Eavesdropper

Coffee House

A man wearing swimming shorts, a dark coat, baseball cap, and sunglasses is sitting at a coffee house table.  He seems nervous while sipping on his latte. “Try not to cause a scene for God’s sake!” he demands of a woman accompanying him at the table.

“Tell me exactly what happened” the woman replies.

“Well it’s like I said Shirley, I was just minding my business.  I was just closing up shop and getting ready to head home for the day.  Then a man with one hand in his jacket pocket and the other holding a trash bag just appeared out of nowhere.”

I turn my head a little to try to hear their conversation a little better.  I’m standing in line waiting to order my daily Valencia Orange Refresher and muffin. It’s a busy coffee house and there are many other conversations going on around me.  But for some reason this particular one seemed to catch my interest.  I suppose a man in beach shorts and a coat also helped in striking my interest.

The man continued, “And he asked me to open my shop back up.  He told me he was sorry but this was something he had to do, and he would get it done one way or another, by force if need be.”

“Oh my!  You must have been startled!” says the woman

“Well, a little I suppose.   But I was more worried about what I had in the car.  Remember, it had been there for over an hour.  I mean, I could’t leave it in the car for much longer.  What if the police came by?  The last thing I needed was another encounter with the police.  Remember what happened last time?”

Ok, now I was in too deep.  I had to know what he was talking about.  The problem was that as the line moved the conversation got fainter and fainter.  I guess the Orange Valencia Refresher would have to wait.  So I jumped out of line and found a spot to stand next to their table.  I pulled out my smartphone and began pretending I was involved in a texting conversation.

“Yes, how could I forget.  that was a terrible thing to do.  I mean, you left it in plain sight for everyone to see.  You could have done some hard time if the cops wouldn’t have shown up when they did.  I still don’t know what you were thinking.  Have you no soul?”

“Yes, well anyway.  So then this guy pulls his his hand out of his pocket and then I saw that he meant business.  So I immediately opened my shop door and asked him what he wanted.”

“And what did he say?” the woman asked

At this point I think it was so obvious that I was listening in on their conversation that I might as well have been sitting with them at the table.  But they continued there conversation.  So I guess I wasn’t as obvious as I had thought.

“Well he wasn’t much for words.  But his face pretty much said it all.  At this point I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know exactly what he had planned but I knew one way or another, it wasn’t going to turn out good for me.”

“So is that when it happened?” the woman asked.

“Well, not quite.  You see I was coming up with a plan of my own.  I knew that if I tried to talk to him, in a calm voice, then maybe that would help the situation.  I was definitely not going to argue with him or do anything to make him nervous.”

“Hey buddy.  What are you doing?” said a voice walking into the coffee house.

Oh no, it was Pete.  This guy always had the worst timing. I tried to pretend as if I did not notice him.  So I turned my back to himand pretended like I was talking on the phone.

“So then I walked behind the counter and grabbed a tool I had next to the register.  I figured I was going to have to do this if I ever wanted to get out of there.” the man continued.

“Ok, now slow down and tell me every little detail.  This is important if I ever get questioned” said the lady.

“Hey man.  What are you doing?  Where’s your stuff?  I’ve been waiting in the car for like 20 minutes.”  Pete said.  “C’mon, get your stuff and let’s get out of here.”

“Oh, sorry dude, but I have to…”I answered.  But it was too late.

The man noticed me and told the woman to get up.  They began walking to the front door.  Oh no, they were leaving and because of stupid Pete I didn’t get to hear the end of the story.  Who was that guy?  What had happened?  I mean, he was here telling that lady the story.  So what happened to the other guy?  And who comes from work wearing beach shorts?  Did he get rid of the body in he nearby Hudson?  Was there a body?  And what did he have in his car that he was so worried about?

Author: Claude