COFFEE SHOP TALK – The New Luscious Girlfriend.

I’m the only person browsing in a tiny shop filled with Christmas merriment. A perky woman, approaches me. By her eyes I can tell she’s smiling behind her mask.  

            “What can I help you with today?” she asks. 

            I am about to reply that I’m looking for stocking stuffers when another woman rushes into the store.  

            “Lou, guess what?” She bounces up and down on her toes. “I met Roger’s new girlfriend today.”

            The sparkle in Lou’s eyes disappear, so does the Christmas cheer, as if the lights went out and Scrooge shut down Christmas. “What does she look like?” she asks. “Is she blond, dark, tall, short?”

            “She’s luscious,” the woman says. “Sort of reddish blond with big brown eyes. Roger calls her his beautiful Gem.”

           “Well, Roger always says he likes a luscious woman,” Lou says. 

            I’m not sure what happened between Lou and Roger but it’s obvious that she likes him. 

            The woman and Lou gab on and on. Then the woman nudges her and says, “Shh, he’s coming.”

            In walks a tall man, by his grey hair he could be in his early sixties. The two women surround him. Lou raises her chin in a snippety kind of way. “Roger,” she says. 

            It’s none of my business but I examine ornaments, sniff soaps, run my hand over hats and scarves, as if I plan on buying them. What I’m really interested in is hearing about the luscious Gem. And if there’s any drama, I want to watch it unfold.

            “So, where’s your new girlfriend?” Lou asks. “Angie said she just met her.”

             “She’s right here.” Roger reaches into a leather bag. “Meet my beautiful Gem,” he says and pulls out a sweet, blond Cocker Spaniel puppy with the biggest brown eyes.

            And just like that it’s Christmas again.

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Sheila Horne graduated from George Brown’s Creative Writing Program and is the author of three novels: Sunshine Girls, Paper Sun, and Place in the Sun. She is also the co-author of Temple of Light, a book of poems inspired by the Sharon Temple. Her poems and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. To read more, visit, author or

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