“I have fantasies about you.”

We hadn’t been saying anything. He was cleaning the espresso machine and I was washing out the frappucino jugs. We’d hit a lull after the lunch rush, which is normally our time to clear up the kiosk from the chaos of lids and spoons and cups that get shoved anywhere when we don’t even have time to remember our own names. We had our backs to each other because that’s how the kiosk works – coffee machine faces out, sink faces the wall. I didn’t even turn around.

“You do?” I asked.

“Yes. I do.”


We’d both paused after he’d said it, but now I saw out of the corner of my eye that he’d resumed his polishing.

“They’re not violent or anything. It’s not like that. I just think about you. And think about doing things with you.”

I started scrubbing again, vigourously. “Things. That’s a bit vague, Robert. Things could mean anything from shopping to fucking.”

“I thought you must have guessed. That I was thinking about you.”

Well, what girl doesn’t know when a guy has his eye all over her? Me. I’m the girl who doesn’t have a clue. The thing is that the kiosk is very small. You can fit three people in it according to the company, but then we all only have room to turn around on the spot, like one of those little ballerinas in a jewellery box, so most of the time it’s just two of us, working in a space three feet wide and six feet long. Who wouldn’t start feeling unnaturally close to their work colleagues? Hell, back in the bank we used to joke about being work wives and husbands for each other, and we each had a space three by six to call our own. We didn’t have to brush past each other a hundred times a day either. I miss my desk, my own personal workspace. The jar of nutella that I kept in my bottom desk drawer. I miss the pension too, and the share options, but that stuff’s not so ambiguous: there wasn’t any money left for anything, including renting the building and paying the employees. Financially, we were all fucked. I get that. But fantasies from a guy in a coffee kiosk? I have no idea if I should be terrified or flattered.

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