Hot Chocolate Boy

I walked into the café that afternoon, feeling the same as I had every day that summer. It was hot and sulky weather, and I wore my favorite tweed shorts and a white t-shirt. The café’s fans were whirling at full speed and the occupants were gulping down lemonade and ice water. The only thing different that day was the boy sitting in the corner starting on a hot chocolate.

This floored me for a second and I stood in the doorway trying to process that fact. It took me until he had finished all of the whipped cream and started on the beverage itself to move, and when I did it was a quickstep over to the counter and to Slim.

Slim may possibly be the most misleading nickname ever given to a human being, somewhat on par with naming a pet snail “Fluffy”. Slim was fat, very very fat, and very very sweaty. He carried a white handkerchief that was always stained yellow with sweat by the end of the day and doled out complaints and orders in equal amounts.

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