A chance encounter in a cafe

Costa cafe

Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I hope you’re all well and, for those of you that are in the UK or anywhere else that’s sunny right now, I hope you’re making the most of the weather!

Anyway as the title of this post suggests, today’s WIPpet that I’m sharing takes place in a cafe.  It’s from my as-yet-untitled WIP romance about a school teacher.  In this scene it’s the weekend and my MC Rebecca has cycled into the centre of the city where she lives for some R&R.

While she’s there, she sees someone she knows and what follows is their encounter.  I’m sharing with you just over 25 lines for the 25th June, which I think is generous seeing as I haven’t written much yet!

Rebecca headed across the pedestrianized area towards the large Next store.  She needed a new belt; her current one had seen better days.  But as she approached the store, the smell of fresh coffee brewing washed over her.  Led astray, she followed her nose to its source: the nearby Costa.  There were only three other customers in the café, a man and two young women chatting together. 

Still feeling the effects of her lie in, Rebecca ordered an espresso and sank down onto a large leather sofa facing a low table.  She picked up the crumpled copy of the previous day’s Times, and became engrossed in an article in the culture section on the newest book by one of her favourite authors.  She was so absorbed in what she was reading that when someone cleared their throat, seemingly right by her ear, she jolted upwards in her seat, nearly spilling her espresso all over her pale blouse.

Her brow furrowed as she looked up, and then un-furrowed itself as she saw Nick’s friendly face smiling down at her.

‘Interesting article?’ he asked her.

‘Yes actually,’ she replied smiling back.  Seeing that he was hovering with a drink in his hand, she added, ‘You can join me if you want.’

‘Thanks, that’d be great.’ He sat down opposite her, crossing his long legs in front of him underneath the table.

Rebecca took another sip of her espresso, determined not to be awkward with Nick.  He’s just a member of staff, she told herself.  A very cute member of staff, but a member of staff none the less.

‘So, Rebecca, how’s your first couple of weeks been?  I bet it’s a lot to get used to.’

She nodded. 

And there you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise at the moment and post it on your blog.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date.  Then post your details here.

Thank you our lovely K. L. Schwengel for being our marvellous hostess!

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23 thoughts on “A chance encounter in a cafe

    • Thanks Alana. I can’t believe you don’t know what a lie in is!! lol 😉 It’s literally lying in bed longer than usual – at weekends you might have a lie in because you don’t have to get up early to go to work as you would on a week day. I think this is a case of ‘lost in translation’ between English and American English!! 🙂

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  1. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    I really like this excerpt, I can picture the surroundings and the characters without feeling overwhelmed by detail. I really want to go to Costa when I’m in the UK next month, which probably sounds strange to someone surrounded by them, but they’re such a novelty to me!

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  2. Heh, I was confused about the “lie in” too, wondering if she’d just had a baby or something! (I some to recall some euphemism like that sometimes use din historical novels.)

    Definitely feel your MC’s attraction to Nick in this excerpt. Good job!

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    • Hi Ruth! Thanks for that. Yes in some historical novels I’ve read it talks about a woman ‘lying in’ or something like that. It’s funny that English and American English can be so different at times. 🙂

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  3. I only caught the “lie in” because I got teased about it once when my hubby was working over in Birmingham. It is definitely strange how different (and yet how similar) the various forms of English are. But then… we’ve nothing on the Chinese languages.

    Nice little snippet. Nick sounds positively dangerous. (in a good way)

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    • Hi Eden. Glad at least one person gets what I mean by a lie in lol!! But you’re right about the different forms of English – even within England, you’d be surprised. Like here in the city of Bristol, south west England, (which I’m not from!) you’ll often hear people saying things like ‘where’s that to?’ instead of ‘where is that?’.

      Now seeing as I’m not from the West Country, I find that hilarious – it just sounds so odd to me. And the Bristol accent is really funny – it reminds me of what an English farmer would sound like living on his farm in the back of beyond, only it’s people living in a big city, so there’s a bit of a paradox.

      Glad you like the excerpt. And yes Nick is dangerous. Mostly in a good way… 🙂

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      • Hmm, come to think about it, it makes sense there would be so many natural variations in English in England, given how many different tribes and invaders (both violent and diplomatic) have passed through the country. It’s kind of like the variations in just New York State, where someone from Buffalo has trouble following someone from Albany and neither of them know what the guys from NYC is saying… 😉

        Ooh! Sounds like fun! (and cute? Well, that’s a bonus)

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    • Yes you’re absolutely right about the different tribes and invaders to the UK. Though technically the last person to invade and conquer the UK from outside was William the Conqueror in 1066!

      But yes there are definite influences in the English we speak here in the UK from all over the world. Not least from the US! We’re heavily influenced by the way you guys speak, especially the younger generation. Hardly surprising I guess, seeing as we’re saturated with American films, TV and games etc.

      Things like ‘I’m good’ – that gets said a lot. That’s a recent development; when I was at school people didn’t say it. If I’m honest, it grates with me a bit! I’d rather say ‘I’m fine thanks’, but each to their own!

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      • Well, as you noted… one does have to come with armies to “conquer’ another country. (We still talk about the “British Invasion here because of the Beatles after all. And I know there is a bunch of Anglo-French back and forth that’s occurred over the centuries,)

        “I’m good” annoys me too, and I’m sometimes guilty of using it… so I get you.

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  4. Pingback: Unsure | Elaine Jeremiah

  5. Teeheehee. 🙂 Chance meeting with the potential crush. That could definitely cause a flutter of awkward emotions.

    I had to go back through the comments to look up lie-in, too. I was thinking maybe a sleepover, which are sometimes called lock-ins here if they happen to be in a museum or church or some such.

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  6. Ooh! I totally had coffee at a Costa in Nottingham! 😀 (sorry, random England moment, haha).

    This is a cute little scene. I’m getting a sense that there’s some foreshadowing of later events.

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    • Costa are great. 🙂 They’re my favoured coffee shop. Hope you enjoyed your Costa moment when you went.

      I guess you could say that this scene foreshadows what happens subsequently, yes. Haven’t quite figured it all out in my head yet though…

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  7. The lure of coffee would call to me as well…a siren’s song. 🙂 I love this ” determined not to be awkward with Nick. He’s just a member of staff, she told herself. A very cute member of staff, but a member of staff none the less.” I’ve had similar internal dialogs.

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