Chloe came into my life when I needed a friend most. I was sitting alone in a coffee shop, watching the snowfall under the warm glow of the streetlights. A woman in a long black coat with a black lace veil over her face. She sat down next to me and asked me what the trouble was. “Winter blues?” I asked. She said nothing.
With the changing of the seasons, a bizarre relationship began to bloom between the two of us.
I looked up from my copy of The Bell Jar. I was playing with the tape along the spine of the book and curiously watching her hold her coffee in her gnarled and wrinkled hand. Then, I began to cry softly, sipping coffee to catch my composure. The stranger sat with me until the barista turned off the lights.
I walked to the coffee shop on the first warm day of spring, enjoying the sight of flower boxes full of red and yellow by the big bay windows outside of my favorite coffee shop. I waited at what had become our table in the corner by the bay window. Then, I had begun reading a copy of Catcher in the Rye, for my American Literature class in the Spring term.
In spring, waiting for the stranger, I sat sipping on a cup of vanilla chai. She came to our table wearing the same black veil.
“What’s the deal with the veil?” I finally had the courage to ask a question that had been on my mind for months.
Even though I couldn’t see her face, I knew Chloe was giving me a look that would leave the devil shaking in his boots. A chill crept down my spine. She growled at me. I wasn’t going to push the question, and I didn’t want to anger her. I quietly slipped my coffee with my nose in my book.
A few weeks passed, I went to meet Chloe at our coffee shop. The air was thick with the salt of the ocean; the wind was a welcome relief from the thick humidity. Chloe walked in and sat down at our table. My jaw hit the floor. She was wearing a long black coat and the same black veil.
I was drinking an iced coffee and wearing a peach tank top and pair of running white shorts. I couldn’t believe my eyes—the summer wind-whipped. The veil flew up. I screamed!
A walking corpse was standing in front of me. Maggots fell from her empty eye sockets. A decaying purple tongue fell from her blue lips. She screamed an animalistic scream.
Fall has come, and I won’t go to my favorite coffee shop anymore.