
"I'm going to get hot chocolate since it's too cold right now," Rosington says, swinging the shop door open.
It's the blustering weather that lowers her body temperature. She sneezes in the cold, shaking her head.
"I'd like some coffee instead, please."
Rosington furrows her brows.
"You'd rather have coffee?"
"Yeah, uh, I need it to recharge," Chantelle answers, lowering her voice.
"No, you don't have to do anything," Rosington reassures, smiling with warmth that could melt the snow. "I can order for the both of us, okay? You can sit tight and wait until I get back."
Chantelle revels in the right temperature that the coffee shop offers. She's gonna take all the chance she can get to be far from the cold weather as possible.
As she finds an empty seating booth, she occupies it. She looks out the window, watching the shimmering snow gather outside. For something that's cold, it could melt so easily in a single warm touch.
While the snow might be too frigid for her preference, it didn't mean that she didn't have moments where she enjoyed it. Like the time, she used to initiate a snowball fight on her former best friend.
Or making snow angels on the backyard of her grandma's house.
"There you go," Rosington says, arriving with paper cups. "A warm espresso to-go for you, and hot chocolate for me."
Chantelle takes her drink. "Thank you. You didn't have to do this."
Getting lost in galaxies made of coffee may lift her spirits.
"No problem," Rosington replies, taking a seat. "It's a pleasure to help you out. You don't have to pay me back or anything."
Chantelle's face grows warm and she bows her head. She smiles a little.
"Why don't you take a day off, Rosington?" Chantelle asks, mixing her coffee. She watches the cream swirl like the cosmos dance out in space. "Don't you have a family to spend time with or something?"
The other woman's face falls. She sighs, leaning back on he seat.
Rosington stares at her hot chocolate. "My aunt's out of town, and I have nothing to do in my house. I could take rest and stay from work, but I don't like doing nothing. So, I decided to go because it'll give me something to exhaust me."
She raises her brows, crinkling her nose.
"You don't like being unproductive?"
"If you put it that way, I don't."
"Well, you have enough opportunities to do what you want outside of work. You should use it as an opportunity."
Rosington sighs, her face expressionless.
"Trust me, I don't deserve things like that. It's complicated, I'd rather be working all day than spend time at the house.
"Does it get lonely?"
"Most days? No, I'm not lonely." Rosington's shoulders slumps. "I have you and the others as company. I don't mind missing out on lots of things."
Chantelle takes a sip, then sets her cup down again. "It's hard to find a purpose after losing that one shot that you were given."
Oh, yeah, Chantelle does know about her co-workers fall from her previous career as a ballerina. Well, not much really. A few tidbits regarding some scandal that she couldn't remember nicely because she blocked it from her head. She has a similar experience as a song-writer for a famous rock star, who took her for granted. She thought getting out would be easy.
Unfortunately, she had been so wrong. And so miserable and crestfallen from the entire thing.
It makes sense that Rosington would hide her past then reveal it.
The silence let them take their time to enjoy their drinks. Chantelle slowly drink in the warmth of the goodness delivered from the coffee. The bitter aroma slips down her throat, enriching her taste buds.
She blinks and lets out a breath, fanning herself. Yup, now she's wide awake than she's been this morning.
When their drinks are drained and their cups get disposed, Rosington pays for their drinks. Chantelle does a head-start, walking out of the store. She clutches on the lapel of her coat.
The moment left her raw more than she'd like to admit.
They return to the office, staying silence on the whole way. If anything, words couldn't alleviate the secrets that the two of them concealed.