Add Tax

Cassidy glanced at the chalkboard menu in the coffee shop like she wasn’t going to get the same lavender rose iced coffee she always got. She would, however, change her treat from an almond croissant to a pumpkin cappuccino muffin. She heard the door open, the bell hanging above it rang. She was about to place her order when she felt someone tap her on her shoulder. She smiled.

“Hi Isaac,” she said just before she turned around.

“Hi Cass. What’s up?” He asked, opening his arms for a hug.

Cassidy embraced him, taking in the scent of his cologne – fresh, crisp, and a little woodsy. 

“You have time today, right? I warned you I had a lot to talk about,” Cassidy said. 

“Yeah, yeah, I got you. Go ahead and order so we can get started.”

“Don’t rush me,” Cassidy said. “I was on time today.”

They placed their orders and settled into their usual spot after their drinks and treats were ready. Cassidy sighed as she began cutting her muffin with her plastic knife.

“C’mon. Spill it,” Isaac said.

“So you know my friend who was more than a friend at one point?” Cassidy asked, concentrating on cutting her muffin into the perfect bite-sized pieces. 

“You mean your friend with benefits?” Isaac asked. 

She heard the smirk in his voice before she saw it. She looked up at him.

“You’re very loud right now.”

“It’s the truth though,” Isaac said.

“Anyway, he’s dating someone. And guess what her name is.”


“Cassidi. With an I. Can you believe that?”

“Look, I told you were gonna get attached. You always do.”

“Yeah, well, I thought I ended things early enough. And I know I shouldn’t be so bothered he’s dating someone, but something about her having my name…It’s too much.”

“You liked him didn’t you?” Isaac asked, biting into his maple bacon doughnut.

“Maybe a little,” Cassidy said, sipping her iced coffee. 

Isaac shook his head.

“Look, he was cool, alright? I thought I caught it in time.”

“Cassidy, you gon have to chill.”

“I know.”

“Did you unfollow him yet?”

“No. I don’t wanna look like a hater.”

“Gimme your phone. I’ll do it.”

“No!” Cassidy said, pointing her plastic knife at him.

Isaac held up his hands. “Okay drop the weapon.”

Cassidy put the knife down and ate a piece of her muffin.

“But are you gonna be okay?” Isaac asked. “You know some stuff with them together is gonna pop up if it hasn’t already.”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” Cassidy sighed. “I’m just trying not to wonder too much why he couldn’t date me. My name is spelled the right way at least.”

“Cassidy,” Isaac said.

“Isaac,” Cassidy replied, mocking his slightly stern tone. “I’m just saying. What was so wrong with me?”

“There’s nothing wrong with you. That’s all he wanted from you and you agreed.”

“Yeah, but after all my agreements end, they always end up in relationships,” Cassidy said. She paused before eating some more muffin and gasped. “What if I’m cursed?”

Isaac started laughing and put down his iced coffee. “You are not cursed.” 

“Why am I still single then? I wait and nothing happens. I date and nothing happens. I have certain types of friends and nothing happens.”

“I think you just have to wait a little while longer. Which isn’t fun, but I don’t want to be back here talking about another friend with benefits in two months.”

“Ok, I don’t move that fast,” Cassidy said, cutting her eyes at him.

“Ok, but you know what I mean,” Isaac said. He ate the last bite of his doughnut. 

“I do know what you mean,” Cassidy said. “I’ll chill. It should be easy as I’m undesirable at the moment. My phone is dryer than the Sahara.”

“Welcome to the club,” Isaac said, raising his iced coffee. Cassidy raised hers as well.

“So how are you? How’s celibacy?”

“Boring, but necessary,” Isaac said. “I feel like I have more clarity. I can focus on more important things. Other than that, I’m good. Building up my art portfolio.”

“Cool. Yeah, your Instagram is popping now.” 

Isaac grinned. “Thanks.”

He took off his jean jacket and Cassidy reached for his arm with the tattoo.

He sighed. “Still?”

“Yes, it’s cool. Let me see. Especially since I’ve finished season five of Naruto.”

He held on his left arm; the tattoo on his forearm. It was Sasuke preparing to use his Chidori jutsu. It looked like blue lightning coming from Sasuke’s hand.

“See? I told you it was good.”

“Naturo going after Sasuke when he left willingly will never sit right with me,” Cassidy said, letting go of his arm.

“But those fights were good, right?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Cassidy said, waving her hand.

“So you’re gonna chill forreal, right, Cassidy?”

“Yeah,” Cassidy sighed. 

“You’re worth waiting to find someone to date. Someone who will appreciate that you spell your name the right way.”

Cassidy laughed. “Thanks. I know my worth. I just be giving discounts sometimes.”

Isaac snorted. “Well, no more discounts. And add tax!”

“Alright Porky Pig,” Cassidy said, taking a sip of iced coffee. 

“I’m serious, Cass. You be joking until you’re calling me at midnight crying.”

Cassidy stiffened. “We said we wouldn’t talk about that again.”

She looked away from him when she felt her eyes water.  He reached for her hand, but she pulled it away. 

“I know, but even if you can’t see it, it looks like you’re going down that same road,” Isaac said. “And I feel like I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t warn you.”

“Thank you. I’m fine,” Cassidy said curtly, sitting up taller and blinking away her tears.

“That doesn’t mean don’t call me,” Isaac said. 

Cassidy looked at him and studied the seriousness in his face. She nodded. He held out his hand and she took it. 

“On a lighter note, should I watch My Hero Academia or Hunter x Hunter next?” 

“I think you’ll like My Hero better. You want anything? I’m going to get another doughnut.”

“Get me one too! And when you come back, I have to tell you about my coworkers. I think they’re having an affair!” 

Isaac stood up and sighed. “Now last time you were wrong.”

“I’m not wrong this time. Go get my doughnut and I’ll tell you all about it.”

“You got it,” Isaac said with a laugh.

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