The Barista

A month has passed since the terrible incident Martin has been neglecting to remember. Martin looked at his watch: 2:42 AM. 18 more minutes, he thought as he was cleaning the countertop. He remembered how Mr. Craig, his boss, said he was happy to see him doing well and gradually getting over it.

As he was wiping the glassware clean, a woman entered the bar. Martin welcomed her with a warm smile, trying not to exhibit his slight irritation. The woman was staring into the open space, looking exhausted as shown by the deep, dark circles under her eyes.

“Two of your best,” the woman said without caring to look at the barista. The woman appeared to be extremely worn out. It seemed like she had been drinking for a while.

Martin prepared the woman’s order and served it to her. The woman poured the beer into her glass and drank it in one gulp.

Martin, feeling uneasy, asked, “Er… Is there anything I can help you with, Madam?”

The woman was silent for a moment before letting out a sigh.

“How do you forgive yourself,” she whimpered, “after taking a little girl’s life for driving recklessly and running away with it?”

Martin fell silent.

Suddenly, he remembered his daughter asking for a giant teddy bear on her 7th birthday. He remembered promising to take her to the nearest arcade in town; how he would win the biggest teddy bear for her.

Then his memory switched to his daughter lying face down on the hood of his car, slowly losing her life after an SUV took a risky turn at their direction. He remembered how he had sworn he would never forgive the driver for taking his little angel from him.

The woman started sobbing. Martin comforted her and offered to give her another drink.

As Martin was preparing her drink, he tried to recall which drawer Mr. Craig put the revolver in.


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