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When Two Friends Connect In A Coffee Shop

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Brigitte Tohm Brigitte Tohm

My phone is buzzing. I am tempted to reach for it but I can’t, not where I am right now. I look at the time on my computer screen, just a few more minutes. I try to focus on the task at hand like a good adult but who am I fooling myself, I don’t possess such control and poise. I grab for my phone anyway and eagerly swipe to see her messages. They are coming quickly and I can’t read fast enough.

Hey! Have you left yet? Hurry up!

I look at the time and it’s finally the moment I’ve been waiting for, and I don’t waste a second. I am running towards the closing elevator, struggling to put my coat on the same time and not drop my bag. I reach it just before the doors close and momentarily lean back to catch my breath and send her a reply.

Just left, I tell her.

About time, she writes, meet me at the coffee shop.

I don’t reply, instead I rush out the door reading her incoming directions for guidance. I am navigating through the evening pedestrian herds, all these people embarking on the commute to home. But I am moving in the opposite direction with a different priority. Returning home isn’t as urgent. I have a more pressing concern, a rendezvous that is incredibly overdue.

I finally arrive at the setting of her choosing. I can see her through the glass windows, fidgeting with her phone with impatience. My phone keeps buzzing as she keeps sending me inquiring texts.

Where are you? she asks.

I’m here.

She looks up and finally spots me. She waves me over as I hurry towards over. There’s too much enthusiasm, too much excitement for proper welcoming exchanges. Instead, we instantly hug and start talking simultaneously. Neither of us can make out what the other is trying to articulate. We laugh at ourselves and take the seats across from each other. There’s already a cup for me, because she knew there was no time to waste. We dive right in, without restraint.

We speak of many things. We usually begin with work because we’re in that transitional phase of adolescents turning into adults. We talk about the pressures and daunting fears of navigating our careers. We talk about that annoying obligation to do small talk with co-workers we don’t care much for. We lament about all those deductions from our paychecks and the depleting amount left after taxes. We sound like our parents did growing up.

We talk about issues that never once crossed our minds. We debate the economical and the political and disagree over the solutions. We then retreat back to the personal. We share any developments in that department or lack thereof. We should bemoan but we don’t. Instead, we laugh about it and decide we’ll just grow old together. We then talk about our families and all of their encompassing difficulties. We go deeper now. Everything is out on the table. We’re unafraid. We share all that we bottled up for so long, all of those problems and all of the fears we felt we had to suppress around the strangers in our day to day. Not anymore though, we’re both an open tap of thoughts and confessions.

There’s a certainty here, in this space we’ve created. There’s a certainty that anything can be shared without repercussions. There’s a valiancy that only surfaces in these commonplace moments, during an undistinguished evening on a weeknight when two old friends reconnect over cups of coffee. TC mark

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