(c) Joe Russo
Sarah looked at the guitarist, who was setting up. He placed his guitar on its stand, and took a chair from the front table. He placed it in the center, and tapped on the microphone. She pushed her blonde hair back, behind her ear.
“Hello, everyone and welcome to The Coffee Shop’s Music Thursdays.” He took a seat and strummed his guitar. He started to play, a song Sarah has never heard of, and sang. His voice was beautiful. It’s a shame the only costumers in the coffee shop were Sarah and two guys.
She looked over at them. It seemed that they both got the same drink, and that they came here many times before. The cashier knew both their names.
A tap at the window broke Sarah’s gaze. It was her brother and she jumped up when she saw him. He rushed inside and picked her up for a hug. She held on to him for a while.
“Adam. I’m so happy you made it!” she said, as she took her seat.
“What are you drinking?” he asked.
“Some mocha raspberry thing.”
He stood up and ordered, looking back at his sister that he hadn’t seen in three years. He came back, looking at the table with the two men who were now holding hands, eyes locked on the guitarist.
“Why couldn’t we meet at your place?” Adam asked.
“Because its music Thursdays! How are you?” Sarah said.
“Happy to be home. And you?” Adam answered, taking Sarah’s hands.
“Same old, same old. Dad wants to see you.”
The guitarist changed songs, this time to a more upbeat one. “Come up and dance if you want to,” He urged the crowd.
Sarah looked over at the couple. One of them led the other to the space in front of the stage. They started dancing.
Sarah looked at them.
“That’s disgusting.” Adam said, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Two men shouldn’t be together. Its unnatural.” Adam said, looking at the couple.
By now, the guitarist changed songs. A slow one, with no vocals. The couple began to slow dance, keeping up with his beat.
“I think it’s adorable.” Sarah said. She caught the eye of one of the men and waved. He waved back with a small smile.
“Don’t smile at them. They’ll think it’s cute.” Adam said.
“Adam, they’re not animals.”
The guitarist ended his song and placed his guitar in a holder. He walked off the stage, walking to the cashier. The couple came back to their seat. The coffee shop became quiet.
“Why didn’t you come home?” Sarah asked.
“You knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t just leave my post because mom died.”
“Are you at least going to see him?” Sarah asked. Adam looked at her.
“I figured I would stop by the house and make sure he’s okay.”
“You know he doesn’t blame you. Mom’s death was natural,” Sarah said.
The couple laughed and one of them placed a kiss on the other. Adam looked at them.
“Do they have to do that in public?” he said, raising his voice at the last word. One of them looked over at him.
“Adam, they can do whatever they want. They aren’t brothering us.” Sarah said, looking to the couple and shaking her head. She mouthed I’m sorry.
They waved it away, like they were used to it. Like they were used to the looking, the laughing behind ones back.
“No. They are bothering me.” Adam said, walking toward their table.
“Why don’t do that in private? This is a place for normal people, not faggots like you.”
“Adam” Sarah said, standing up and knocking her chair over. She stomped over to him. “I am so sorry. He just came back from Iraq…” Sarah took Adam’s arm. She led him to the door.
“Tell me. Would it be okay if two girls made out? I’m sure someone like you would like that. Why cant we?” one of the men said as he stood up. He looked straight at Adam.
“We dance and laugh the same way you do.” He walked closer to Adam.
Adam looked at him, not saying a word. He looked back at his sister.
“We love the same way you do. Tell me what’s so wrong about that?” the man was now face to face with Adam. They stared at each other.
“Can we leave?” Adam asked as he opened the door and stepped out.
Sarah looked at them and followed after her brother. She couldn’t force herself to say anything.
The man went back to his table. He took the hand of his partner.
The guitarist, walking back to the stage, set up for another song. This time singing to his only fans.
Joe Russo is a writing student.