Sunday Reflections – Sohini Roy

The Taste of Coffee

It was a winter morning. At the corner of Harper Street, a little boy of around Eleven, standing in front of the café named ‘Coffee Days’. His name was Nate, and by looking at his shabby clothes one can easily identify that he was from a poor family.
Through the glass window of the Coffee Days, he looked at the people inside, chatting and in between sipping coffee. Nate wanted to Taste the Coffee. He had often asked his mother to make him a cup, but coffee was a luxury and his family could not afford.As he stood there, with his hands in empty pockets, a blind man with a walking stick went past him slowly. Just as the blind man opened the café door, he almost collided with a woman, who looked to be in a terrible hurry, and departed with a quick apology. The old man went inside the café without realizing that his wallet had fallen off his pocket during the collision with the woman.Nate,observed what happened and involuntarily he picked up the wallet.
Even though he doesn’t know the value of money, he could sense a bundle of notes inside the wallet. He contemplated for a moment, before mastering the courage and decided to take his chance. Keeping the wallet carefully in his pocket, he walked a few meters to find another café, not far from ‘Coffee Days’.
He went to the another café, opened the door and looked around. Nobody seemed to notice him, as he made way to an empty table and took his seat, a waiter came up to him and asked, “What do you need, sir?”. Nate was amazed he had never been spoken to with such respect in life. Gathering himself he said what he had asked his mother for thousand times,’ I want coffee’. “Cappuccino or Expresso?” asked the waiter suspiciously.
Nate thought for a while and said the second one, please”, he replied, without having any clue about the difference between the two.
As the waiter returned with a cup of steaming express coffee, Nate’s eyes lit up. But no sooner had he taken a first sip, he threw it out! Coffee did not taste as he hoped it would, it was bitter and dull!He didn’t want to drink it and looked at the cup in disgust. Nate now realized that how greedy he had been. Remorse filled him and he wanted to return the wallet to the old man immediately! He took out two-pound notes, kept on the table, and dashed out of the shop. As he returned to “Coffee Days’, he stopped in front of the window as he had spotted that blind old man inside the café. He must have got into trouble for not being able to pay the bill and was trying to explain something to an angry store manager.
Nate was terrified. He knew he had put the old man in trouble and wanted to undo the damage, but he was too scared to face the old man and the manager. But his conscious won over the dilemma he was facing and he rushed inside. He interrupted the argument and blurted out in one breathe. “Excuse me sir, I’m extremely sorry, but I found your wallet lying outside and I took it and treated myself to a cup of coffee in another café. I had never tasted coffee before sir and I apologize. I will give you the two-pounds tomorrow.” The manager who had listened to Nate was about to vent out his anger on the poor boy but the old man spoke before he could. “It’s ok my dear boy. Now run along and don’t go picking up other’s wallets again”, said the old man, with a smile on his face. The store manager was happy to get his dues, but Nate ran out with a greater sense of satisfaction. He had learned his lesson, and was glad that he had owned up to his fault. He smiled at the thought of the blind old man.
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