A Vantage Point of Asses, chapter 4

The next morning, Jenna goes to work a little earlier than usual, because she wants to finish early and go to the super and not be home at a ridiculously late hour. Getting up early is a bit of a challenge, though. A challenge that puts Jenna in a particularly bad mood.

When her bus gets to the stop and she gets off, instead of going straight to the office, she passes the building and makes her way - slowly, she’s not really awake yet - towards her favourite coffee shop in the city: Little Spoon. It’ll be crowded, but Jenna couldn’t care less. She needs coffee, and she needs it now. The caffeinated drab that they get in the office just won’t do.

She has plenty of time to get there this time and it feels nice not having to rush for once. It makes her realise that she usually moves through these streets so fast that she barely even pays attention to where she is. The streets beyond her office are full of shops. Not the kind you’d find in the main shopping area, but smaller, little independent stores. Vintage clothing and thrift stores, small bookshops and even a cake shop with a beautifully organised shop front that makes up for the ridiculous prices that are being asked for one slice of cake.

Jenna is getting so close now she can taste the fresh coffee and it makes her mouth water. Just before she’s about to zone out and get tunnel vision again, she notices a sign across the street that says ‘Al’s Organic Foods’. She’s never seen it before and she’s never been in an organic food store before. Al’s would probably sell baking stuff, right? Jenna makes a mental note to go back there later. It makes up for the time she’s already losing by going to the coffee shop.

When she gets there, there is a line, but it’s not as bad as she thought it was going to be. Still, she has to stand in line for about ten minutes and there’s a guy behind her that is constantly bumping into the back of her chair whenever the line moves. Jenna is going to assume that it’s completely accidental and he is not doing on purpose, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

The line moves again and the person in front of Jenna has an incredibly ridiculously big coffee order, but after that, it’s finally Jenna’s turn. Luckily, the coffee is well worth the ten-minute wait and the annoying guy in line behind her. Jenna’s favourite barista named Charlotte is in today and she smiles as she sees Jenna. “Hi, Jenna, what can I get for you today?” she asks.

"Hi, tall coffee, one milk, two sugars, please," Jenna smiles weakly. Pretending to not be in a bad mood is hard.

"That’ll be 1,80."

It hasn’t occurred to Jenna that standing in line for ten minutes provides amble opportunity to assemble money, so she has to dig through her purse for change. The lack of caffeine in her system makes that a particularly difficult task and her coordination is off. She reaches up to put the coins on the counter but misses by a mile, dropping them on the floor instead. “Shit!”

The man behind her ducks to the floor to retrieve the coins, crashing into her wheelchair again.

"I don’t need your help," Jenna snaps over her shoulder at the man, who looks rather surprised and then a little annoyed.

"What’s your problem, lady?" he asks. It’s the wrong question.

"You think that because I’m in a wheelchair, I need your help. Well, I didn’t ask for it. I don’t need your help and you keep bumping into my chair. It’s incredibly annoying!"

"Well excuse me for trying to be nice. And for the record, it’s not because you’re in a chair. I’d have done that for just about anyone if I didn’t know they were going to be pissy little twits!"

Jenna huffs at him, gets the coins, puts them on the counter a little too loudly – Charlotte frowns – grabs her coffee and backs her chair into the guy. The entire shop murmurs in dismay, and Jenna glares at them too as she makes her way out of the shop. Disabled people should be allowed to have their bad days too! Besides, people should know better than to bump into Jenna’s wheelchair before she has had her coffee. Jenna doesn’t care that that’s not obvious to anyone but her.

By the time Jenna gets to work she’s finished the coffee but feels no better.  She puts it down to residual anger towards her boss, towards Justin Daley and towards Daniel. Maybe even a little towards Lemon for setting her up with an actual nice guy. She still hasn’t talked to her, but it’s hard to. It hurts so much worse to be turned down by a nice guy.

Jenna reminds herself that she is supposed to be done with guys and done with the self-pitying about guys and buries herself in her work for the rest of the day, snarling at everybody who asks her anything. It’s mostly the men that come and ask her things because the women are smart enough to recognise Jenna’s mood – though they probably think it’s a really bad case of PMS – and stay away. Bob leaves her alone, probably because he has realised how much of an impact their meeting has made on Jenna. Or maybe it is because Justin has told him as much. Jenna would not be surprised if Justin blabbed, trying to do her a favour without actually doing her a favour. Really, if Bob is looking for a reason to fire her, Jenna is giving him one now. Maybe she even wants it. No. no of course she doesn’t. That would be all kinds of silly. No, she’s just in a bad mood and chocolate chip cookies will solve everything.