Coffee with Jamie

She nursed the cup of tangy liquid, staring into its dark depths. The steam rose and warmed her cheeks as she ran a slender finger round its dirty white rim. She looked around intently, the cafe was brightly coloured, whites and blues mostly; so different from the bloodbox. The bloodbox was mostly metal, blood and dark other than a few lights that still worked and others just flickered on and off. The tables were white plastic and bolted to the floor, as were the chairs which were made from an equally dull blue plastic. The floor was covered in a cheap linoleum tile which alternated in white and grey squares.

The counter was placed in the middle of the chairs and waited on both sides. Both staff working there looked bored as they chatted loudly, only a few people sat in the cafe but it soon filled up as it became later and more people started taking breaks. Because of this a deep sigh came from the female waitress as she realised she actually had to do something. She wore a neat blue apron, black trousers and white shirt. Her clean blonde hair hung in a ponytail down her back, this was all Lilly was able to observe before the waitress began to look at her between every customer.

"Is there anything I can do?" She said after a while of pondering what to say.

"Like what?" He asked taking another sip or his second coffee, while she was still on her first.

"I dunno; perhaps keep you company... or stay away if you'd rather?"

"You could join my gym."

"Would you like me too?"

"I like it when anyone joins my gym. I get more money."

"Then I will anything else?" He shrugged and she continued, "I tend to rely more on my flexibility than strength and I only ever have two days off each week; today and tomorrow. But I will still pay you for the whole week."

“Do what you like.” He shrugged again.

“You know what, I never asked. What’s your name?”

“Jamie.” He replied as Lilly finally took a sip of her coffee.

“Well, Jamie, I cannot stress how sorry I am, in fact... I will pay off all your bills for this month; then when the new month starts I will pay you every week your normal membership charges. I know this won't help but it's the least I can do." She drank the rest of her coffee in one gulp.

He looked at her, just momentarily shocked into silence."Right... tell me, you said you're normally not sorry about who you kill. So why are you all sorry about Sam?"

"You know what. I wasn't, I lied." She nodded truthfully; she braced herself for what would come after she finished but continued. "But the more I said it the more I realised I was. I had gotten used to killing so much that all the faces blurred together. I never knew their names even. But when I finally put a name to a face I finally realised what I was doing."

“Uh-huh.” He stared at his coffee, absently stirring it.

“You’re not angry?” She was shocked, expecting a stronger retaliation.

“Sam knew what he was doing when he signed up. And I’m too tired to be angry.” He let out a long sigh.

She looked at him, “you should get some sleep.” She advised, although she could not sleep herself. Not after realising how selfish she had been. She had spilt so much blood just for some stupid inheritance?

"I can't sleep at home. I tried last night."

"Then... you can sleep at mine? I'll be training tonight anyway."

"No, but thanks anyway."

"You need to sleep, Jamie."

"I keep the gym open late at night. I'll go to sleep in the office, no doubt. Don't worry about me."

"That is no way to sleep!" She sighed. "I suppose I understand though."

"I have to keep the place open for nutters like you," he grumbled, ripping open a sweetener sachet.

"Thanks for that." She blinked twice, before laughing slightly. "I'm not a nutter."

"Sure about that?" he muttered under his breath.

"Yes!” She exclaimed, before lowering her tone slightly. “I was just... blind."

"Blind...?"

"Blinded by greed, by love..." She trailed, gazing absently out the window.

He looked up at her, "love?"

"Yeah, I loved my father, I longed to please him. You can see where I am going?" She asked, not wanting to continue.

Jamie shrugged, not really seeing, but he didn't want to ask if she didn't want to tell. "Sure. But y'know... you can see why I call you people nutters. Can't you?"

"Yeah, but we all have different reasons, some people need money, some want to die." She shrugged.

"In fact I don't even know why I'm here."

"There's a better way of committing suicide than sticking yourself in a mirrored box with a murderous opponent. It's called jumping off a block of flats."

She narrowed her eyes. "I see your point." She replied after a long while of vicious thoughts. "So, why are you talking to me anyway? I mean, why did you follow me when I left?"

"I didn't know when I was following you, but last night I realised I couldn't face the hole Sam has left in my life; even if it meant talking to the one who killed him."

"You expect me to fill that hole?" She wondered incredulously.

“No. Nothing can fill it as such. Just ignore it for a while.”

The thin line of chatter that lined the air of the cafe made their voices become more hushed. Lilly could feel people staring at her. She shook them off. “I’m really not the right person...” She trailed; she could see the woman serving was still looking at her between customers.

"Oh really?" his tone became sarcastic. "I hadn't noticed. But really, who else am I gonna talk to? I mean... There's Adam, the trainer guy who was talking to me earlier, but it wouldn't be any different to talking to you - you're all in the sport. Everyone in here is, in a way." he pulled a face, disgusted at himself.

The End

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