Exchange @ Coffeeshop

In line for coffee, two men talk.

“She wants to leave on Wednesday. Night.”

“And you said?”

“Absolutely not.”


“Because I want to leave on Thursday.”

“And she said?”

“Oh, she wanted to talk about it. Wanted to know why I want to leave on Thursday. Bullshit.”

“Did you?”

“Tell her how I was feeling?”


“No. Fuck that.”

“So when are you leaving?”

“She’s out of town on Wednesday. And I’m not leaving at all.”

“You’re not even going to your family’s home?”

“My family lives all over the fuckin’ place. Canada. Ohio. Connecticut. Fuck it.”

A barrista asks for their order–cappuccinos.

“What did she tell her parents?”

“That I had to work. Which isn’t a lie, really. I will be working.”


“Yeah. What about you? What are you doing for the holiday?”



“Seriously? You are going to ask her to marry you?”

“Seriously. Yes. At her parent’s. On Thanksgiving. We’re leaving on Wednesday. Together.”

More silence.

They pay for their cappuccinos and leave, both men quiet and certain of their immediate destiny.

Happy Thanksgiving-travel days, everyone.

keep on.


About J. R. Angelella

J. R. Angelella is the author of the popular debut novel ZOMBIE: A NOVEL (Soho Press) and a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology WHO DONE IT? (Soho Teen), benefiting the nonprofit organization 826NYC. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Sou’wester, JMWW, The Collagist, Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal and The Nervous Breakdown. His short story “Sauce” won the 2012 Short Story Contest held by The Coachella Review. He received a BA in English Literature from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He taught creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City and currently teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, the writer Kate Angelella.
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