Alone, but not lonely.

Day Eight: Death to Adverbs

Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

I had a lot of fun with this one! I got to drink coffee & people watch. Kind of a dream.


I like people who can be alone easily.

It’s 4:20pm. I skipped out of work early to enjoy the sun, a coffee and some me time. The Library Cafe is my favourite getaway – I almost always come here alone.

I was tossing up a mochaccino or a hot chocolate as I stood in line.

“Can I please have one of your fresh juices?” a petite, short-haired woman asks in a polite voice. The waitress smiles, pivots on her heels and peers through the kitchen door. “Is there any juice left?” she calls. There’s a murmuring beyond the door. Tired kitchen hands. She turns on her heels again.

“Um, the juice machine is broken, apparently!” She laughs, nervous. Her blonde ponytail sways.

The other woman sweeps her light black hair back, long on one side, short on the other. Fringe razor sharp across her forehead. “I’ll just have a peppermint tea.”  It was the way she said peppermint tea that got me. The lilt in her voice. Like that peppermint tea was going to be the best thing that ever touched her lips. That the fresh juice really was not meant to be. Her plan B, was really plan A.

I order my less delicate mochaccino and rich American brownie, placing myself down at one of their many small, wooden tables. As a sawmiller, my father would have admired their tree trunk table tops. My phone (currently on 1% battery), paper, pen and French phrasebook lay out in front of me. I put pen to paper.

The more I look at the woman, the younger she gets. Standing in line to order, 35, wrinkles around her green eyes. Sitting a few meters away from me on the bench seating, 28. She holds her peppermint tea in her hands, and gazes out over the ground floor of the Wellington City Library.

She’s delicate. But her body language shows she’s anything but. Legs crossed gracefully, but her chin up, her hand stroking her chin in contemplation. She wouldn’t be the kind to back down from an argument, her body said. A literary kind, book in hand; she’d be well read in Tolstoy and perhaps Zadie Smith. She’d know exactly what she was saying when she said it. Quiet, but when she talked, there would be quality.

Oh, to talk to her. The stories she would tell!

She lightly touches a wet forefinger to the sugar in the saucer.

I then realise. She’s the epitome of Wellington. A personified version of our city. Quirky, original, sexy & intelligent.

To her left, the hippy in a business suit sits smiling at the video playing on his laptop, his long blonde hair covering his face. To her back, my old English Literature lecturer sits, brow furrowed, lost in a book (see, small world!). To her right, a travelling family of 3. The doting parents gaze at their 7 year old daughter. Their world revolves around her.

To her further right, me, blue pen to white paper, marshmallows melting in hot milk, coffee and chocolate, scarf around my neck, thick rimmed glasses.

She’s alone with her peppermint tea. I can see a slight smile at the corner of her lips.

I can’t speak for her, but to me, she’s alone but not lonely. 

20 thoughts on “Alone, but not lonely.

  1. There’s some great phrasing laced throughout this piece that made we want to continue to read.

    Favorite lines…

    “Her plan B, was really plan A.”

    “She’s delicate. But her body language shows she’s anything but.”

    “The more I look at the woman, the younger she gets.”

    Really liked this (and the title too)

    I’ll be back😉


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this. The caption is what drew me in. And then I loved the image. Really good internal monologue. I seriously enjoyed every bit of it. And now I fancy some peppermint tea…


    1. Thank you so much for your feeback! It made me really happy, and any feedback is amazing when it comes to writing 🙂 I’ve never tried peppermint tea, & I definitely want to try some now…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post was a really lovely read – it was nice and cosy and your descriptions provided such lovely detail! It brought the café to life for me – I also love how you muse about the people and imagine their world (the lady, the couple with the baby) (peppermint tea is also my favourite!) In fact – I’m sipping on one right now before I begin work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Top of the morning to ya…its me again! So you may have already seen this but just in case…

    I’m hosting my first blog party where the guests have to share a favorite post from another’s site! This post was recommended by and I can see why! I told her Yes… This is one of my favorites too!

    Loved it! Have a great day!


    Liked by 1 person

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