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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 30, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 30, 2016



Dave took his coffee over to where he wanted to sit, his favourite seat in the café was free. “Yas!” Making sure to choose a table with two seats and not three or God forbid Four seats. It was bad enough that he had no choice but to take up a table with two seats, 100% more seating than he actually needed but it was the best he could do. People wouldn’t see how considerate he was being though. They would get their own coffee, pay and then look out over the seating area and before long notice Dave.


“Look at that ignorant cunt” they would mutter under their breath to their respective partner.


“There’s only one of him and he’s taking up all that fucking space”.


But he really, really liked coffee. Especially drinking it in coffee shops. So he pushed that thought to one side and took the first sip and settled right into his comfy chair. You weren’t supposed to care about what other people thought anyway. Letting strangers control your emotions like that was silly. The café was getting busy though, it was lunch time. Maybe he should have come at an off peak time when there would be less people. Then he would be less likely to take up space. Nah. Stupid. If people taking up more chairs than they needed was actually a problem he would have heard about it by now. The cafe would have signs up. Or they would put out those single chair/table combo things where the table folds down. It’s up to them to make things better not me, he thought. Realising he was a little tense Dave relaxed himself. He took a sip of coffee. Strong!


The coffee shop was dead busy now. He liked it like that. Listening to the all the voices mixed in together making that soft murmuring din. From where he was sitting he could see, on the opposite side, the till area. He watched as one couple, boyfriend and girlfriend he assumed, ordered and payed for their coffee. He watched them approach the sitting area, the guy was holding the tray with their coffees. Dave watched as they both scanned the sitting area. In a panic Dave began looking about the café. All the tables were taken! Not only that. He was the only single person taking up two seats.


“So fuck!” He reasoned to himself.


"They should check before they order the coffee it’s their own fault. Anyway, there’s a family of three over there siting at a table for four. Why don’t they ask them to move? Because, he realised with a sinking feeling, when the couple sit down at the family’s table, they’ll be a two at a table for four. Even worse! Plus, that family has a child. That probably works in the family’s favour when it comes to who’s entitled to what. What if that couple actually come over and ask me to move? Dave wondered. Where will I go? Sit down with the family in the spare seat? Just stand up and drink my coffee? Maybe I’ll go sit in the fucking toilet."


“Calm down” He told himself.


“Getting all worked up over nothing.”


Dave tried to keep one eye on the couple. He felt a bit ridiculous but he couldn’t help himself.


“It’s just how I am”. Thought Dave


It wasn’t long before the boyfriend’s eyes locked onto where Dave was sitting.


“No way” Dave thought in amazement.

“Is he actually staring at me?”


Dave glanced up pretending he was only absentmindedly looking about the café.  The couple were talking to each other now and not looking at Dave. The girl looked exasperated. She spoke to the boyfriend while one hand gestured in Dave’s direction.


“Surely not” Dave thought and could feel his adrenaline rising.


Dave took a rather large gulp of his coffee and fixed his gaze in the opposite direction from the couple. His thinking was that if they didn’t know that he had noticed them then they wouldn’t expect him to give up his table.


“Excuse me” a female voice said. To Dave’s ears, a touch of arrogance resonated.


A tap on the shoulder at the same time took Dave by surprised and spiked his adrenaline. He looked up and into the faces of the couple. “This is fucking ridiculous” he thought and nearly said it out loud. He didn’t say anything, however He just continued to stare. The man, Dave considered, had a big dumb face. The woman had a prettiness that was somewhat negated by her apparent attitude.


She continued.

“Hi, sorry but there’s two of us and there’s no seats left could you move please?”


One sentence flew across Dave’s mind “the entire world has lost its mind”

Dave spoke up eventually after an effort to regain his composure.

“Ummm… not really to be honest” His voice was reasonable. People were starting to pay attention to them.


The woman tried to match Dave’s tone with her reply but the irritation that tinged her voice was clear.

“It’s not really right that you’re taking up 2 seats though is it?”


Dave was starting to feel a little threatened at this point. Probably due to the fact that he was still sitting down.


“Look” he said, getting out of his chair and standing up. The couple had to make space for him, they had been that close.

With his hands up at his chest, palms facing towards the couple Dave tried to level with them. He spoke a little louder this time to make sure those around them heard. Even if they were pretending not to listen. He was sure they would be on his side if push came to shove.

“It’s not my fault there are no seats and I was here first. Being honest I think it’s pretty rude to come over and ask me to move”


She spoke up again even more loudly than Dave had and this time barely containing her anger.

“Well you’ve obviously been here for ages already”

She pointed at Dave’s mug which was less than half full looking as if she thought this was her trump card. She folded her arms giving Dave a smug sneer.


"How long I’ve been here doesn’t matter and my stay doesn’t end with the last sip of coffee either." Dave responded.


Out of nowhere an old lady made her voice heard.

“I think you’re in the right”. She said nodding at the girl.

“He’s been here about half an hour already it’s not like he’s meeting up with a friend or anything. The staff should be keeping an eye on things like that.”

An old lady who sat opposite the one who just spoke nodded along in agreement.


“What the fuck is going on?” thought Dave as he stared incredulously at the old woman.


He was beginning to wonder how long he was going to entertain this madness before he would sit down and completely ignore them all. Maybe until the café closed just to prove a point. Then the boyfriend chimed in.


“Look mate can you not just finish the last of your coffee it’s probably only like one gulp and move on. You’re causing a bit of a scene.”


Dave wondered if the guy actually thought he was right or if he was just scared of this mad bitch who may or may not be his girlfriend and was trying to look tough. He really did have a big dumb face and a slow dumb way of talking. Dave instantly hated him and had had enough at this point. Placing both hands together as if in prayer.


“No”. He said simply.


A quick movement from the girl almost caught Dave off guard. She had tried to commandeer one of the seats at the table. Dave realised what was happening and stepped in front of her.

“Put that down on the table” she said. Motioning to the guy with the tray. He obeyed with just a hint of hesitation.

“Sit down on the chair” she hissed, exasperated at how slow the guy was to register the situation. He sat down.

“There, it’s our table now” she said getting a little too close to Dave’s face. He was still stood in between the girl and the other chair.


“Move” she said.


Dave just stood there looking around at everyone else. Surely someone can see how absurd all this is. But anyone that was paying attention only stared back blankly even expectantly. An internal rage was beginning to take hold of Dave but he remained outwardly composed. The girl now tried shoving herself between Dave and the chair. He blocked her with a forearm, easily, giving her a gentle nudge. The girl stumbled back clearly exaggerating the force of the push.

“How dare you fucking touch me! You all saw that. That’s fucking assault”. Then directed at the boyfriend “Are you just gonna sit there and let him lay a hand on me?”


The boy was already getting out of his chair.

“Look mate I can’t let you do that” he put one hand on Dave’s shoulder.


That was enough. Dave didn’t wait another second before driving the heel of his palm hard and fast, upwardly into the boys chin. Lights out. Anticipating a violent response from the girl he turned bringing the opposite hand in a fist hard across her temple and watched her crumple to the floor. A flicker of movement out the corner of Dave’s eye had his body reacted without so much as a single thought. He spun connecting with a forearm hard on the old lady’s face. The poor thing, Dave realised, was only trying to escape the violence. Yet there she lay, unconscious and wetting herself.


Dave stood, glanced around at the stunned silence which filled the café, took out his phone and called an ambulance.


A hefty fine in the end for Dave but he had the money. That’s how he paid for a good lawyer. PTSD, you see. A 12 week course of anger management as well. Worth it.

© Copyright 2018 Stuart Carroll. All rights reserved.

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