I stood in line at the cafe, waiting to order my coffee. The person ahead of me was taking forever to spit out his coffee order. I thought it was pretty simple, A large coffee, 2 sugar, 2 cream. Except the girl behind the counter wasn’t understanding.
“I’m sorry sir,” she said. “We don’t have ‘gibberish’ coffee. I will make you a large coffee and you can put your fixings in on the table over there.” She pointed in the direction. “It will be three dollars.”
The man paid the money and walked away. Finally, I could order my coffee. “Large caramel macchiato please.”
“Oh not you too! What is this, prank the server day?!” She sighs exasperated. “What kind of gibberish drink do you want?”
Another server looks up questionly and walks over. “Hey, Val are you alright? This is our regular, she gets a large caramel macchiatto.” She looks up as she finishes punching it in. That’s five seventy please.”
I nod and pay the servers, wondering if Val really was okay. The man who ordered his coffee comes up to the counter.
“Excuse me, can I get a stir stick or a spoon, please?” Both servers look in confusion, and I realized that neither of them understood us. I looked around the room and made a stirring motion while saying “stiiirrr stiiiick.” What a joke.
The second server looked at me and asked me “what language are you speaking? It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard?”
“It’s just gibberish, it’s a prank on me. I swear to God if I’m on TV later I’ll be pissed!”
I turned and looked at the man, and shrugged my shoulders. They handed me my drink and I went and sat down to enjoy it in peace. The man walked up to me and asked politely, “May I join you?”
“Sure! Why not. Let’s wait and see if this really is a prank show.”
“This is not a prank show,” And he shook his head. “You are speaking the same language as I am. And understanding it.”
I looked at him curiously. So NOW I’m the one being pranked, hmm?
“Oh. Yes.vThat makes sense. But I only speak english, and some made up language with an imaginary friend when I was like 6.” I laughed and took a drink.
“Funny, I can’t speak English.” He looked serious.
“But you’re talking English right now!”
“I am not. Here.” He took out his phone and a video.The screen showed a video where there was a family bowling. They were laughing and talking. I didn’t see anything unusual. “Okay? That’s just you and your friends bowling.”
“Let me put on the subtitles.” And he did and replayed the video, but the words flashing across the bottom of the screen, they looked like symbols. My eyes widened as I realized that I COULD read the symbols. My brain tried to reconcile what I was reading with what I was hearing, and all of a sudden, I realized I was speaking HIS language.
“What on earth? How? HOW?” I asked the man sitting calmly in front of me.
“I was going to ask you the same. It is a language only spoken in the most remote land I come from. Very few people understand it outside of the region.”
“I.. I made up this language when I was six. I was talking to an imaginary friend. He couldn’t speak English, so he taught me his langu–oh my God. Are you an alien?”
“Alien?” He laughed. “Good heavens no. I am human. Mostly, there’s a bit of residual magic in the bloodline.”
“Oh magic, ” I scoffed. “Back to being pranked.”
“No really.” He smiled. “We don’t have coffee in our area, and I quite like it. So I teleport here often to get some. The servers usually recognize me, but that server is new.”
“Yeah she is. Poor girl, probably having a bit of a breakdown.”
I finished off my drink as he sipped his.
“So teleportation huh?”
“Yes. That’s how come your parents thought I was imaginary.” He winked. “Everytime someone other than you came into view, I’d disappear back to my island.” “☼◄‼? ” I choked out.
“The same.” He smiled warmly, and I was taken back to my childhood, before we moved. “You’re really real.”I mumbled. He laughed.
“After you moved, I tried to find you, but never could. Would you like to see my world now?”
I looked him up and down. I didn’t know this stranger, but he was familiar. He smiled warmly, and the best friend I knew was there deep inside. He held his hand out waiting for my answer. “I would” then I took his hand…