Officine Zero: a sensation

She wanders in awkwardly, hesitating at the open door. It’s not her usual sort of place. The rich aroma of coffee hits her, making her mouth start to water in anticipation. At least three friendly Italian voices call out to her.

Bella! Come in! What would you like?”

Smiling with vague embarrassment, she approaches the cash register, black handbag clutched tight under her arm.

A young, handsome, mustachioed man pops his head out from behind the coffee machine and beams.

“You want to sit down?”

She nods.

“Choose a table, I’ll come and get your order.”

She finds a tidy corner bench by the window to slot herself onto. The thick, languid morning sun pours golden onto her face, and she blinks at the cars and people moving by on the other side of the glass.

Soon, the young Italian comes up.

“What would you like, bella?” He stands close, confidently, and it makes her nervous.

“A skinny cappucino, please. Extra hot.”

“You got it!” He winks and bounces away to start fiddling behind the coffee machine.

She turns back to the window, leaning her elbows on the bench and her chin into her palms.

It’s warm in here. On a cold day it would have the effect of being ‘cosy’, but today, with the morning sun glinting harshly through the window, it’s a bit stuffy. She breathes in warm, coffee-scented air, and lets her mind wander…


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