The full moon rises slowly, losing its yellow hue and appears to shrink as it slowly climbs the sky on an October night. The wind blows slightly causing me to shiver. As I walk towards my car, I remove my keys from my right pocket and search for the black one. I find my car parked on the fourth floor of the parking garage a block south of thirteen-story Pound Hall. I enter the car and start the engine and heat. Linkin’ Park is turned up and slight rattling can be heard from the ancient factory-installed speakers of my blue Ford Escort. Now, I drive.
Seven minutes later, I parallel park on the block past Crescent Moon. In every college town, small and quirky coffee shops are scattered about. This particular one resides in a remodeled warehouse which is now home to the coffee-shop and a large dance room. A little bell rattles as I open the door and glance around. Amy is working behind the counter, as expected, cleaning up some of the dishes and other messes created during the 13 hours the shop has been open. To the left, the open room extends filled with some round tables, high tables, chairs, and couches. Six people are scattered about, studying or talking. Twenty feet back from the entrance, stairs rise up a few feet leading to the dance floor. I walk up to the coffee counter.
I apologized for not returning her phone call because I hadn’t gotten it until she was already at work.
“Oh, that’s okay. I just kept calling people on my list till I talked to someone who could come in.” Chase and Webb were sitting at two small tables at the far left of the room. “Thanks for coming in anyway, though.”
Amy was wearing her Crescent Moon logo t-shirt and apron along with some khakis. Her wavy, golden-brown hair hung down past her shoulder, and she smiled, but a hint of work-induced tiredness was present.
I let her continue working and went and sat down at the table with Chase. Greetings were exchanged and shortly Amy bought chase a drink he had ordered.
Amy remembered, “Oh, don’t let me forget the cookies I have for you guys in my car.”
Chase and Webb were studying the Bible in preparation for the groups of men they meet with weekly. After a couple minutes of sitting there, I pulled my Bible out of my backpack. I had also brought materials to study for class, but opted not to read those at the time. I turned to Galatians and began reading it distractedly and unfocused.
Amy was near the door sorting through newspapers and separating the old ones to be recycled. Something nudged me into remembrance, and I walked over to tell her.
“Did you hear that Aaron and Jamie got engaged this weekend?”
A smile widened as her face cheered to the news and small giggles left her mouth.
“No way! That’s so awesome!”
I told her the few other details I knew about it and enjoyed watching Amy’s excitement. We briefly discussed the realities of growing older and the many engagements currently occurring among friends. After a few minutes of talking, I went back to Chaseï¿½s table.
The discussion with Chase and Webb focused sporadically on God, Christianity, and college football. Webb’s bald head and developing beard were briefly discussed as well as Chase returning to Arkansas early the next morning to visit his ailing grandmother. Moments of silence also entered as occasional studying occurred. Time proceeded this way for the next two hours.
Halfway through the two hours there, the shop officially closed and the other four patrons left. By midnight, Amy had finished cleaning. The four of us walked to Amy’s car and she gave us each some cookies in Ziploc bags. Webb’s car held Chase and him. They left first to return to the house they are currently roommates in, then Amy left, and I followed her back to the large parking lot across the street from Pound Hall. She grabbed some things she had brought back from her home after Fall Break and also handed me a pile of clothes to carry inside. We walked inside together. After reaching my floor, I handed her the clothes and said “good night.” She returned the parting.
The night continued for an hour more as I wasted my eyesight on an information-age computer screen. Then I brushed my teeth, flossed, and went to sleep.