Omen: noun: an event regarded as a portent of good or evil.
When I pull up into the parking lot of my local coffee shop, I open my door to climb out. Just before I do, the passenger in the car next to me opens theirs without looking first, barely missing my car. I give him a dirty look through the window of my cracked door and he mutters an apology. After he shuts the door and goes into the shop, I get out myself and follow, hoping he doesn’t think I’m some kind of creeper.
When I enter the shop, he notices and gestures for me to get in front of him. Alright. I forgive him and take the spot in line. The barista is a new girl. I feel for her. People in my neighborhood tend to be on the picky-side, so I’m sure no one is ordering a simple mocha. Heck. My own drink is going to be a quad-shot caramel Frappuccino with skim milk and whipped cream. Yes. I’m aware that it is ironic to have skim with whipped cream, but it’s the way I like it.
When I’m next in line, some teenage boy swaggers in and swoops in front of me. Teeny bopper barista just bats her eyelashes and gives a deep sigh. He starts to order, but Door Opener taps him on the shoulder and gestures with a closed fist and outstretched thumb the line behind us. Swagger raises an eyebrow and smirks like he owns the world, but when the rest of the people in line begin to protest, he finally relents and goes to the back of the line.
When I order my drink, I’m sure Teeny Bopper Barista gets it wrong. She’s so new, she doesn’t have a nametag. I give her a ten percent tip, still feeling annoyed that she was about to allow Swagger to cut in front of everyone in line. Door Opener and his friend stand next to me at the other end of the counter a short while later and we wait.
When my drink is called, I pick it up, nod to Door Opener, and head out to my car. As I step onto the sidewalk, a skateboarder zooms past and it makes me drop my beverage. Dark brown Frappuccino spills all over the ground. Mocha. Yup. It was wrong. I glare at his back and he turns his head as he leaves to see the damage he left. Swagger never got back in line. It was him. He gives me a smirk, salutes, then ditches the scene. Deciding that I’m just not going to bother, I get into my car.
When I turn the ignition, nothing happens. Of course not. I slam my forehead into the steering wheel and pull out my phone to call roadside assistance. I get out of my car as Door Opener is reentering his own. Or his friend’s? I walk to get to the back of my car and a crow flies in my face. I swat at it, and lean against the trunk as it leaves. Door Opener asks if anything is wrong and I say I’m just waiting on a tow truck. He notes the absence of my drink and I explain the mess outside the coffee shop was mine. Frowning, he offers me his, saying he hasn’t drank out of it and he insists I take it, since I’m having a bad day. I accept and he leaves.
When the car and I are finally at the mechanic, I check it in and get a rental car. For some stupid reason, the cars are across the street, and the gal behind the counter pops her gum and tells me it’s the only maroon PT Cruiser over there. Great. A crappy car to top off my crappy day. She hands me the key and says she doesn’t need to do a walk-around, sending me on my way.
When I move to cross the street, a hand pulls me back by the collar of my jacket just as a Mustang zooms past, running a red light. I could have died. I think back on my day to everything that happened. Door Opener preventing me from getting out of my car. Swagger cutting in line. Swagger cutting me off with his skateboard. The random crow flying in my face. Then, the car almost hits me. Were all those things omens leading up to the moment of my fated demise? Is there anything else I need to worry about?
When I turn around to thank my rescuer, I find Door Opener. I don’t know how he could be there. He drove off long ago to God knows where. He smiles big at me and disappears. Not walking-away-disappearing. Vanished. Poof. Gone. I have a feeling I don’t need to watch out for any further disturbances in my day.