Thursday, April 19, 2012
If people want a quiet cup of coffee they often come to Kevin and Lulu's coffee shop, 'Relaxing Roast'. The inside is cosy and warm, not like the sort of big brand name coffee houses that are common place these days. Relaxing Roast's interior gives it a real small town Italian feel with its rustic decor. It even has a small fire place for those extra cold evenings. Most importantly is that Kevin and Lulu always make everyone feel most welcome there, providing customers with soft music, books to read and friendly chit chat.
This day of April passed just like any other for most. Kevin and Lulu had no reason to suspect otherwise until much later in the day. It all started when a pretty woman of around twenty six years old strolled into the cafe. Just like everyone else, whether they were a regular customer or passing through, she had obviously come to sip on a nice hot cup of fresh roasted coffee. The woman had long blonde hair that hung loose about her shoulders and was wearing a flowery summer dress and a small denim jacket. As she entered there was a ding from the doorbell and Lulu looked up at her from the serving counter. The woman approached with her hands in her pockets and gave Lulu a little smile.
"I'll have a large mocha please and a chocolate muffin," said the woman after she had reached the counter.
"Please, have a seat and I'll bring it out to you, you can pay after. Kevin is just checking the till at the moment," replied Lulu with a smile. She turned around and started making the woman's coffee.
As Kevin was stocking the till he looked up at the woman who was walking over to an empty table by the window. She had a kind of strange shuffle in the way she walked and dragged her feet a little. She finally sat at a little round table and turned her chair so she could see out of the window. Lulu headed out with the woman's coffee and put it on the table in front of her, along with the muffin and a small book. The woman did not even say a word but her eyes gazed at some distant point outside in the street.
"A book I thought you might like. Lots of people are reading it at the moment. It's called
it's a sci-fi book," said Lulu as she walked away to serve some other
"Wait Frank, I'm sorry dinners not ready... I just," cried the woman.
"Just, just what? You got a sore stomach again? Well I had a rough day at work and I'm starving and all you can think of is your self." His angry voice echoed through the little house, something the neighbours were all used to hearing.
From outside the house there was more screaming and shouting followed by a loud crashing noise as some pots were flung to the floor. One neighbour who was passing by looked toward the house in worry as she heard the sound of the woman crying hysterically.
Kevin had now taken a seat at the piano. A little upright that stood in the corner of the cafe. He lifted up the lid and began to play a few notes. He then slowly drifted into Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata first movement. Lulu looked up and smiled, it was one of her favourite pieces of music for the piano. The woman at the window seemed to like it too as her foot wagged in time with the beat of the music and she turned her head slightly in Kevin's direction as she took a sip from her coffee.
"I always hate it when you do that!" Frank shouted angrily.
This time woman and Frank were just out the front of the house in the front garden. She was hanging out some laundry as it as a pleasant day and Frank had been sitting drinking a beer before he had got up to speak.
"Do what?" the woman replied.
"Fold the clothes like that when you hang them on the line!"
Some of the neighbours had now heard the shouting and were looking across from their gardens and out there windows. Frank shouted over to them to mind their own business.
"If you don't like the way I do things then why don't you do it yourself," and with that she through the clothes onto the ground and ran into the house on the brink of tears. Frank stormed in after her.
As the notes played out on the piano some of the other customers had looked up to listen to the music. It was just getting to the interesting and emotionally rich and fast paced third movement. Another two customers had entered and Lulu went back to the counter. She passed the woman sat at the window and gave her a smile. This time she smiled back a little as if the music had eased something inside of her. The two other customers who had just entered are regulars and they greeted Lulu with a smile and the usual talk about weather. They are a local elderly couple that stays only a few streets away. While they were standing at the counter they looked back and saw the younger woman at the window.
"That woman there, I feel so sorry for her. You know I hear her husband yells at her almost every day," said Betty, leaning over toward Lulu and speaking softly.
"Now now dear, don't start talking about other peoples business," Betty's husband said shaking his head in disapproval.
"Oh, Tom I'm sure she's just concerned," Lulu said looking at Betty and smiling.
"Please don't!" cried out the woman.
Frank had her by the hair and threw her against the wall of the house. The impact put a dent in the plaster and the woman fell to the floor and cowered in a pile not daring to look up.
"I've told you not to call him, you stupid bitch!" Frank thrust his foot forward and kicked her in the side.
The woman reeled in pain and cried out. Tears streamed from her eyes and she begged for him to stop any further onslaught.
The music had now died down in to Fur Elise and was just coming to a close. Lulu was stood next to the elderly couple who had sat down in the middle of the cafe and was still talking away. The face of the woman by the counter was still plank and staring out of the window. Suddenly the sound of police sirens echoed through the street. Kevin stopped playing the piano and diverted his attention out the window. Lulu and many of the other customers had done the same, all except one.
The woman at the window stood up and placed her coffee cup on the table. It was covered in blood. Blood, which was also all over the woman's hands. There were also spatters on her summer dress, well hidden amongst the flowery pattern and not noticeable at first glance. She stood up and headed for the door leaving some money on the table.
"Goodbye Frank," she muttered to herself as she left the little coffee shop.