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Pound coins and ATM lovers

Leathery sunsoup trickled through the cafe door and illuminated dark mahogany tables/chairs. Grubby air swilled towards vents; professionals smiled convincingly; newspapers had been flung open and some left untouched. People dead in a mudslide somewhere: Malaysia, maybe China. Buses continuously dazzled beyond. Could just have been the same bus, over and over again. The businesspeople sucked their smoothies, hoovered up their warm fizzy ades, laminated their lips with cappuccino chocolate.

Jane twizzled a pen around in her hand, watching the row of subtly different individuals at the bank's cashpoint out the open doors straight ahead. A man (probably worked in finance) held his tall torso and a suede briefcase. A young couple swapped little smirks. A tiny student sighed, then looked at her iPhone. A balding security guard moodily tilted. The cafe had gained extra human presence while Jane had been gazing on at the ATM lovers. Also, its cocoon-ness had grown, a wintery beetle-black void had descended citywards.

Some guy who'd been deep inside The Times rose up as if he were in church and a hymn had begun. When he did, his foot skewered a table leg, knocking him comically, ridiculously off-balance and his loose pound coins exploded onto the polished floor. Jane glimpsed in this bloke's pocket a well-pored 'To the Lighthouse' paperback, her all-time favourite book. The man scrambled around for his beer change. She noticed a pound beneath a chair that he hadn't seen, but didn't say anything, got to her feet, then left.

© Copyright 2016 John Maher