"What! Free Starbucks?" A Short Somewhat Nonfiction Story

On a chilly early evening, I purposefully strode into Starbucks.
"Uh oh here is another soy chai lover," said short, brown haired, blue-eyed Barista Man.
As soon as I came in, the young, peach-skinned lad in white shirt and signature green apron always knew what I wanted.
A grande sized soy hot chai tea.
Today was obviously no different.
"Yes," I beamed cheerfully. "That would be me!"
Cold and shivering from outside's massively dropping temperature, I couldn't wait to be warmed up with my favorite beverage.
The two people ahead of me seemed distressed.
More like three people.
There was a baby on the ground.
In one of those baby carrier whatchamacallits.
"What's going on?" I politely asked, through clenched I-Freaking-Need-My-Fix teeth.
"We're out of soy milk," Barista Man groaned.
Immediately, I fought back tears.
What the fudge?
Didn't I just see about 80 cartons of soy milk in their fridge yesterday?
Not that I was scoping out their supply or anything...
"You're in luck!" exclaimed very chipper, brown pony-tailed, long eye lashed (were those real?) Barista Woman. "We have one lemon pound cake slice left!"

"Yay!" I cheered enthusiastically.
Blinking the wetness away with the strength of a thousand spinach filled Popeyes, I showcased false bravado.
Ah, sweet divine, lightly textured lemon pound cake.
Lately, my dessert of choice was always gone upon arrival.
I smiled at Barista Woman.
Happy about the pound cake and all, but damn...
The tea was more important than that!
That spicy, heated rush of blended spices going down my throat was much needed.
The perfect yum after a hard day's work.
If one would call writing novel, playing with the kitten, walking three miles, returning a damaged phone, and going into Starbucks a hard day's work.
"Unfortunately no soy milk," she stated. "What would you like today?"
My quivering lips tried to form words.
Chai tea.
Chai tea.
Hmmmm.... how about some chai tea?
Her bubbly sweet mask looked on the verge of cracking.
She needed me to hurry.
A man was behind me.
He probably didn't want chai tea.
"A slice of lemon pound cake," I replied. "And some wat-t-ter."

"One water coming right up!" Barista Man shouted.
Not trying to knock water.
Iced cold and refreshing, the clear liquid was heaven, especially on scorching humid summer days.
Made me feel healthy whenever I had a glass or two.
Now if I compared water to heaven, what did that make hot chai tea?
Shaking my head, I sat in my usual corner table of comfy, green designed chairs and small, circular table.
I slurped water, logged onto the complimentary Internet, and sniffled.
Bravery only lasted so long.
Mind in jumbled knots, I couldn't fully concentrate on one thing.
In the course of five, seemingly slow minutes:
I read tweets.
Played Spider Solitaire.
Tried to write novel.
Stuffed torn iced lemon pound cake pieces into my mouth.
Chugged more water.
But I needed the tea.
"Here you go."
Looking up from my thirteen inch laptop screen, Barista Man unexpectedly arrived at my corner table with a treat.
Not just any treat- the holy grail, the epitome of yumminess, the queen of my heart, the ruler of the plastic/post-consumer ten percent recyclable fiber cup.

"You don't have to pay for it," he said, grinning cordially.
He had a great set of pearly whites!
Besides the point, but it had to be mentioned.
Starbucks must have amazing insurance benefits.
Focusing back on my cup, yet to take an appreciate sip, my insides felt immense pleasure.
"Oh my gosh!" I nearly screamed like a raging lottery winner. "Thank you so much!"
"No problem," he said with widening eyes.
He walked away, perhaps boggled that someone was overly excited over hot soy chai tea.
I felt like dancing a jig (I'm a pretty awful dancer!) or shouting, "Hallelujah!" to the rooftops.
Or at least hugging Barista Man!
But of course I only did the right thing.
Feeling like rich royalty, I sipped the hot chai tea like it was ambrosia.
"Mmmmhmmmmm," I moaned aloud, thankful that no one was around me.
No need to be witnessed having a taste bud orgasm.
Oh chai tea, how I love thee?

Can I just say that I love this place?
This was my third cup of free chai here.
I've been keeping count and greedily devouring each one.
As I sat web browsing and drinking the good stuff, I patiently awaited for the next impromptu Starbucks freebie.
More like impatiently waiting....


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