Lucielle - The Regulars of Amanda Lexie - Short Story
J. J. Hanna © 2020
I pulled into the drive through like I did every morning, sliding my hands up and down my soft pink steering wheel cover. I stopped in front of the speaker box and waited for one of my barista’s familiar voices.
“Good morning! How are you today—is that Lucielle?”
I smiled. “Hi Amanda. I’m doing well! How are you?”
I could hear the smile in her voice as she responded, “I’m doing well! Are you doing your usual today?”
“Yes I am.”
“Great! Large today?”
“Yep.” My phone binged and I glanced at the screen. A text from my boss flicked across the screen too quickly to read. Really? Now?
“Nope, that’s it.”
“Alrighty Lucielle, we’ll see you down here.”
As the cars in front of me inched forward, I took my phone off its stand on my dashboard. I know you’re not supposed to look at it or text while in the driver’s seat, but everyone bends the rules at stoplights and drive-throughs.
Can you come in early? We’re running a new training exercise this afternoon.
I wanted to groan as I saw those words. That meant they caught him and they’d brought him in for questioning.
The cars ahead of me inched forward again and finally it was my turn at the window.
“Good morning, Lucielle. Your total today is $5.73.”
I handed Amanda my card. “Did you dye your hair?” The answer was yes—last time I’d seen her, her hair was blue along the ends. Now it was pink, almost as pink as my steering wheel cover. But it was worth asking the question with the obvious answer if it meant I could avoid the inevitable question. And anyway, seeing how her face lit up as she smiled, I was glad I asked.
“I did! It was time for a change,” she said, flipping her ponytail over her shoulder so I could see it better.
“It looks good!”
“Thanks!” She glanced over her shoulder toward the espresso bar. “We’ll get that White Chocolate Mocha out in just a second . . . Got anything exciting going on?”
Dang it. There it was. The inevitable question.
I smiled. “No. Just work.” At least it wasn’t a lie. Not exactly.
The barista at the bar handed her my drink and she slid the sleeve on the cup and handed it out the window to me. “It’s good to see you, Lucielle. Have a good one!”
“Thanks! You too.” I pulled away from the window and took a sip of my mocha. I’d tried everything else on the menu at some point—but I always came back to this. There was just nothing quite like it. And it was becoming quite clear I’d need that boost today. This would be quite the day of work.
I pulled out of the parking lot and drove the short distance to work. For a moment, I amused myself with the knowledge that Amanda had no idea this place even existed. Black sites like this were rare but useful.
I parked, grabbed my briefcase, and headed inside, leaning forward for the retinal scan at the door.
“Good morning, Lucielle. How were your barista’s today?” the door guard, Lizzy, asked.
I lifted my coffee in salute. “Fabulous as always.”
She shook her head. “How do you justify it? Spending that much money on coffee every month?”
I shrugged. “We all have to maintain our covers, right? I may as well enjoy coffee and companionship—even if it’s shallow and repetitive. Anything I should know before I go in there?”
Lizzy shrugged. “Just that the boss is in a mood.”
“Oh boy.” I pushed the next door open, scanned my finger at the next scanner, and pushed that door open as well. What a day this would be.
This story, segments of this story, and ideas from this story are not to be duplicated or replicated in anyway. This content belongs to J. J. Hanna alone.
Please note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real life events is unintended by the author.
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J. J. Hanna is a writer and reader from Colorado. She loves suspense stories above all else, and is currently working on a debut novel of her own. When she's not writing, you can find her cuddling with a cat, drinking a caffeinated beverage, and watching one of her favorite shows. Go find her on social media @authorjjhanna to keep track of her most recent reads, current adventures, and to get the most up to date news on all things publishing.