WOMAN'S OWN|January 31, 2022
What would Libby’s boyfriend say if she went in this inviting place?
Charlotte Sabin

Libby pushed open the glass door, her senses immediately hit with the aroma of strong coffee grains and the welcoming heat coming from the open fire in the grate.

Her wide blue eyes taking in the sights that lay all around her, she was excited and intrigued at the same time.

This was the first time she had set foot in this mysterious new coffee shop. There was an assortment of furniture dotted about in the open space, and colourful, modern art splashed across the walls, none of it matched but somehow, it still worked. A freelance designer, Libby was a lover of modern art, and was always on the lookout for inspiration for her projects.

A huge crystal chandelier hung high above her head, dominating the room.

Her eyes then darted to one of the walls that had black painted letters scribbled across it. They read... Come and have a coffee with friends – everyone’s welcome, we are all equal here.

Libby smiled to herself. She felt as if she was being hugged by an invisible force, making her feel happy. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt like that.

‘Can I get you anything?’ a friendly voice called from across the room.

Libby looked over. The voice belonged to a young girl with blonde hair and red lipstick, dressed in a fifties-style dress.

The store assistant matched her surroundings and was a welcoming sight.

Libby walked over to the counter and looked up at the blackboard that hung above the girl’s head. There were so many varieties of hot drinks to warm her. It felt like zero degrees outside, and the weather report had said to expect rain and sleet.

‘Can I recommend the caramel latte topped with chocolate sprinkles with just a touch of cinnamon – it’s divine,’ the girl suggested, with a warm smile.

‘Sounds lovely, thank you,’ Libby replied.

While she was waiting, she noticed a towering bookcase in the far corner of the room. Walking over to it, she saw so many of her favourite novels.

A sign on the wall read… We are all friends here, so please help yourself to a book or two and enjoy. All we ask is that you return or swap for another.

Libby smiled to herself again. She imagined sitting at a table near the open fire sipping on a delicious hot drink, reading a gripping crime thriller. But suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted...

‘What’s your favourite genre?’ The voice belonged to an attractive man in his early 30s, sitting at a table to her right. Holding a coffee cup, he studied her with his large brown eyes that peeped out of a messy, curly fringe.

‘Thrillers – well, crime thrillers actually,’ she replied. ‘I love a plot to solve.’

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