Twenty three hours and a half


She walked slowly into this cafe around 8:30 in the morning, headed to her usual spot by the window that oversaw road 9 in Maadi, she had her sunglasses on and kept them on despite being inside.. She normally didn’t prefer to have much of eye contact with anyone during the early mornings, she liked to hide behind her glasses as she watched the bustling street of road 9 come to wake up, her office only across the street on the third floor of the building, she could see her colleagues come in, watch them as they were still the other them outside of the office before walking in to be transformed into the employees she’s known.. The waiter knew her quite well and her order.. A black american coffee with one sugar , a touch of milk and a cookie… She combined all of this with her captain black mint mini-cigars, she wasn’t the traditional woman in smoking who stuck around with slims… She liked to observe the people as they opened up their shops.. hearing their discussions, and chats about their daily events.. Some would share what had happened the day before with their families , wives and kids.. The young ones would share their escapades, how they tried to impress the women or so. The coffee was served, she tilted her head and smiled gently thanking the waiter, and then gazed silently at the cup as the heat arose from it, the vapor performing a ritualistic and tantalizing dance that captivated her entire being.. The aroma sneaked into her soul as she inhaled it, she then turned back to watch the street quietly.. She took her first sip then leaned her head back , closed her eyes and just let her thoughts run wild about her dreams, and her life..A few minutes more and she hears the bells on the entrance door of the cafe bustling several times when customers start to pour in, each coming for their last minute daily fix, and the freelancers who come to work early in the mornings on their laptops, it’s five minutes to nine, she looks outside ,the scene has completely changed.. Cars parked everywhere, people now arguing about the smallest of things, parking spots, who was there first, not wanting to stand in line to be served, everyone’s in a rush. All it took was five minutes for everything to change.. The people’s mood, the people’s attitude, even their genuine smiles faded only to be replaced by those fake plastic ones people use nowadays to mask their greed.. She took another sip of her coffee, took the cookie in her bag got up and left.. As she stood at the door of the cafe now one step into the street, the muffled sounds now became all too clear.. The vulgarity , the total change of behavior now shows.. She’d now have to wait another twenty three hours and half for her next quiet morning..

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