Jeff’s Scones + Croissants

Type: Dialogue Exercise | Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Date: February 17, 2021 | Author: Lala Jackson

I’d only been standing in line for a moment when a man to my right, who I had not even seen approach, said “Reah ad tha is clo-ing, yea?” far too close to my face. I kept my body faced forward but swiveled my head to look at him as he swallowed his mouthful of croissant and repeated,

“Real sad that it’s closing, yea?”

“Oh! But the scones! I didn’t know,” I said, now turning toward him fully.

“Right? The scones! Have you tried the croissants?”

“Well I will now. It’s good?” I asked, motioning toward what was left of the croissant he held.

“Peak buttery goodness. Would recommend,” he winked, holding up his croissant remnants like a beerstein to clink. “Have you met Jeff?”

“Sorry, who?”

“Jeff. Owner. Good guy. Short. Big beard. Usually wears a beanie.”

“I cannot say that I’ve met Jeff.”

“Weird, he’s always here, you’ve probably seen him,” he said, gesturing around the tiny dining area, where it would in fact be hard to miss anyone.

“Well I haven’t been coming here long. I only just moved into the neighborhood,” I explained.

“Ah man! You missed out. I’ve lived here since oh-three, they opened up the year after I got here, and have kept me in croissant heaven since. Although… maybe it’ll be good to stay out of croissant heaven for a bit,” he sighed, patting a barely protruding midsection. Sidestepping what felt like a request for a compliment, I quickly fished my brain for a diversion.

“The rent got too high?” I asked.

He responded with a scoff – “The rent’s BEEN too high. I think Jeff just wants a quieter life, you know? He’s worked here 7 days a week long as I can remember. TIme for Jeff to rest.”

I nod and repeat, “Time for Jeff to rest,” stepping up to the register to procure my first croissant and my last scone.