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He ducked through the door, and they headed down the hall, hand in hand. “Alrighty, first new neighborhood adventure! What are we looking for, what is our goal?” He stepped out into the crisp fall air and took a deep breath. “I’d say something warm, it’s a bit chilly out here.”

Angela nodded. “I agree, we must keep up our strength in these cold, unforgiving months.” She tried desperately to keep a serious face, but despite all her efforts, it crumbled away into giggles, and she dropped the adventurer’s facade. “Let’s try going left! I think I smell the faint aroma of baked goods, and I’m starving.” She held up a dollar bill. “I found it under that couch while we were moving it, should be enough for a donut or something. Man, as soon as I get a better job, everything’s going up!” She started skipping down the sidewalk, beckoning for him to follow her. “Hurry up!”

He jogged after her, laughing. “Alright, alright, I’m coming. So, what kinda place we looking for? Coffee shop? Bakery? Combo of the two, a coffee shop with pastries?”  He grinned. “What’re you thinking? Coffee’s on me.”

She stopped and thought about it. “Uh, coffee sounds amazing I’m still totally exhausted from staying up so late last night, and I’ve got a bunch of studying I need to do for my exam tomorrow. I see a shop over there across the road, whadda’ ya think about that one?” She pointed across the street at a rustic looking cafe, which the sign advertised as ‘The Coffee Corner’.

He shrugged. “Yeah sure. I mean, it’s not on the corner, so the name’s a bit odd, but can’t be too bad.” When he looked over to where Angela had stood, he realized she was already across the street.

“I’ll go order, you meet me soon as the light turns green again!” She grinned teasingly and disappeared into the shop.

When he finally got to the shop, she was already seated at the table, doodling on a napkin. “What’d you order?” He sat down and tried to look at what she was drawing. She quickly swept the napkin off the table into the trash and tucked the pen back into her pocket.

“I ordered a caramel milkshake thing for you because I know how much you love caramel, and I ordered myself a chocolate coffee-milkshake-thing with a ton of extra coffee stuff in it because I’m tired. Also, I got this!” She reached over to the seat next to her and picked up a heart-shaped red velvet cake. “Surprise date with cheesy dessert!” She grinned and passed him a fork.

“Caramel milkshake for ‘Cute Nerd’, and a chocolate-coffee milkshake for Angela!” As the barista called their drinks, Angela poked him with her fork. “That’s yours! I recall an offer of coffee being on you, and I spent what I brought on the cake? Luckily this place is ‘pay upon receiving the drink’!”

“You recall correctly, I’ll go get them! Also, ‘Cute Nerd’? Really?” He smiled and went to go get their drinks, chuckling.

As he paid, the cashier glanced over to the table, where Angela was waiting. “Cute nerd, ey? Sounds like you’ve got a keeper there.” She pointed towards the table, still talking. “Also, she’s been doodling a crap ton of hearts for the whole 3 minutes it took you to get here, just so ya know.” She held out a receipt, a heart-shaped cake pop, and a few coins. “Here’s your change and a cake pop for your girlfriend on the house, now scram and enjoy your date.” She waved her hand, dismissing him from the counter, and he wandered back to the table.

“Surprise!” He handed her the cake pop and her drink and sat down. “Is that an energy drink packet you’re mixing with your coffee?!”

She shook the last bit of powder from the bag into the cup and started stirring it in with her straw. “Yep! Unflavored, so it doesn’t detract from the lovely chocolate. Wanna try some?” She held out the drink and took a bite of the cake.

“Try what? The cake or the drink? Cause only one of those is actually something I’d consider eating.”  He poked at the drink questioningly. “I don’t think I could handle that much caffeine.”

“Well, then sure, have some cake, I’ll just save all this beautiful energy juice for myself then!” She took a sip and passed him the cake. “I recommend you try that with the red velvet cake, it’s incredible.” She made a face as she took another sip of the coffee. “Whooo, that’s intense.”

“Wow, I’d never have guessed.” He took a sip of his own drink, and then held it out. “Wanna try something that actually tastes good?”

“Only if you try the extreme coffee.” She pushed it across the table, and grabbed his. “On three, we both try it. One, two-”

Adri interrupted. “Why are we counting down if what you’re trying isn’t terrible?”

She shrugged. “Cuz I don’t really like caramel. Anyways, three!”


They both took a sip, and immediately made near-identical faces of disgust.

“Alright, gimme my drink back, this stuff’s nasty. How do you even like this crap?” Angela shoved the caramel back across the table with a grin, grabbing her’s back as Adri dramatically scrubbed at his tongue with a napkin. “You could just wash the taste away with cake, you know.” She grabbed his fork and held out a bite. “Would taste better than the napkin for sure.”

He laughed, accepting the bite. “But the napkin has more of a dramatic flair, you’ve got to admit that.”

She put the fork down, laughing. “I guess I do. Hey, you’ve got a little something, right there…” She picked up a napkin and reached across the table to wipe a bit of frosting off his face.

Adri froze, quite certain his heart had stopped. “Uh, um, I, uh, thanks…” He fidgeted with the strings of his jacket, trying to fight off the blush rising to his face.

She giggled, leaning across the table, and poked his cheek. “You’re freaking adorable, have I told you that before? I feel like I haven’t, and I think you really need to know how insanely cute you are sometimes.”

He buried his face in his hands, blushing. “Um, no, I, uh…thanks?” His voice cracked at the last word, and he awkwardly laughed. “You too, you’re really pretty…” He looked up and glanced around, searching for something to change the subject too. “Uh, that, that painting is really cool, don’t you think?”

Angela laughed and turned to look. “Yeah, it is. A painting of a coffee bean in a beret is the epitome of cool…”, she sarcastically replied.

He scrambled for something better to say. “The, uh, the color scheme, is good, I was just saying, I figured cause of that art class you take, you’d, um, maybe find that interesting.”

She looked at it again, then shrugged and nodded. “Huh, I guess it is a pretty decent color pairing. Although, I would’ve gone with a slightly more red undertone on the black, but that’s from someone who’s only taken the one art class and never done any actual art.”

Adri quietly sighed in relief, having changed the topic. “That would probably improved it, you’re right!”

And so the afternoon flew by, as they chatted about nothing and drank their slowly cooling coffee.