The Coffee Cup

A small lock of strawberry blonde hair fell across her face as she stared into space during yet another boring English class.

"Krista, what do you think?"

"Huh?" she was torn from her usual daydream, disappointed.

"What do you think the deeper meaning of Animal Farm is?" Mrs. Peterson repeated annoyed.

"Animal Farm? Uh..." I really need to start paying attention, Krista thought to herself.

"Ugh, will someone who actually pays attention...." Krista let go of Mrs. Peterson and the rest of the class as she drifted off into her wistful dreams.

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There's a park down the street from Krista's apartment complex that has almost everything. Punks, preppies, loners who cluster together, smart-hippy kids, coffee-drinkers, pretty much every clique group chills at the park. Krista always enjoyed watching the different groups at the park, particularly the coffee-drinkers, particularly one of them.

"Hey John," Krista walked up to The Coffee-drinker.

"Hi Krista," This was always how he greeted her. "What's new?"

"Nothing really, I got the new Incubus CD the other day," Krista knew this was his favorite band.

"Cool." was his bored reply, "Is it any good?"
"Yeah, it's a little different, but not bad." Krista became a little more hopeful. "I could burn it for you if you want....?"

"Well, nah, that's kinda like stealing from the genius', not my thing. But thanks anyway, I guess."

"Oh... yeah... good point, I should think of things like that more often." Krista turned and walked away. She couldn't remember being more embarrassed. God, well sooooooorry, the only reason I offered to burn it for you was because I like you, and you like Incubus. Duh. She told to herself hoping she could send the message to John.

But right now all she could do was sigh and walk over to her best friends house. She knocked on the door. A few seconds later a girl answered. Much unlike Krista, who was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, this girl was wearing blue and red checked pants, a shirt that she had made herself, and faded clogs. She had roughly chopped, deep purple hair, and many piercings.

"Hey Jules," Krista said brightly.

"Sigh, I thought I had informed you that I will not respond to such a horrid name. My real name is Victoria. You know there's a whole era of time named after me?" Replied Krista's creative friend.

"Okay, wow. 'Victoria' wow. Wow.. wo-"

"Okay, God, I get it. Can't you let me be romantic for just a minute?" Jules said exasperatedly.

"Jules, that was so not romantic. Victoria.. wow," Krista laughed at her friend.

"Dude, seriously, it's Victoria. Anyway, you looked bummed, what's up?"

Oh, nothing.. coffee just baffles me, that's all," Krista answered. She was not big on lying, so she found many "loopholes".

"Haha, okay. You're an odd duck, you know that?" Jules laughed.

"Looks who's talking 'Victoria'," Krista answered, "Let's go to F.Y.E., I need music, lot's of it." Krista and Jules loved nothing more than to go to Fennero's, the local coffee shop and listen to music.

"Sounds good. So what's your 'music mood' for today?" Jules inquired.

"Uh.. well... I was thinking like.. Alanis Morissette with a littleFranz Ferdinandmixed in, I don't know where we're gonna find that, but I really need something like that.. I don't know why," Krista laughed. What a strange combination I just thought of.

"Oh my gosh, thinking the same for me as well!" Jules almost shouted....

"TELEPATHIA!" They said in unison. But Krista couldn't help wonder why Jules wanted the same kind of music. Jules was more into a hard rock thing. Curious.

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It's not a question but a lesson learned in time. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you have the time of your-

One of Krista's favorite songs was being played by the boom box she had in the corner of her rather small bedroom.

"Krista! Get over here!" a familiar shout rang throughout her mid-sized apartment.

"What Mom?" Krista shouted back.

"Come here!" Krista did as she was told, grumbling all the way. This better be good. Krista hissed to herself.

"What?" She somewhat sneered at her mother when she reached the kitchen.

"Empty the dishwasher for me?" Her mother asked distractedly. Are you kidding?! Absolutely not. I cannot believe you dragged me all the way over here for something so trivial. UGH! Krista was ready to throw something.

"Mom, are you kidding?! I have homework..." Krista tried to get out of it quickly, without any hassle.

"Can't you get Alex or Matt to do it? I have a lot of homework tonight," That was also a lie. She had homework, whether or not she was actually going to do it was a different matter. But all the same. So Krista, before waiting for a reply, just walked back to her room. She knew that this move as well as the yelling was bad when put together, but she didn't care. She half expected her mom to come after her with a wooden spoon or something. But, luckily she didn't.

"ALEX! Stop playing video games and come here..." Krista could here her mother walking over to where Alex was.

Krista ran into her room, jumped onto her bed, blasted her music, and closed her eyes.

John was sitting on a picnic blanket on a beach with two mocha cappuccinos. He was playing his guitar. Krista was walking towards him and-

"Riiiiiing, riiiii-" Krista darted to the phone praying it was John. Sure enough it was -

"Krista! Oh, my gosh!" It was Jules, of course, how could she forget? It was Monday, they always have their two hour conversation on what they think is going to happen during the week, and who will give out the most homework, etc etc.

"Oh, Jules, I'm so sorry, but my mom is making me come to dinner now. I'll talk to you later, okay?" Krista needed to have her time.

"Um... okay? I'll call you later?" Jules sounded hurt.

"No. Um, I'll just talk to you tomorrow, I'm sorry," Krista was in a hurry.

"Okay, whatever, I'll talk to you tomorrow then.." Jules hung up.

Whatever 'Victoria' but I need to not talk to you right now.

As Krista approached John and his guitar he looked up, smiled brightly and beckoned for her to join him. That, of course was what both of them wanted.

"Hey John. I didn't know you played the guitar. Are you any good?" Krista asked with complete confidence, since of courseshe knew that he played.

"Um, yeah I do..." He held up the guitar, "Eh, I'm okay," was his modest reply. But once again, both of them knew this was not true. He was amazing, and almost everybody at school new it, including John.

"So, how long have you-"

"I like you Krista." John blurted out.

"Uh, what?" Krista was shocked, glad, ecstatic, mortified. She didn't know what to do. Was he kidding? Was he serious?

"I like you....?" John sounded disappointed. A genuine disappointment.

"Wait, you're not kidding? But, wait, why would you.. I don't get it." As soon as she said it she wished she hadn't. She sounded so stupid. He liked her for the same reason she liked him. Just because.

"Um.. I, well, I...." John was really confused, Krista could tell. It sounded as though he was expecting something.

"Oh, my gosh. Wow, I mean, I've only liked you since I was twelve. Wow..." Krista was now completely numb with excitement.

"Well," said John after a long silence, "I wrote this song. It's not about you or anything, it's just a song. It's really bad, so don't get your hopes up that I'm really good or anything." John said nervously.

"Really? That's so cool, I've always wanted to play the guitar. I'd love to hear it." Krista was so happy, she wondered if this was what it was like for drug addicts, if this was why they got high all the time, because it felt amazing.

John began. Fingers strumming delicately, carefully, thoughtfully. Then he started to sing. Krista thought she would die. He was amazing. It was probably the best song she had ever heard. And she had heard a lot of songs. She wanted to sing along, but she didn't know the words and she thought it was ruin it. So Krista compromised and started to dance. Rather clumsily she twirled and swayed in the grass. She took her hair down, and she felt like jumping up and down, but she restrained herself and settled with picking some grass out of the ground. Krista hadn't even noticed when John had finished. She could still hear the blissful music. "Krista?" John asked, waving his hand in her face.

"What? Oh. Oh! John that was, that was amazing," Krista said closing her eyes.

"Really? Thanks, it means a lot to me. But what I really wanted to ask you, I guess is... "

"KRISTA!" Rang through the apartment. "Krista! Get your butt over here. I've been calling you for ten minutes! Dinnertime." Matt, her other brother, appeared in her doorway.

"Yeah, I'm coming." Krista walked sadly out of her room. You couldn't have just waited five minutes for him to ask me out. Day dreams suck.

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When Krista got to school the next morning she saw Jules waiting for her by the bench.

"Hey 'Victoria'," said Krista.

"Why hello there. What happened last night?" Jules inquired.

"Ehh, nothing. My mom was just being annoying. Shall we go in?" Was Krista's answer.

"I think we shall." Jules and Krista got their stuff and walked into school. It was buzzing with excitement of all sorts. Everybody was just roaming the halls waiting for the bell to ring. You could hear the band practice down the hall. (They had early morning practices during the week of the football games.) Krista and Jules found their regular group of friends and started to walk up and down the 600 wing as the usually did.

"Hey Megan, hey Chris, Pete, what's up guys?" Krista greeted them all cheerfully.

"Ehh, nothing really, just tired, as usual. And yourself?" Megan responded for all of them.

"Hey Krista," said Chris, "Can I talk to you?."

"Yeah sure, what's up?" asked Krista, curious as to what Chris wanted.

"Yeah, ha, what were you doing talking to that coffee person?" Damn it , thought Krista.

"What?" Krista hoped he wasn't talking about the "John incident" from yesterday.

"Yesterday, I saw you at the park talking to Williams," Chris looked at her. "What were you doing talking to him?"

"Oh, that, he saw my Incubus CD and asked me if it was any good." Krista answered, hoping he would believe her.

"You weren't carrying a CD." Chris almost whispered.

"What's it to you anyway?" Krista didn't understand what this was about.

"Well, you know.. like..." Chris was still staring straight into her eyes.

"No, Chris, I don't know. Tell me." Krista was quite confused.

"He's not, whatever." Chris looked embarrassed.

"Chris, come on, I'm completely lost." Krista said.

"Just be careful, he's not 'your type'" Chris did look concerned.

"Okay, Mr. Policeman. I don't get it, but okay." Krista held up three fingers in a 'scouts honor' way. "C'mon, let's get to class."

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During lunch Krista saw John. She was just about to go up to him when Chris came over to her.

"Hey Krista!" Chris waved.

"Hi Chris, hold on, I'll be right back. Save me a seat?" Krista wanted to talk to John, she finally had a plan.

"Um, okay. Where you going?" Chris asked.

"Bathroom? Haha, since when are you stalking me?" Krista laughed and walked away.

She went around the loop there was to get to the bathrooms and saw John.

"Hey John, I have a question for you," said Krista brightly.

"Um, okay. What is it?" John had his bottle of iced tea and energy bar, as usual, for lunch.

"Okay, well I'm taking a survey for the school newspaper of the general school population's favorite genre of music/bands/songs, and I was wondering what yours were." She had it all planned out, she had even asked the newspaper staff if she could do a weekly survey. (Desperate, she knew, but she had to know everything about John so she could be his perfect girlfriend.)

"Uh, rock, Incubus, and God, my favorite song? Can I come back to you on that one?" He smiled.

"Okay, just don't forget." She laughed, and headed back to the cafeteria.

"That was quick," said Pete, "Okay, let's see here, I have soy chips today, what does everybody else have?" Everyday for lunch they each brought in one item of food and shared it among each other. Weird, they knew, but it was a tradition since sixth grade.

"Hmm, I brought water for everybody." said Krista.

"I have sandwiches, as usual." Megan said while passing them out to everybody.

Chris gave out his vegan chocolate bars while Jules handed out apples.