The Waitress

For context, the following scene takes place during the events of Marvel’s Avengers.

Sadie knew she shouldn’t have reacted how she did, but she was just so angry at it all she couldn’t help but storm out. You don’t say, “I love you,” to your ex, especially in front of your new girlfriend. That was a faux pas on James’s part. No, faux pas is too forgiving. It was a complete betrayal of her trust. He’d been calling and texting her all morning, even though he knew she was working. The cafe was packed this time of day, but despite that, Sadie stole glances at her phone.

“I don’t love her baby, it just slipped out. Force of habit,” one message read.

“I don’t love her like I love you, baby,” one of the other messages read. “I promise. I do love her, but as a friend and a sister. Not as a partner. I only love you that way. I have only ever loved you that way. I’m sorry.”

“Am I overreacting?” Sadie asked Lily, a fellow server at the cafe. Sadie was refilling the display case as Lily made an involved drink for a customer.

“Overreacting? No way! That’s a classic Freudian slip.”

“A what?”

“Like, he said what he meant even if he didn’t mean to say, you know?”

“I don’t think I do.”

“I had to read all about them for my psych class. The point is, he said he loved her as he hung up the phone with her. Why was he even talking to her in the first place?”

Sadie closed the case and sat down on the floor to take a quick break. “He said it was because Ella wanted to tell him that Joseph is in the hospital.”

“Ugh, Sadie, this is why you don’t date people in your friend group. Now any time anything happens to one of his friends, he has to see his ex.”

“But my thought was like, why couldn’t Joseph tell him himself? Or like, get a different friend to do it? Why did it have to be Ella that called?”

Lily put out the drink she was making and called out the name on the cup before turning back to Sadie. “No, you’re right. You’re totally right. Kicking him out was totally justified. Like, he’s probably going behind your back anyway. Like, why did Ella still have his number? Why didn’t she delete it when they broke up? Super suspicious.” She turned to the next customer. “Hi, how can I help you?”

The customer launched into a well-rehearsed order. “Can I get a caramel ribbon crunch frappuccino, grande in a venti cup, extra caramel drizzle, whipped cream, and ice.” A statement, a demand, not a question. How charming.

Sadie got up and brushed off her hands while Lily began the drink. Sadie continued the conversation as if they had not been interrupted. “Have you seen the texts he sent me this morning? One minute, he’s telling me it just slipped out, another minute he’s telling me he still cares about her as his friend, like which is it?”

“Oh, he’s definitely deflecting. He’s totally cheating on you with her. You should dump him.”

“I don’t know.”

“Sadie, sweetheart, he’s only been after you because you’re different. He sees you as this country bumpkin outsider that doesn’t know he’s no good for her, but when push comes to shove, you were only a hookup. He doesn’t want to be long term with some whoever when he can get a native New Yorker like Ella that understands what he’s going through. He’s going to leave you eventually, so you have to just bite the bullet and toss that toxic pile of garbage out.”

“I know, but I’m no good at breakups.”

“I’ll text him for you, if you want. I get off in fifteen, give me your phone and I’ll pretend to be you.” Lily took on Sadie’s trademark southern accent. “Sorry, babe, can’t do this anymore. You’re nice and all but you smell like unwashed socks.”

Sadie laughed. “I gotta go check on tables, but I’ll be back in a minute, and then yes please.”

She grabbed her pen and pad off the counter and headed toward the table closest to the door. “Anything I can get you?”

“Do you all have fresh croissants?” the old man asked as she topped off his cup of coffee. He had a painting of a mountain half-completed in front of him. It was very well done.

“We do indeed,” Sadie smiled. “Want me to fetch one for you?”

“Yes, please.”

Sadie nodded, hesitating leaving for just a moment. “I like your painting.”

“Thanks. We don’t get to see much nature in this city.”

Sadie was about to respond when an explosion rattled the cafe. Then another, and another. Something big was going down. The patrons pressed themselves against the windows, trying to see. Huge chunks of concrete from buildings lay in the road outside, and bright beams of light flashed periodically. They could have stayed that way for a while, watching the chaos from inside. Then the windows shattered, exploding into dust. The patrons flooded out of the building and into the street. Sadie and Lily glanced at each other and followed. Lily pressed herself against the exterior wall, shaking, crying, terrified. Sadie kept running. A man in front of her was shot down, but she only paused for a moment. She kept running. She spotted a cop who was ushering people into the subway tunnel. That sounded like a terrible place to be, they’d be fish in a barrel. But with something flying overhead like a whale with a thousand legs, it didn’t seem too bad compared to being left to fend for herself on the surface.

The tunnel was packed with civilians as terrified as she was. It was standing room only, pressed against one another. They were kept down there for the better part of an hour until more cops and EMTs came down and started guiding them out. As a cop helped her up the broken stairs, Sadie caught a glimpse of a man in a blue uniform. She wondered if that was Captain America. Rumor had it he was living in New York City now that they’d thawed him out from World War II.

She spotted Lily being treated by an EMT. “Lily!”

“Sadie! Oh my goodness, you’re alive! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, are you okay?”

“Nothing to serious. So tell me, have you texted him?”


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