FICTION: “The Coffee Bee” (Part 3)

 Part 2 of this story appears in the November Edition of the MCSM Rampage 



By Rifath Islam

Two weeks later, it was December 15th, and Adeline and Theo had been talking and hanging out more often than not. Any chance they would get, they would make plans together.

Theo had found out that Adeline never really celebrated Christmas, that her family just went to church that day, had a family dinner, and that was that. Theo was appalled. How could she not celebrate Christmas?

So, to bring more Christmas joy into Adeline’s life, Theo found himself in the coffee shop after closing time decorating the place with tinsel and Christmas decorations.

“So Adeline,” Theo started in the midst of setting up some mistletoe on the ceiling. He was currently balancing on the wobbly ladder that the coffee shop kept stashed away in a storage room. “Whaddya want for Christmas?”


Adeline, who was holding the ladder in place, was so shocked that Theo wanted to get her a present that she almost let go of the ladder. Upon hearing Theo’s screech (which he will later insist was a manly scream), her hand went back to its place on the ladder.


“Sorry,” Adeline said sheepishly. “But why do you want to get me a present?”
” ‘Cause,” Theo said as he focused on taping up the stupid fake mistletoe. “You’re my friend, and
I get all my friends Christmas gifts.”
“We’ve known each other for only a week,” Adeline replied, in a deadpan tone of voice.
“Yes, but you’re still my friend, aren’t you?”

Adeline didn’t answer, because yes, she was…but Theo still shouldn’t feel the need to get her a gift.


“Okay, I’m coming down now,” Theo notified Adeline.
With that, he descended the ladder steps. Clapping his hands as if there were dust residue on
them, Theo admired his handiwork. “There, all done.”


Adeline looked up at the mistletoe that was hanging above Theo and grimaced. “I really hope
I’m not the one who gets caught under that thing.”

Theo’s stomach churned at the thought of Adeline’s lips on someone else’s. If he were being honest with himself, he’d developed feelings for the brown-eyed, black haired girl standing two feet away from him.  The thought of her with anyone else made him sick, but he hid it with a chuckle.

“Oh lighten up, Sassy Addie, have some Christmas joy!” Theo said with excitement.
Adeline gave Theo a pointed look. “I’ve told you 500 times already not to call me that.”

Theo shrugged. “Anyways, you never answered. What do you want for Christmas?”

“Theo, you shouldn’t get me a gift. Don’t feel obligated to.”

“Shut up, Adeline. Just tell me what you want,” said Theo, busying himself with folding up the
shop’s ladder.

“I don’t know. . .get me whatever,” Adeline said dejectedly. She really didn’t want Theo to go
through the trouble of getting her a gift.
Theo stopped what he was doing. He walked up to Adeline, careful to avoid standing under the
mistletoe with her. Even if he did have feelings for the girl, he was too much of a coward to act
on them.

Theo held Adeline at arm’s length, both hands on her shoulders. “Adeline, you need to lighten
up. It’s no problem and I want to get you a gift okay? Now, since you won’t tell me, I guess I’m
just going to have to think up something.”

With a pat on Adeline’s shoulder, Theo moved the ladder back into storage. As he returned from
the back room, he admired the now very Christmas-y coffee shop, courtesy of Adeline and

“Remind me again why I’m the one helping you with this and not like Matthew, or Gabe?” Theo

“Because Matthew called in sick today, while Gabe left for vacation to see his college friends,”
she replied. “This left me in charge, so I had to call the next best person who I knew would be
more than happy to help.”

Throughout this speech, Theo only registered one thing. “Next best?” he asked with a pout.
Adeline sighed like Theo was a lost cause. “Oh, you know what I mean,” she said, waving him

Theo grumbled, and then smiled down at Adeline. “Oh, Mom wanted to know if you were doing
anything around Christmas time. And by ‘Christmas time’, she means both Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day.”

“Well, no. I suppose I’ll be here managing the shop, since Gabe and Matthew won’t be here,”
Adeline said, as if she had just realized this.

Theo grimaced. “You can’t be alone on Christmas. Well, it’s a good thing mom asked because
she wants you to come over. She’s been dying to meet you ever since Jen went over to her
place and told her everything about that day we first met. Ironically enough, mom looked like a
little kid on Christmas Day when she heard.”

Adeline smiled at hearing about Meredith Reed. Adeline knew how much Theo loved his
mother–or just his family in general.

“I couldn’t intrude,” Adeline started.

“Nonsense! In fact, you can stay over, ’cause who wants to be alone on Christmas? So…like, I
think mom will want you to stay for, like, 3 or so days if you’re not doing anything,” Theo
explained. He looked at the watch on his wrist. “I better get going now though. Mom said if I’m
not home in time for dinner, I won’t be allowed to eat at her place anymore–which we all know is
a lie–but it’s best if I don’t get her mad. I’ll talk to her about the whole ‘having you over’ thing,
and see what she wants. Then I’ll give you a call, alright? Until then, I’ll see you later Sassy

Theo had no idea what he was doing, but it was a spur of the moment impulse when he leaned
down and gave Adeline a kiss on the cheek. He saw Adeline blush and gave her a final wave
before heading out the door of the coffee shop. Once outside, Theo thought over what he just
did, and a feeling of warmth settled itself inside his stomach.



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