ForeverLove(dot)com by Abigail Lugo

Acquiring a table at a local coffee shop sometimes could be a challenge.  The feat began when the sound of bells rang as the door opened alerting the patrons on queue another has entered or exited the game.  Sultry, kind of blue, trumpet tunes infused with hints of mocha and hazelnut hovered above to alleviate the waves of competing chatter.  Across the room there were many who found solace through their headphones and faces glued to their laptops while tapping sounds go off tempo against the shop’s music. Quick table turnovers were a rarity.  So when one became available and next to an outlet a mad dash for prime real estate ensued.

Elsa, a regular, knew all the tricks.  She was able to tell through body language anyone about to leave.  While she noticed a couple gathering used napkins and lightweight grande cups she speed walked her way to their table.  As soon as she noticed the single outlet she whispers, “yes.”  She forgot to charge her computer last night after talking with her best friend on Facetime till twilight.  Just as she was about to plug the cord into the gateway of energy, a nearby man maneuvered himself around a gaggle of tweens to charge his phone in the same outlet. When their matching cords collided they looked at each other and for a moment there was a hopeful expression on their faces.  The man’s eyes expanded when he saw this breathtaking woman in front of him. Elsa’s breath stopped short as their hands touched.  She was taken back by the twinkle in his eyes and bright smile. Expecting him to be a gentleman and step aside, he winked and plugged in his charger.  “First dibs”, he said nonchalantly.

Outraged at his lack of chivalry, head held high, Elsa exclaimed, “Hey, I got here first buddy!” She immediately unplugged his charger and replaced it with her own.  She rolled her eyes at him and huffed.  With a swift back turn, earbuds in place, and flick of her laptop she went about her business as if the last minute never existed.

Mouth gaped open and speechless, David was paralyzed from the waist down.  His disbelief over the woman’s behavior rendered him incapable to form a quick retort.  “I can’t believe she did that”, he mumbled.  Her cold, dismissive demeanor sparked David’s fight or flight instincts although at this point he was in a stand still.  He pondered his next move, looked around and realized that it wasn’t worth the hassle.

David sat down at the table opposite Elsa and exhaled a long sigh as he returned to the reason he was there.  For the past hour, he has been looking at his computer, contemplating what to write on his profile on ForeverLove.com.  Being a playboy since the age of first erection he was ready for a commitment.  David grew tired of slipping away at sunrise to avoid the dreaded morning after chitchat that led to nowhere.  He was lonely and for a man who spent all his nights with an array of beautiful morsels he felt more lost than ever.  It didn’t help that most of his friends were married, some with kids.  It was as if he arrived late to an exclusive grown-up party uninvited.

Staring at his profile he quickly took a selfie and uploaded to his computer. He approved his causality and trusted it will appeal to the soul mate he was looking for somewhere in the vastness of cyber applicants.  With a quick thumbs up for this monumental step towards marital bliss he clicked submit.  He held his breath and wondered what matches this dating algorithm would spit out for him. “Is it possible? Could my future wife really be out there?” he mused.

Across from David, Elsa swiftly typed information on her online profile she began last night.  Her best friend since high school recommended a site that promises a love that lasts forever. It’s been so long she forgot what a happy relationship felt like. “This better work.” said Elsa aloud with her fist towards the screen. She scrutinized all her photos from Instagram and decided on an outdoorsy picture from a recent Meetup group event.  She hated that experience and vowed never to soil her Valentino sneakers or even hike again. But in her opinion she did looks fabulous that day.  With a click and mental congratulatory pat on the back, her profile was done. She started to gnaw the inside of her cheek as she awaited her love matches. “Is he really out there?” she thought. In a few seconds the results revealed themselves.  She nibbled at her manicured nails, eyes fixed, when suddenly her focus moved from her laptop to an outburst from the crude man sitting across her.

I waited for this!” shouted David. He looked around conscious he spoke out loud then frowned at his options.  To his judgment none of these women were drop dead gorgeous or came close to wife material. Scrolling down the list of potentials he paused at one with the header, ‘Be My Prince Charming’. She stated on her profile she was a young professional who loved the outdoors. A gleam of optimism sparkled from David’s eyes. Just as he was about to click on the woman’s avatar he heard a loud shriek nearby.

Elsa’s arms shot in the air and she shook her head side to side. “Eek! No f-n way!” she shouted. As Elsa viewed her matches, on top of the list was the one person she never expected to see. There on her screen was a picture of David, the rude, discourteous man from earlier.  Elsa slumps down as her heart sank. Frowning, she saw David mirroring the same expression, the twinkle in his eyes gone. With chin down and head tilted, he slammed his laptop shut.

A deep bellow from wooden legs scraping the floor turned customers’ heads. Iron doorbells clattered twice. Two tables became available mere minutes apart.

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