Short Story: The Interview

Hullo my friends! I’m starting to dig through my collections of stories from the past semester, and I came across this one. This is a little different than my usual genre, but I had fun writing it, and I thought you guys might like it. Enjoy!

It was one of those miserable days where the mix of icy rain and gusting wind makes it impossible to stay dry. Melody could feel the cold water trickling from her hair onto the back of her neck and shuddered, pulling her coat tighter around her. She always hated walking, but walking in the rains was even worse. She quickened her pace, close to the edge of the curb, as the coffee shop came into view. Her meeting was supposed to start five minutes ago, but the closest parking spot to her destination was three blocks away.

Melody hesitated on the edge of the curb, eyeing the oncoming traffic before dashing across the road. Her new boots splashed in the puddles near the edge, sending cold water squishing into her socks. The wind whipped her hair back as she jogged across the street. She didn’t even notice the darker spot on the road, glistening from spilled oil.

Her foot slipped, and she hit the ground. She groaned, trying to catch her breath, but all she could feel was the water seeping into her clothes. A car screeched to a halt, bouncing to a stop only a few feet away from hitting her.

Melody sat up, groaning again. She was definitely going to have some bruises. The car door opened and a guy half got out, peering over his car door. “Are you okay?” he yelled.

“I’m fine!” Melody snapped, pushing herself up to a standing position. She wobbled slightly, but she was glad she could stand. Falling again would be too embarrassing. Not that she wasn’t already a mess.

“Then could you get out of the road?” the guy called, pushing his light brown hair off his forehead. “I’m running late.”

Melody glared at him, any gratefulness she’d had for his concern evaporated. She didn’t give him the benefit of a response and stalked to the side of the road. She made sure to take her sweet time. The guy slammed his door and raced off down the street, and Melody glowered at his retreating taillights.

She walked the little ways down the street to the coffee shop and shook herself off at the door, sending droplets of water mixed with oil flying. Smoothing her hair down and stomping the water off her boots, she slipped into the coffee shop. A bell jingled over the door as she opened it. Soft music played over the speakers, and the dim lighting gave it a homey feel. Unlike most coffee shops, old-fashioned booths and checkered tablecloths made the coffee shop feel more like a diner. Only two or three people lingered in the coffee shop.

Melody went up to the pastry case, where a middle-aged woman was humming as she replaced some of the pastries. The woman looked up and her eyes widened. “Oh, honey! Bless your heart! You’re soaked right through!” She bustled out from behind the counter. “You sit right down and I’ll find you some towels. I’ll get you some fresh coffee, too.”

Melody thanked her and sat in a booth, wrapping her arms around herself as the cool air and her wet clothes sapped her body heat. Her wet clothes clung to her skin, and she was grateful when the woman came back a minute later with two clean dish towels. The bell dinged over the door, and Melody looked up from patting herself dry with one of the towels. Her eyes narrowed instantly as she recognized the man who had almost run over her.

“Hello, sweetheart! What do you need?” the woman called out cheerfully.

“I’m here to meet with Melody Hackett.” He shook the raindrops off his thick coat.

Melody smiled. How perfect was this? She could give him a hard time now. Clearing her throat, she raised her hand. “That’s me,” she announced. She kept her face neutral, but she couldn’t help but feel a spark of delight at the look of utter shock on the man’s face. He approached her cautiously as if she was a wild animal that might bite him.

“Oh… hello,” he said, quickly switching to a smile, but she could tell it was a nervous one.

“You must be Luke Norwood,” Melody said, staring him down, but still trying to keep her expression neutral. Keep him guessing, at least.

He scratched the back of his head, still standing awkwardly next to the booth. “Um… can I sit?” At her nod, he slid into the booth. “Yeah… Um, I’m sorry about yelling at you earlier. I was nervous about this meeting and I wasn’t thinking, and I knew I still had to walk over here from the parking lot down the street…” He trailed off, fidgeting with his hands and staring down at the table.

Melody hesitated as the waitress came over and poured coffee into mugs for them. She sipped the steaming liquid and felt warmth spread through her. She looked over her mug at Luke, and he quickly looked down at his coffee. “It’s okay,” she told him. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give you a hard time.” Luke looked up, and he must have seen the twinkle in her eye before she could hide it by taking another sip of coffee. “Why don’t we get started on this interview?”

Luke nodded, seemingly relieved, but his hands shook as he pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. “Do you mind if I record this?”

Melody shook her head, and he started the recorder on his phone. “So, your official book release and release party are tonight. Are you ready for that?”

She shook her head. “I’ve released books before, obviously, but as an author, this project is close to my heart. I’ve never written a story this personal, and this story is based off some of my own real-life experiences.”

Luke tilted his head. “Really? How so?”

Melody began to explain the story behind her book, and Luke seemed genuinely intrigued. Eventually the interview shifted from normal interview questions into other topics of conversation. Before long, the two of them were laughing like old friends.

“I can’t believe you actually went skydiving with your grandma,” Melody said, gasping in between her laughter.

Luke shook his head, grinning. “She’s done more crazy things than I have.” He sipped his coffee. “She’s the reason I wanted to be a reporter, so that I could travel and experience new things.”

Melody looked at him over her coffee cup. “Has she ever almost run over someone before?”

He laughed. “Not that I know of.”

The waitress came by, placing the check on the table. Melody glanced at her phone. “Wow, I can’t believe we’ve been here for over two hours. That went by fast.” She dug around in her purse and pulled out her wallet.

Luke shook his head. “No, my treat,” he insisted, handing the waitress his card. “It’s the least I can do.”

Melody hesitated, then shrugged. “I guess I’ll let you, since you did almost—”

“Hit you with my car,” he finished, grinning.

Melody laughed and didn’t argue any further. The two of them got up from the table. “I can’t wait to read the article later.” She smoothed out her coat, although she knew she couldn’t do anything about the oil stains. “I hope you’re not one of those reporters that twists everything I say to mean what you want.”

“Of course not!” Luke exclaimed. He looked at her, eyes wide. “I would never!”

Melody made eye contact with him and he noticed the mischievous glint in her eye. “Are you teasing me?” he asked, shocked. She grinned and nodded, and he elbowed her. “Not funny!”

Melody laughed and gathered up the rest of her things. “I’m just joking. I trust you.” A little idea sparked in her mind as they walked towards the door. “So, what are you doing the rest of the day?”

Luke glanced sideways at her. “Well, I’m going to finish writing up this article and turn it in, but that’s really it. That’ll only take me a couple of hours.” He opened the door and held it for her.

Melody hid a smile and stepped outside. “Thanks.”

“No problem.” They hesitated outside, and Melody looked at Luke.

“So, um,” Melody hesitated and looked down, fiddling with the edge of her coat. “If you’re not doing anything tonight, do you want to come to the launch party?”

He looked at her, a smile growing on his face. “I would love to.”

Melody couldn’t help but smile back. “It’s a date, then.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed that short story. Did you like this different type of story? Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Be Careful What You Say In A College Coffee Shop

Hullo, everyone! Did you know that sometimes you have to write for school? Isn’t that nuts? I recently finished a 700+ word essay for my comp class about one of my least favorite subjects: *whispers* poetry. So much fun. But yesterday I got to write a short story for American Lit! Yay! I thought all of you would enjoy it, and it’s been a while since I posted a short story, so I present to you… Be Careful What You Say In A College Coffee Shop.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Steven said, rubbing his forehead. “She won’t eat anything except spicy chicken wings anymore.” The college coffee shop buzzed around the two of them, their lattes sitting untouched.

His friend Colin smothered his laughter and pasted on a solemn face as he leaned across the table. “That’s a problem all right. Have you tried everything? Steak? Ribs? Ground beef?”

Steven snorted. “If she develops a craving for steak or ribs, I’m in trouble. My wallet’s having trouble with chicken wings as it is.”

“Well, they’re normally picky, just not that picky,” Colin commented.

“I’m not sure what to do next. I think I might—” Steven stopped, looking over Colin’s shoulder at the person sitting next to them. “What are you doing?” he asked.

Colin turned around to look, and the girl turned from her computer screen. “W-what do you mean?” she stammered.

Steven pointed at her computer. “I saw it! You’re writing down our conversation!”

The girl shifted nervously and glanced at her laptop. Colin leaned over and read it. “‘If she develops a craving for steak or ribs, I’m in trouble.’ You are writing down what we’re saying!”

She shifted again. “Um, yeah. About that. What in the world were you talking about? I just tuned in.”

Steven gaped at her. “We were talking about my dog. Why were you writing that down?”

She laughed. “Your dog! And here I thought it might be your girlfriend.”

Colin leaned towards Steven, eyeing the girl. “I think she might be crazy,” he whispered.

The girl’s cheeks turned pink, indicating she had heard. “I-I’m sorry. I’ll stop.” She stood up quickly and began to pack her things.

“No, wait.” Steven stood up. “I want to know why you were writing down our private conversation.” He focused on making himself look as imposing as possible.

The girl visibly cringed. “Um. Well, I’m a writer. And your conversation sounded like something interesting to make a story out of.”

Steven gaped. “What?”

“That’s a story I’d like to read,” Colin said under his breath.

The girl sidled to the side, hugging her laptop to her chest. “Um, can I go now?”

Steven stepped back. “Um, if you want. I’m, uh, I’m sorry if I intimidated you.”

She scampered off as quick as she could, and Steven sat back down at the table. Colin smirked. “I guess the lesson for this ‘Embarrassing Episode In The Life of Steven’ is ‘Be careful what you say in public, because you never know who could be listening and your words might end up in a book someday.’”

Steven glared at him. “You need to work on that.”

Colin grinned. “I know.”