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Ezekial raised a gentle brow, but a grin revealed his nearly sparkling fangs. [#84716b "I'm sure you're brewing skills are marvelous. Phoebe wouldn't let you make a cup of coffee if you weren't up to her standards."] He shot a wink to the shark without thinking much of it before taking a sip. He acted like he didn't notice that he did that.
It was good. It didn't carry the tinge of nostalgia that Phoebe's personal cups always did, but it was definitely not a bad cup of coffee. Ezekial looked up to Jennifer with a sincere smile, his whiskers twitching in anticipation for another taste. [#84716b "This is delicious. Just the right amount of hazelnut cream for a raccoon to enjoy. Thank you.]" He took another sip, savoring the flavor twirling over his taste buds. Ezekial was content.
He was content sitting there for most of the day, sipping on cups of coffee. It was a nice break for him, and he loved being able to take strolls down memory lane the entire time he sat at that booth. Before he knew it, it was well into the afternoon, and he needed to get back to business; business being arranging his new home.
Ezekial stood up and readjusted his shirt. His tail twitched to the side. He paid for his cups of coffee and headed for the door, but he stopped steps before it. He turned and scanned the cafe for his waitress. His dark eyes stopped upon the shark. He waited for her to have a moment before stepping up to her.
[#84716b "I just wanted to give this to you personally. You did a great job today and I want to thank you for such great service."] He reached out to hand her a tip. It was a decent amount for what he had paid for for the coffee. Ezekial knew a good server when he saw one, and he wanted to make sure she felt appreciated. He also understood how hard customer service jobs could be, and tips always helped at home.
He hollered a farewell to Phoebe before stepping out the door.
Jennifer calmly stood in place as she noticed the raccoon space off and go into his own little dreamland for a second, which was a bit confusing to her. Once he had snapped out of it, the shark tilted her head before hearing Ezekial speak to her about the coffee. "Well, I'm glad that you enjoy her coffee so much." She had stated, not paying much attention to the last part of what she had heard.
After there was a small moment of silence between the two as the male had sipped his coffee once again, before Jennifer noticed him looking at her nametag and speaking to her once more. "No problem...I'm just doing my job. Literally." She chuckled gently, keeping her disposition stable in that cheerful mood that she wasn't actually feeling all that much. However, the female usually felt at least a bit better when she helped people out, and Ezekial was no exception.
"Sure, I'll go get one ready for you." Jennifer said towards the raccoon's request, before smiling gently and walking back behind the counter. A minute or two later, the young shark was walking back towards the male with exactly what he had ordered. [i Coffee with hazelnut cream]. She repeated to herself in her mind, before laying down the beverage in front of him. "Here is your coffee, sir. Phoebe was busy with another customer, so I made this one for you. I hope you enjoy it." She explained, adjusting the little hat on her head.
Ezekial gave a wide smile to the shark as he got the answer he hoped for. Phoebe's home brew. It gave him a flash of nostalgia to teenage years, distant yet not too long ago. His dark eyes danced across the shark's face, lingering for a moment as he spaced off. He blinked himself back to reality and stammered a quiet apology for if it seemed like he had been staring.
If a raccoon could blush, he would beat red.
[#84716b "It's just that I've looked everywhere for a good cup of coffee like she makes, and nothing ever comes close. I'm so happy to be back."] The last part was added as a side note, as if to himself more than to her. He took another sip, closing his eyes to savor it.
Ezekial leaned over and eyed the shark's name tag before, almost hesitantly, looking back up to her eyes. [#84716b "Jennifer? Thank you for the help. I'm Ezekial, it's a pleasure."] He flashed her a grin. If he had felt out of his element moments before, it didn't show now. Ezekial was good at keeping his composure. He would never admit it, but he often felt awkward talking to people. Especially girls.
His ears twitched. Ezekial was almost finished with his drink, but he wasn't quiet done strolling down memory lane with himself. [#84716b "May I order another one of these? Coffee with hazelnut cream, please."] For his second cup, he would hold off on the espresso.
The young shark had yawned again as she walked outside, locking her door behind her and then approaching some kind of Camry. It wasn't the newest model by any means, but it was decent, had good air conditioning and heating, and was quite reliable in actual driving situations. "Let's hope today is at least a little different than most days..." She mumbled to herself, before starting up the car and driving off.
Jennifer could see houses and buildings passing by as she turned left or right every minute or so, before she had finally arrived at the coffee shop. She slowly got out of her car, before shutting the door with a thud and walking into the shop, placing a little cap on that signified that she was employed there. Glancing around at everything, the walls had the same color, the aroma in the air was identical to what it was every time she entered. Sometimes this repetitive nature of the shop was dreary in a way...but other times it was heartwarming. Either way, the shark had a job to do, and it wasn't going to do itself.
Suddenly, a male had gotten her attention, and asked her a question about the coffee he had been served. "Yes, that is Phoebe's original recipe. It hasn't ever changed a bit, from what I've been taught here." Jennifer had said in a happy, upbeat voice, although it wasn't true glee or excitement at all. It was just a mask of her voice, of her emotions. After all, even if she wasn't that happy much at all, it was her duty to act as cheerful as possible to customers to make their days better.
[center The coffee shop wasn't too far, so he decided to walk. He could take in all of the new sights and smells that had developed over the last eight years that way. His nose twitched in delight as he drew closer to the cafe.]
[center The place looked exactly the same, with many of the same staff, only older. Ezekial stepped in the short line and waited patiently. His tail swished gently side to side, revealing his good mood. He was beyond happy to be back. He stepped up to the counter and immediately recognized the middle-aged mouse behind it. He couldn't tell if she quite recognized him. [#84716b "Hello Phoebe, I'd like just a large regular coffee, with hazelnut cream if you still have it. Can you add a shot of espresso in there, too?"] He smiled when a look of recognition crossed the mouse's face. She nearly leapt over the counter to get at him, wrapping him in one of the tightest hugs he had ever had. This coffee shop had been another home for Ezekial growing up. [#84716b "It's good to see you, too."]]
[center Phoebe pinched his ear and tugged down playfully as she about talked them off. It had been so long, and the reunion was short and sweet before she swung back over the counter and got him his coffee as she made plans for a real reunion for them at a to-be-announced date in the future; at least she hadn't lost her spark.]
[center Ezekial couldn't help but smile and shake his head as he grabbed his coffee and headed towards a booth by the window. He watched as the cream swirled around in the cup before slowly taking a sip, savoring the flavor upon his whiskers. Ezekial couldn't help but flag down a worker to ask, [#84716b "Excuse me, is this still Phoebe's original home recipe?"]]
It isn't all that easy living a life where you never really had any friends...and where the ones you do have all end up moving away before you can even say goodbye. Time slows, things become boring, you get lonely beyond belief...and yet you continue with as much strength as possible, knowing there's a light at the end of the dark tunnel. You continue to be yourself, no matter who dislikes you and what you do.
Jennifer Blume woke up to the sound of beeping, and she pressed her hand down upon her alarm clock to end the noise. With a yawn and a stretch, she got off of her comfy, purple bed and opened a closet to the right. She put on her favorite blue fish shirt, and some shorts that her tail would fit out the back, all without saying a single word to herself. This was a normal morning, of her living on her own. She had already been to a local college, gotten a degree, and was looking for well-paying jobs to line up with said degree. However, she couldn't seem to find anything suitable for her...despite the efforts she had taken.
The female sighed gently as she rubbed her forehead, and walked throughout her decent-sized home. It was still somewhat bare on the inside, but she didn't mind that. Until she had a better job than what she had, which was a job at a local coffee joint down her street, she wouldn't be buying anything pricey. The job was pretty generous with its pay, and she wasn't going to let any of the money go to waste. Glancing towards the clock as she yawned again, Jennifer realized it was already time for her to be leaving to go to work.
[center There's a moment of relief when you come home after a long time away. Everything is familiar, comfortable, yet a little offsetting at the same time. The smells are almost the same but noticeably different. The town looks so close to how it used to, but there were new additions and new colors everywhere he looked. New places. New faces.]
[center Ezekial Baird had been away for a long time. Too long. His family had moved early in his teenage years, and then he had been sent off to university. After eight years, he was finally back. He was finally home. Everything so similar yet so different. He could feel a lump forming in his throat as he stared at the front door of the little one bedroom home he was now renting for himself. College had been a taste of freedom, a taste of being on his own; a taste that melted on his tongue and ran smoothly down his throat like the honey in his raspberry tea. He couldn't stay away from his hometown though. He had been away long enough, and it was past due his time to come back. He wondered, would anyone recognize him all grown up?]
[center Ezekial unlocked the dark wood door and eased it open; there was a light squeak to it, and he made a mental note to fix it later. He glanced back to the small moving truck that held the things he had gathered over the years. It wouldn't take too long to get settled in, even though he was doing it on his own. he figured he would go to an old favorite cafe downtown before he got started.]
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