I Should Switch to Decaf | Teen Ink

I Should Switch to Decaf MAG

July 18, 2009
By mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments

I want to like coffee for you.

I hate coffee. I hate the taste, I hate the smell, I hate the way people get artificially addicted to it, like it's a trend. People joke about needing coffee to function. It's stupid until you see them without coffee – then it's ugly.

But for you, I'm going to try. I've obviously tasted coffee, but I've never sat down and just drunk it. I'm going to. I'm going to brave the nasty smell and bitter taste and silly stereotypes. Just for you! I'm not sure why. I barely know you. In fact, I've never actually met you. We're meeting for coffee. I've never met someone for coffee. It's so normal and casual. It's so wild and strange. Everyone meets people for coffee. It's nothing extraordinary. Nobody meets people for a chai or an iced tea or something silly like that. Just coffee. So that's what I'm going to do for you. It's new. It's exciting.

Let's not start this off with illusions or lies. I'm not sure what to think of coffee. A lot of people like it, but a lot of people like smoking or heroin. It doesn't make those things healthy. Maybe a lot of people like you, too, but I'm not sure what to think of you either. Are you too bitter, too strong? Are you unhealthy? I want you to be healthy. I want you to be sweet, even if it's bittersweet. I want to like you. Maybe I do. Maybe it's just coffee I'm not sure of. Maybe it's me I'm not sure of. All my thoughts and feelings are mixed up with the past and the present and the smell of coffee in my mind. Please don't hate me.

In a way, this scares me, this meeting for coffee. In a way, coffee weirds me out. I don't want to be one of those people who needs tons of flavors and sweeteners with their coffee. I don't want people to look at me with my coffee and laugh and say, “You want a little coffee with your cream and sugar?” Of course there should be some sweetness. Life needs flavor. It needs cream and sugar. But the point of drinking coffee is to drink coffee. It shouldn't be all hidden, like you're ashamed. If you like coffee and you want to drink it, then go for it! Don't water it down. I don't want to feel like a wuss, like a coffee fraud. I don't want people to look at me and think, Oh, look at that stupid girl drinking coffee just to impress that boy. How pathetic. That's just a sad, ridiculous situation to be caught in.

I'm an honest person. So that's why I'm telling you from the start that I'm not sure about coffee. That's why I'm telling you I'll try it just for you. That's why I want to like coffee for you. So, here we go.

I look down at my lap in the car. I check my reflection in the side mirror. My hair looks decent, but is it good enough? Should I really be wearing this outfit? Is there time to turn around? No. It'll have to do. Funny how much better it looked in the safety of my room, away from this pressure, the pressure of going out for coffee. I'm nervous. I shift my feet and rhythmically move my legs, as I have a habit of doing.

I wonder for a moment if you have nervous habits, or any habits. Do you talk with your hands like me? Are you as clumsy as me? Oh, God, I'm going to spill the coffee on myself. I can see it coming. I take a deep breath so I won't forget. Sometimes I panic and forget to breathe. Honestly.

I can almost smell the coffee already. I wonder if you'll like me, if you'll be impressed by me. Will you find me boring? I think about the way my grammar mysteriously becomes awful when I talk to you, and I wonder if I'm going to embarrass myself.

Now I'm scared to talk at all. Will I be too bitter, too strong? And there's definitely no time to turn back? No, it's just coffee. What if I hate it? Will you hate me? It's just coffee. Hot, steaming, bittersweet coffee. There's no turning back.

I arrive, barely on time, where I promised to meet you. To meet you for coffee. I get out of the car with a sense of growing up, of being incredibly old and yet monumentally young. I'm a silly girl, meeting a boy for coffee for the first time. If I don't like it, I could be stranded here, in Vineland, New Jersey.

I go inside, trying to put some confidence in my step. I'm telling my legs, “Be strong. Don't be clumsy or shy. Be strong. Strong like coffee!”

I see you, I recognize you from your photos, and you recognize me. You know it's me. You come over to say hi. You're smiling, my heart's racing and I'm nervous, I'm scared, oh, I'm so alone, but, God, it's so good to see you smile, to finally see you at all, to hear your voice, to meet you for coffee. I smile back and I know it's going to be all right.

We're two writers, two nervous, silly, like-minded people, pushing our way through a common ritual, meeting for coffee. We shake by with all the wrong verbs and stutter in and out of vibrant, dramatic adjectives. We're putting color in black and white and we're adding flavor with sideways glances. We're accustomed to this, to the frightening mix of hormones, caffeine, and words. We're just young and the same. It's just another conversation – Hi, how are you? Good, you? Good. Wonderful. Cream and sugar. We look around us like tourists, like we've never seen a coffee shop. I decide to be natural and confident. I decide to be strong.

So I look you in the eyes, even though I never look people in the eyes, even though I have self-esteem problems and I'm nervous and I think you'll hate me, even though I wear glasses and I'm terribly self-conscious. I look right into your eyes and say the line I've been writing, rearranging, editing, and rehearsing in my mind the whole way here.

“Let's get some coffee.”

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This article has 199 comments.

on Oct. 23 2011 at 9:09 am
Awesome job!  I really enjoyed reading this.  Your narrator is very relatable...great story!

on Oct. 15 2011 at 7:51 pm
claudiathewho SILVER, West Tisbury, Massachusetts
8 articles 1 photo 43 comments
What a beautifully written story! It's very relatable, especially for me because I hate coffee too.

on Oct. 1 2011 at 1:06 pm
derickinc BRONZE, Rockford, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I hate all of you." - Squidward Tentacles

This is enjoyably profound and wonderfully structured. I'm going to steal the idea and see if I can do it justice. (:

on Oct. 1 2011 at 12:45 pm
Juzzybusta BRONZE, Reigate, Other
1 article 5 photos 23 comments
I love this! It's so true and so relatable. Really quite beautiful actually. And I don't like coffee either :P xx

Ktaylorxo GOLD said...
on Sep. 29 2011 at 2:44 pm
Ktaylorxo GOLD, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
13 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everybody in this world will hurt you. You just gotta stick with the ones worth suffering for.

This was amazing, your character really came to life! Feel free to check out some of my pieces, and please comment!

Marie BRONZE said...
on Sep. 9 2011 at 9:31 pm
Marie BRONZE, Spokane, Washington
4 articles 15 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Go loud or go home.

I loved this article!! I loved the double meanings, that you could read it from a shallow point of view and focus on the love story, or deep and focus on the life-analogy! It was really fanatstic and I will share this on facebook- just for you! 

on Sep. 9 2011 at 8:36 pm
Gypsyrose7 BRONZE, Binghamton, New York
2 articles 0 photos 12 comments
Aw this is cute. i like it! If people could comment on my work it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

on Sep. 9 2011 at 12:54 pm
JuliaGraceS BRONZE, Battle Ground, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"God's grace is for today and not tomorrow. If you try to get ahead of it you will be exhausted."

Wow. This is so, so good! Brilliant analogy! 

on Aug. 18 2011 at 4:54 pm
Tongue_Blep PLATINUM, ????, Ohio
40 articles 1 photo 769 comments
wow this was great! Very emtional!!! if anyone had time could you please check out my new song called: never. i need more comments. Thanks a bunch! :)(:

aveawave GOLD said...
on Aug. 18 2011 at 10:12 am
aveawave GOLD, Woolwich, New Jersey
10 articles 1 photo 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the angel you're sworn to be: spread your wings and fly" :)

This is great. i love the story line. I didnt wanna stop reading. Now, would you mind checking out some of my poems...? I'd reall appreciate some advice.


on Aug. 1 2011 at 9:09 pm
atimm2013 SILVER, Hartselle, Alabama
7 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I love this! i love the stress and overwhelming feeling throughtout the story, and i absolutely loved the ending!  great work!

on Jul. 29 2011 at 6:51 pm
Lola_Black GOLD, Harrison, Michigan
11 articles 2 photos 276 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I've always been famous. It's just everybody's just now finding out." --Lady Gaga

Brilliant writing! I love it! Now, if you don't mind reading some of my poems...?

on Jul. 29 2011 at 6:50 pm
Lola_Black GOLD, Harrison, Michigan
11 articles 2 photos 276 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I've always been famous. It's just everybody's just now finding out." --Lady Gaga

Adorable, relatable, makes-me-happy-just-reading-it.

Okay, that's all I got. Anyone else?

soldout said...
on Jul. 27 2011 at 4:18 pm

Here are a few tabs I thought of for this masterpiece. Anyone who equally praises it, reply with more tab names. continue the chain!

Original, incredible, realistic, thoughtful, emotional, deep, attention-grabbing


on Jul. 27 2011 at 4:07 pm

First of all, this is fantastic. 

The main thing that really, really impressed me was the way readers can relate to you, the writer. I can feel the anticipation, the anxiety in this story. And the relief at the end, when the narrator finally says,

"Let's get some coffee."

Let me tell you, that relief is almost tangible.

I will not be the first to say this about this story, and God knows I won't be the last, but this is refreshing. Almost like...

A sip of hot coffee on a cold winter's day.

Schubster said...
on Jul. 27 2011 at 8:34 am

I think I've already commented on this piece before, but I'm going to do it again since I love it so much.

Fantastic. Completely awesome. Not sure if I can say anything else that's so different from what 143 other comments have already posted, but just beautiful work :D

"We look around us like tourists, like we've never seen a coffee shop."

^^ I loved that part because it just rang so true to me from *cough* real experience *cough* :P But once again, great job.

Do the world a favor and keep writing


on Jul. 26 2011 at 10:54 pm
SecretFlame PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
20 articles 1 photo 373 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have a life. I just choose to ignore it."
-one of my friends

This is fun and funny! It cheered me up. It flows almost like poetry! Wonderful job!

on Jul. 25 2011 at 9:51 pm
KenyaLove41 GOLD, Dallas, Texas
16 articles 0 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent." ~Ambrose Bierce
"Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says 'I'm Possible!'" ~ Audrey Hepburn
"Good writing is only bad writing revised"~ Unknown

i loved how you repeated the word "coffee" in the story and how the narrator overthinks things like sometimes the way i do and  also how she keeps telling her concerns about going out for coffee. lovedit!:)

on Jul. 19 2011 at 9:26 pm
julialove94 SILVER, Rancho Cucamonga, California
6 articles 1 photo 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I live to write, not write to live"

I loved how you wrote the story as you were directing the other character in "you." I haven't read very many stories that address the person as "you." That's how the story I have up right now is written! I loved this short story. Great writing!

on Jul. 17 2011 at 11:54 am
Tongue_Blep PLATINUM, ????, Ohio
40 articles 1 photo 769 comments
I loved the story! and was impressed! Great job! Fantastic!!:) (Sorry for the advertizing!) If any of u coulld read my two stories called the beast and nightstalker, that would be great! Also please post comments saying if u liked it or not. Thanks! And keep writing! :D