I Never Wanted a Coffee Shop

“I never wanted a coffee shop, Dad! Why do I have to work here? It’s not fair. This coffee shop doesn’t even look good, or have my favorite color, pink. Plus, it has weird drawings of coffee, and the tables are made of coffee beans. And I don’t want to work in a weird place without the color pink. Everything is brown! The walls, the cups! I just want to play outside with my friends. Look, they’re all playing out there,” I said with my arms crossed, standing beside the line. We had just opened the coffee shop and there was a huge line outside. We only had three employees and I had to be the fourth. It wasn’t fair.

My dad yelled back, “Well, you have to work here. Plus, you’re embarrassing me in front of the customers. Go to the counter. Look, there’s a HUGE line. And you’ve got to buy everything and make the recipes. And it’s not a joke. So have fun, goodbye.”

Some people in the line were staring at us. Other people were covering their children’s ears and eyes. And other people were just trying to not look, and looking at the walls. I couldn’t believe they were looking at the walls and not at us – the walls were really ugly. I went to the counter and started taking orders. There were a lot of orders.

The only employee who helped me learn all about the coffee making was Serina. I was in charge of buying everything at the supermarket and taking the orders, and she was in charge of making the coffee. She would always make hearts and pretty things on the surface of the coffee if it had milk, like lattes, frappuccinos, cafe con leche, and things like that. She told me that she wanted to be an architect or a painter when she grew up. She had always painted at her home. Now she was painting at the coffee shop. She painted the entire coffee shop and the tables (more like bought them, but don’t tell her I told you that).

At the end of the month, it was payday. We had enough money to pay everyone, but we didn’t win a lot for ourselves –– each one of us had earned only $10. This time, we bought new ingredients, and we knew exactly how our customers liked it. The first time I made a coffee, the customer asked for half the amount of sugar. I put way more than half the amount, and he spit it out and said he thought it was disgusting. But then, when I made the same coffee for another customer, she loved it and said she would come every day. The line eventually got bigger.

Now we had planned out each recipe and made a new menu, with new employees whom we had hired. Their names were Emily and Joey. They were our coffee servers. By the end of that month, each one of us had made at least $40.

Finally, the two months were over, but I had had a lot of fun. I kind of did want to stay in the coffee shop with all my friends; the friends that were always playing outside had all gone to New Jersey. I hate New Jersey. Don’t tell them I told you that. Basically, I hate everything. Don’t tell me secrets –– I’ll spit them out easily, just like I did to you.

So, I decided to stay in the coffee shop. My friends were so happy that they made me a special coffee which, instead of a heart, said “Best Friends Forever.”

The day after, I told them my plan: we could make little cupcakes that said “Best Friends Forever,” and each would come with a note that said: “Give this to your best friend: the person who never treats you badly and whom you also treat nicely.” When we made those cupcakes, everyone was so impressed that about ten people bought them after school. We made a special offer that said if you bought a “Best Friends Forever” cupcake, you would get a “Best Friends Forever” coffee.

Finally, we all got tired of the coffee shop. It showed: when the month ended, we got just $20 each. We had done something wrong, but I didn’t care. I liked the coffee shop a lot more because I had new friends, who all moved closer to the coffee shop.

Every morning we would go get a coffee. We thought about it and, entering as employees, we made friends and got a “Best Friends Forever” cupcake and coffee. We worked in the coffee shop until we were old enough to get another job.

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