I'd Rather Be Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
First and foremost, let me start by stating that I hate romantic novels. I find them totally unrealistic to the point in which none of those novels could even be considered a work of realistic fiction. The story plots are so convoluted and the characters are so overly dramatic that there is no possible way that any of them could ever exist in our world. I said to myself if I was going to go through with writing a love story of any kind, it would be extraordinarily human. The story is about a man and woman who come from two totally different worlds and in a sense it would be socially unaccepted for them to be together. However, at no point in the story do they run away together, or have a secret wild love affair. If fact they don’t even share a kiss. Why you ask? Because they are so terrified by the idea of rejection and the social norm that it prevents them from pursuing the other. As a race, humans are so paralyzed by the concept of rejection that sometimes we don’t have the strength to overcome it, and I wanted this story to make a statement to whoever is reading it that it’s perfectly acceptable to be intimidated by not having your feelings return. However, don’t ever let that stop you from acting.

Submitted: August 08, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 08, 2012



Ch. 1 Gale Anderson in the Coffee Shop
Prologue:  January Present Day

The heating in my apartment is broken...again. It’s another sleepless night with over three layers of covers on my king size bed. After a few attempts at sleeping I simply gave up and stared away into the abyss of my ceiling. Yep. It’s still empty and dark. It was nights like this one that I wish I had someone laying next to me to hold. Damn it, I hate nights like this...it really has me thinking about everything. I’m a thirty-three year old man and I’m not getting any younger...I hadn’t had a single decent girlfriend in over two no- three years now...I don’t even have the time nor the energy to try and find one anymore. The girls  come into my life like their walking through a revolving door. There was only one that really ever stayed long enough. GOD!  It’s nights like this that I wish I could go back in time to that day. It’s nights like this that I wish I could change the past...It’s nights like this that I crave a cup of coffee...

January 20 four  years ago

I am without a doubt a total zombie. My eyes were like two sunken in landmines, and my hair was a complete mess. I didn’t even have the energy to get properly dressed so my tie is way too loose around my collar, also my socks don't match and my glasses are so foggy that it’s a miracle that I didn’t run over anyone on my way.
It’s so cold out today...can’t stand it...

Every Wednesday morning before I go to work I stop by this old coffee shop just a few blocks away from my real estate office in Midtown. It was an old rundown little shop that didn’t quite blend in with the major corporate vibe of the city, but the service was fast and friendly and the coffee was warm. Besides, the prices were considered rock bottom when compared to the Starbucks just up the road.

I walked through the door and picked up a newspaper on the  counter...the stocks were down again. I ordered the usual drink-a coffee with three extra shots of espresso (it was another long night down at the office).
“Hey, could I get a medium coffee with three shots of espresso? Oh, and can I get that chocolate muffin on the side.”
The girl at the corner smiled and responded in a friendly tone,“of course, would you like it for to go?”

“No thanks...it’s for here.”

“Alright then, your total is 3.50”

I handed the girl the money down to the last cent...I hated getting change in return. She took her time putting it into the cash register. Once she placed the last quarter into its proper compartment, she got started constructing my order. It was simple order but she took her time with it, every detail was done to perfection. The coffee had to be strided not once but exactly three and a half times, and the muffin couldn’t be presentable unless it was served with a  hint of cinnamon sugar on the top. However, the highlight of the composition was the leaf pattern that she added to the forum in coffee.

More than five  minutes had past and I was getting very impatient.

“God how long does it take to make a stupid cup of coffee....She’s the slow one.” I thought to myself

After another minute she presented me with a tray that looked like something you would order in one of those five star hotels with the chocolate on the pillows. The tray was embroidered with a Victorian style design which matched the rest of the coffee shops decor. The meal itself looked flawless in every sense of the word. However, at the moment I was too tired to pay any attention to the finer details, I simply took the tray and gave a weak smile.

“Thank you”, I said in a very irritated voice.

The girl behind the counter smiled once more and spoke in a warm voice, “you’re welcome, have a good day.”

I sat down at a table next to the window and continued to read  the paper.

The market is down again this month...this isn’t good. This would be another fall in the housing market this year...how depressing.  More foreclosures, more loans defaulting, and more corporations that have been found to be “cooking” their books at the expense of their employees.

After a quick read over of this disappointing news I took a sip of my coffee and bite of my muffin. I  dropped the newspaper...

God that’s good.

No- Good was an understatement, the coffee was warm, the perfect blend. The muffin was sweet, and the hint of cinnamon that the girl added, harmonized so brilliantly with the thickest of the coffee. I stared back at the girl who made the order. She was handing another customer their order and was about to greet the next one in line. The next customer was an elderly man wearing a thick white wool sweater and extremely thick reading glasses.She smiled at him as she did for me, the elderly man smiled back and place his order. Just as before, the girl took her time preparing his order with the utmost care. Once she was done she not only gave him his order with a smile, but she walked it to a table for him and handed him a copy of the newspaper.

I looked away when she passed by my  table on her way back to the front. After that I continued reading my newspaper and eating the rest of my  breakfast in silence.  

Ch2. Gale Anderson in the office

The drive to my office was a quick two minute distance  from the coffee shop, but once I left the and made a two right turns it was as if I entered an entirely different world. The buildings were tall and geometric, and my real estate firm was no different. I walked in  the front doors into the lobby and gave a small nod to the receptionist. I entered the elevator to the right and waited.  My department was on the ninth floor on the building otherwise known as the “no return department”. Most of the newer staff members work on this floor, but never for very long.
The office looked like a maze-a white endless maze of desk and personalized working areas, each one looking identical to the last. If it wasn’t for the numbers labeled at front wall  I would have never found my way to my work area.
I took a seat at my workstation and started working on the files that placed smack dab in the middle of my desk. The work that I had to do wasn’t too complex, in fact it was rather dull and brainless. I simply had to read all the legal files to make sure that the information was in order and if it was then he would make a call to make the confirmation and if it wasn’t then he put it back in the pile for further review. My other jobs consist of making power points and reviewing speeches for upcoming meetings along with a series of other odd task. However, I’m always the last one out of the building every night since I started. It has been three years now and I still haven’t gotten a promotion or any raise.
Today was an especially long day, the work just kept piling on. By the time I got out of the building it was already eleven o’clock at night. By now most of the diners in the area were closing for the night. As I got into my car I started to drive home. It wasn’t until I made the second left that I noticed the coffee shop still had its lights on. I made a sharp turn into the parking lot. Surprisingly enough there were still other people in the shop. It wasn’t until I reach the front door that I saw their new promotion written on the clear glass.

Now serving dinner until Midnight.

It was worth a try...besides I was starving...The lights were lit dimer than usual...I guess it’s to create that fancy diner vibe. I glanced over the specials for the night and I must admit I was quite impressed. They were serving meals like a smoked salmon sandwich and grilled chipotle chicken. It didn’t really matter to me how appetizing the meal sounded...at this point I’d eat anything.

I waited for about another minute, but I still didn’t see anyone at the front. It wasn’t until another couple of minutes till I saw a figure in the back. It was the same girl from before, and at that moment she noticed I was standing outside. She dropped whatever she was holding and came out almost immediately.

“I’m so sorry about that.” she said with a half smile.

“It’s fine”

“Anyways, welcome back sir. What can I get for you tonight.”

She remembered me.

“I think I will have the smoked salmon sandwich with a small cup of that caramel coffee.”
“Will that be all for you?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Alright, you total is 13.50, have a seat and once your order is ready I will bring it out for you.”



I sat at my usual spot next to the window away from everyone else. I thought that maybe I could get some more work done before Friday’s  meeting. However, I couldn’t even find the energy to set up my laptop or read another file, so I sat there staring down at the table. I bet to anyone else in the coffee shop I looked like a serial killer...I decided to spend possibly the only free time I had before I go home people watching. By the time I walked into the coffee shop more people started to go home, but there was still a good handful left. I noticed that most of them were couples...there was an older couple sitting two tables in front of my eating silently, but they seemed to enjoy each others company...I suppose once you have been married to someone for that long you aren’t expected to hold long conversation anymore...just the fact that you're with that other person is enough. To my right, I saw a couple of students sitting together with their laptops out. None of them really looked at each other but they were all talking about some kind of assignment involving citations of some sorts?
Another minute had passed and that girl came out with a order on another one of those fancy trays. She smiled and set the tray down right in front of me.


“Here you are, one smoked salmon sandwich and a caramel cup of coffee” she spoke with a constant smile on her round face.

Thank you.”, I tried to sound as happy as she did but my hunger got the best of  me.

“If there is anything else that you need please let me know,”with those parting words I was left with yet another beautifully crafted meal. I took my first bite into the sandwich and the rest was history.

I must have eaten the whole six inch sandwich in less than a minute because before the girl even got back to the front it was already half gone. However, I took my time drinking the coffee, and now that I had  some energy I pulled out my last file for the day and began reading.
Just my luck, the last file for today was by far the most complex situation, no proofs or copies of every vital piece of documentation. Yay! More work me! Than I heard a voice.


“Excuse me sir”, the voice spoke.
I put down my file and looked up. It was that girl again.


“I’m sorry sir, I don’t mean to rush you but the shop will be closing for the night in another fifteen minutes.”

I looked around and I was the only one left in the entire coffee shop...just me and that girl. What was her name? Oh right, it’s on her name tag. Brittany.

“Alright. Sorry, I’ll be leaving now.”

“No no, it’s fine. I’ll still be closing down the shop for a little while longer so you're in no hurry.”

“Are you sure?” I know what it’s like staying after longer, and I seriously didn’t want to keep her. Once again she flashed me that smile of hers.

“Yeah, you're fine”

“Ok, thanks so much Brittany.”


She looked confused for a moment. “Oh! I left my uniform at home today, so I borrowed this one from the back. No, My name is Nicki.”


“Oh sorry.” I felt like an idiot.


She didn’t respond, she just giggled and walked back to the storage room.


By the time I was done reading the file and sipping my cup of coffee in was already twelve-thirty. I picked up my things and left out the front door. When I got outside I was ambushed by the cold night air and howling winds of January. I made a run for my car and blasted on the warm air. It was so dark and quiet outside, but once the last lights in the coffee shop turned off I had a sudden feeling of pure loneliness.

Chapter 3 Gale in a Brief Period of Happiness

For the next few weeks or so dinning in late at that old coffee shop became almost a nightly ritual. I got off work later and later than ever before and it showed in everything I did. I didn’t have the energy to go out with friends on the weekends anymore. To be honest, I didn’t even have the energy to sit and watch TV. The second I got home I would get ready for bed and past out from exhaustion. I was like a walking corpse, drained of any life...living off of four hours of sleep and coffee.
The only day of the week that I had come to enjoy was Wednesday. It was the one day that I could have a moment to relax to myself. In the mornings the coffee shop played really mainstream indie music to attract all the young college hipsters (I know, ironic). I walked in around 8 a.m. as usual and grabbed the newspaper off the rack, and was about to place my order. Today there were two girls at the front counter, one of them was Nicki and the other was a new girl. Due to Nicki’s slow pace I ended up getting called to the other girl’s line.

“I can take the next customer!”, she called out (obviously directed towards me).

“Hi, can I get a large dark coffee two shots of espresso?”

“Alright, will that be all?”

“...and can I get that blueberry muffin as well?”

“Of course. Your total is 3.45”

I handed her the money and she got to work on my order as quickly as possible I turned glanced away for a brief moment and when I looked back my order was ready.

“Oh, thank you.”

“Have a good day.”

“Thanks. You too.”

I sat down in my usual spot and followed my daily routine: Read the morning paper and eat my breakfast. I took a sip of my coffee...


God...that’s awful. The coffee was flavorless...dull...disgusting. What was different about it today? Maybe it’s just me...I took a bite out of the blueberry muffin and it was even worse...It was drier than the Sahara Desert. Whatever. I didn’t want to complain or anything, so I sat quietly and read up on the market. It was up a little at the end of last month but sadly enough yet another fall.

“Can I ask you something?” a voice from out of nowhere asked me.

I looked up almost instantly. In front of me was Nicki with a tray of different beverages. I was a bit shocked, but never-the-less I responded politely.

“Sure? What’s up?”

She hesitated for a moment as if she was trying to find the right words. “Why do you read about the most depressing items first thing in the morning?”
Her question caught me totally off guard. I was expecting a question like “hey we have a new promotion membership deal would you like to sign up”...Or something along those lines.


“Well, it’s my job. I work for a real estate firm and one of my jobs is to stay informed on the flow of the market.”

“Oh. Well...still. I know it’s not my place to say this but...I mean it’s just a thought but...perhaps in between those heavy articles, you should read something lighter. Maybe a human interest piece...or maybe a comic strip. I just notice that you look really depressed after you read the paper. That’s all...”

I didn’t know what to say. Should I say thank you?


“Ok, I might give that a shot. Thanks.”

Nicki looked as if she regretted what she just said and walked away. She gave the table to my right their order and walked back up to the front.

Should I? What have I got to lose right? Wait-What am I saying? I’m a grown man for crying out loud! It would look so weird...I haven’t read comics since I was a teenager. I went back to reading my article about the current market prices when suddenly I noticed something...Something I have never cared to notice before. It was really gray. Of course the newspaper is gray but the topic itself gave off the very essence of gray. I’ll admit her advice was starting to sound more and more reasonable, so I decided to be a little adventurous today. I turned three pages over to the comic section, and it was an entirely different feeling. The mountain of gray words with one flow chart in the center suddenly became a world of colorful blocks with one line sentences spoken by oddly drawn characters. I ended up actually reading one of them. It was a really stupid story about a monster who saw a plant on the television and wanted to water it, he watered the TV and ended up “killing” the plant.



I think that was a bit louder than I had thought because in that moment everyone around my area was looking at me. I saw Nicki turn around from behind the counter giggling. I felt so embarrassed I buried my head back into the paper and pretend to read. Why did I find it so funny? It wasn’t that fantastic of a joke, in fact it was rather juvenile...but...it was the first time in a long time that...I let out a laugh...it was the first time in like a mouth that I even cracked a smile.

Ch 4. Gale in a State of Depression

When I got into the office that same day, it was hell. One of the major bosses from up north came down for a visit. Why didn’t anyone inform me of this? Whenever a superior member of the broad comes for a visit it’s usually for a press conference. A press conference usually means that I have to prepare a presentation. Before I could even rationalize my thoughts I received a summons to the next floor up. God no...no...NO! This can’t be good...

I ran to the elevator, dying to know why I had be called...no...I know why...

“Mr.Anderson, please come in.”

I walked in.

“Good you're here, please have a seat.”

I sat down.

“I believe you know why I have called you in here...do you not?”

“Yes sir, I understand.”


“Gale, you know I’m very fond  of you son...but...”

“Yes...yes sir?”

“I am going to be frank with you, in the past few months or so your daily performance has been less than acceptable. Today, I expected you to have finished the presentation for the meeting today.”

“I’m sorry sir, but I wasn’t informed of the meeting.”


“I don’t understand how you couldn’t have known? I must have sent you over five reminders.”


“my computer has been having problem lately, I’m so sorry sir. I’ll get it done before lunch.”


“There won’t be a need for that Mr.Anderson.”

“Before I forget Mr.Anderson, I have a this for you.”

He handed me a letter with the company’s seal on it.

“Thank you sir.”


I walked out of the room without saying another word. The first thing I did was rip open the envelope.

Dear, Mr. Gale Anderson,

Your employment with the Johnson and Company Real Estate Firm will be terminated on May 20 2012.

You have been terminated for the following reasons:

Your conduct has been less than appropriate and your failure to perform your duties has interfered with the company’s activities by not completing your daily tasks.--

Damn it. I didn’t even have to read the rest to know where this is going.

That same evening after work I made my usual run back to the coffee shop for dinner. I just wanted to forget today ever happen...

As usual, the place only had about five other people inside and only one person at the front. Nicki was at the front as chipper as ever.

“Can I get the special for tonight with a strong cappanioo.”

“Will that be all for you?”


“Um...alright then. Your total is 7.50.”

I sat down on the couch in the far back of the shop this time...I just wanted to be by myself. It’s funny, I had been coming to this shop at least three times a week for the past three months or so, and this is the first time that I ever noticed that there was a book self back here. I started reading skimming through one without actually understanding comprehending anything that was in the book. I threw it down next to me...I just don’t care anything anymore.

“Excuse me.”, Nicki was standing right in front of me with my order. She didn’t have a free hand so with one of her feet she pushed the magazine table closer to me.

“No, I can do that.”

She set the meal down right in front of me as usual. I expected her to leave and go back to the storage to close up..after all it was about closing time. Once Nicki placed the tray down, she pushed some magazines sitting next to me aside and sat down.

“Are you alright?”, no lead in, no fake conversation...she was straight to the point.

“I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”, that was a lie.

“Are you sure? Because you look like you’ve been crying or something.”, She was right once again.

“I just had a bad day at work...that’s all...”, to be honest I seriously didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

“Alright. It’s not really my business so I won’t ask anymore. I just wanted to see if your were doing alright.”, I could tell she was about to leave; I have no clue what it was but something inside of me didn’t want her to go.

“You know, that was a good idea you had...about the comics I mean.”


“I read one of the comics in between my research...and I must admit...it made some of my stress go away.”

“I’m glad. Usually I try to do something light in between my studying, so I don’t get too overloaded.”


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