There was a café that is between dreams and reality named Javatopia. Whenever anyone walked in, they never knew if they’re awake or dreaming. Some people came in, get a coffee, and get out, while others stay to chat their problems away.
Claris was never a regular at Javatopia until she had a dastardly audition. The city was celebrating 100 years of existing, and needed a teenager to sing for their festival. Claris grabbed that opportunity, and stepped up onto the stage to begin to sing her song. Only for the stares of the directors and the producer to gaze upon the pinked haired teen, as she began to sweat and stutter as she began to run away from the studio and out onto the streets.
Claris ran until she came upon a purple bricked café by the name of Javatopia. Claris needed to sit down, so she went inside for a seat at one of the comfy couches and calm ambiance.
When she went inside, the place looked rather artsy. There were strange paintings on the walls, bright orange couches in the middle, and a counter at the back. On one of the couches was a fellow wearing a pink vest and a purple jester hat, talking to an owl who perched on the couch’s end. Must had been a pet.
The owl looked over at Claris and suddenly hooted at her.
“I get it, I get it,” the jester petted the Owl softly, “we have a customer.” They seemed to be the barista of this place.
Claris looked over at the jester and said, “no worry, I just need to sit down.”
“Sure thing, that’s what we’re here for,” said the barista.
The owl hooted franticly again.
“Okay, we’re here to serve hot or cold beverages, but you’re welcome to sit and talk. What’s your name dearie?”
“Claris,” Claris looked down, “not like it’s going to matter.” Claris sat on the couch with a huge thump as she slouched, “I’m never going to be a famous singer.”
“Now, now, many people aren’t famous singers.” they said, “but they can still make a living doing what they love.”
“But they still have to go through auditions!” Claris cried out as she pulled her knees up to her chest, “I always run away.” Claris closed her eyes as she took a deep breath. A red light appeared in her hand.
The jester barista thing took their hand out then retracted them, “well, my name is NiGHTS. How about a little Chamomile? It’s on the house.”
The Owl hooted with disappointment.
“I’m paying for it, you silly bird,” said NiGHTS, “give me a second.”
NiGHTS flew over to the counter and took out some tea bags. They pressed a button on the coffee maker so hot water comes out into a mug. NiGHTS placed the tea bags into the mug and flew back to Claris.
Claris looked at the tea, “how will this help?” She drank the tea then took a deep breath. Then she felt calm… yet it wasn’t the tea…
She felt that red light appeared in her hand. Then she realized, she had that courage all along!
She suddenly got up, she knew what she had to do. She ran out of the café.
“Wow, she sure came in and out in a jiffy,” said the Owl.
“And another success for me,” NiGHTS made a flip in the air, “this was never the case at Wizebucks.”
Speaking of which, a fellow with a red and black jester hat, and a dark blue apron with a hand on the center flew into the café waltzed into Javatopia. Everything went checkered, and the couches turned into high rising tables and chairs. It was no other than NiGHTS’ ex-coworker, Reala.
“Why aren’t you at your counter?” Reala asked with a huge gruff as if they were NiGHTS’ manager again, “don’t tell me you are on your butt during your shift!”
NiGHTS stuck their tongue out at Reala, they weren’t the boss of NiGHTS anymore “just so you know, I had a customer just now!”
“Oh, the little girl with the pink hair?” Reala looked through the window outside “Must have slipped between my fingers!”
Suddenly, the area turned a bright brown and white. The chairs sank into wicker chairs, and the tables had the appearance of surf boards. It must have been another visitor of Javatopia.
Elliot had tears in his eyes from just being one-upped by an older kid at the basketball court. This bully called Elliot a wimp and to never show up at that park ever again. This place was a safe place for Elliot for years, and now he couldn’t come back. Yet when he saw two people fighting from the window of the café, he felt something that made him go inside.
“Hey, pick on someone your own size!” Elliot cried out as a light come out of his right hand.
“Oh, and what are you going to do about it kid?” Reala asked as he leaned towards the blue haired kid’s face, “this is none of your business!”
“It is now!” Elliot talked back to the jester, he noticed Reala’s appearance. He was wearing a blue apron with a hand with an eye on it; the uniform for the famous café: Wizebucks, “you’re just a clown with nothing better to do than to pick on competition!”
“There is no competition at Wizebucks,” Reala snapped at Elliot as they pointed to NiGHTS who had his jaw dropped at this stranger’s debacle, “this is my former coworker. We are losing business without them and their skills. This idiot gave up a management position for a barista job at this dump!”
The owl vastly flew over to Reala and began to peck at him.
“Stay out of this old bird!” Reala pushed the owl out of the way.
That was when Elliot punched Reala in the face. Reala’s eyeliner covered eyes now looked even darker from that blow. Elliot looked at his hand and frowned, was this the way to solve things?
NiGHTS had an iced coffee at hand and handed it over to Reala, “here put this on your eye.”
Reala placed the iced coffee on their eye, then took a sip of the coffee, “wow, that’s really good.”
“I know right? Hand ground, fair trade, and made my yours truly.” NiGHTS smiled at their ex-coworker.
Reala groaned as they flew out of the coffee shop.
“Wow, maybe I need to resort to violence in order to overcome my bullies,” Elliot said to himself.
NiGHTS shook their head, “it wasn’t you punching my ex in the face; it was me showing them my competency at making coffee.”
A red light appeared from Elliot’s hand, “so… I just need to show a little courage, and show that I am not a wimp.”
NiGHTS whispered to Elliot, “I don’t think wimps punch powerful entities in the face.”
“Wait what?” Elliot asked.
“So you’re being bullied too?” NiGHTS asked nonchalantly.
Elliot looked down, “yeah, he told me to never come back to the basketball court I hang out at…”
“Well, you’re good at basketball, right?” NiGHTS asked.
“Sort of,” Elliot turned to the door, “better than him at least!”
“Then show him whose boss,” NiGHTS cried out, “without violence this time.”
Elliot ran out of the door to show that bully whose boss. He knew he had to courage to show that bully that he can play well, and he can hang out at the court any time he wanted to play.
NiGHTS sat back onto the wicker chair as Owl flew back to the surfboard table. “My, what an awful fellow.”
“Reala, or the kid?” NiGHTS asked.
“Reala of course. That kid had a great amount of courage. He is going to make it far in this world.”
Soon enough, it became the night shift, NiGHTS’ favorite shift. A girl with pink hair and brown eyes walked into the café, who NiGHTS recognized as Claris. The squealed with delight “I got the part!”
NiGHTS squealed as well, “Yay! I’m so happy! I would love to attend the festival to see you, but everyone here has to work.”
“I’ll make sure I’ll get the video,” said Claris. She took out her CD player, “so did you know that Wizebucks gives free music?”
NiGHTS nervously laughed, “it does, does it?”
“Maybe this place needs music too…” Claris looked around the café; which had a mossy look this time around, “just in a less antisocial way.”
NiGHTS knew what Claris was implying; she wants to sing for Javatopia. Maybe she will be a famous singer one day with that kind of spunk, “would you want to sing for the café? I’d have to ask my manager.”
Owl gave an approved hoot.
The place became chillier, and the walls became white and bright blue as Elliot walked into the café, “I defeated him! Three on three! It was awesome!”
Claris and Elliot looked at each other, then blushed.
NiGHTS began to smile with their sharp pointed teeth, time for two customers to meet, “so, Elliot, do you like music?”
“Oh yes,” said Elliot, “I love rock and roll, can even play guitar!”
“Oh, well, Claris can sing!” NiGHTS said, “and she’s singing for Javatopia soon.”
“Oh, do you need accompaniment?” Elliot asked, “I can do acoustic and electric.”
“Oh, I like all kinds of music, including rock!” Claris exclaimed, “I think we’d make a great pair!”
NiGHTS giggled silently. They liked to play matchmaker.
Twelve years had rolled by, and Claris and Elliot still were frequent customers of Javatopia. Yet new customers arrived as well.
“Oh, you played at the Clocktower Theatre as well?” Claris asked a blonde girl with a pink jacket, “that’s how I got my start!”
“I don’t think I recognize you anyplace,” said the girl, “are you a local musician?”
“Local as can be! I do gigs at different places and I’m a barista here!” Claris said, “What’s your name?”
“Helen,” said the girl, “I was nervous when I was practicing for the show at the Clocktower, until a barista named NiGHTS showed me the hope to do a good job.”
“Practice can take you far, but it’s the hope that shows the way,” Claris advised the young girl, “I’m having a gig here tomorrow, want to hear me sing?”
“Sure, I’d love to!” Helen said, “maybe I could accompany you someday as well.”
Claris smiled, “That’s the spirit.”
Suddenly, the café got dark and checkered. Claris slammed her head onto the table, “no, no, no, not that asshat!”
It was indeed that asshat, as well as his assistant asshat Claris recognized as Jackle! Reala waltzed their way in with a dark red jester with a sharp crooked smile on their inviable face; Claris knew this fellow as Jackle.
“Where is my ex?” Reala asked Claris.
“How long as you guys been ex’s?” Claris snarked, “and NiGHTS is having a week off. I think you need one too!”
“Well, I’m here to tell you that Jackle is having a gig tomorrow at Wizebucks, and Javatopia better watch out! We’re going to get a lot of business.”
Helen looked over at Claris, “Aren’t you having a concert tomorrow night as well?”
Claris stared at Jackle, “yes!”
“Hey, I’m not the one with the invisible flute!” Jackle cried out in what seems like a scream.
“Er, Jackle, that’s NiGHTS with the invisible flute, not Claris,” Reala whispered to Jackle, then Reala directed themselves toward the girls, “but watch out little girl, I don’t think anyone will go to your concert tomorrow.”
The two asshats left the place in a dramatic spin.
Claris slammed her head onto the table again, “I’m not going to get any tips tomorrow.”
“Well, why not sing at Wizebucks?” Helen asked.
“Wait, what?” Claris asked, “Why?”
“Just waltz on in during Jackle’s gig!” Helen cried out, “Then if the customers want more of you, that they should head to Javatopia!”
The chairs suddenly turned green and velvety as the floors became black and white and checkered. Claris knew who this was who just walked into the café. It was Will.
“Oh hi Will,” Helen waved, “don’t you think we should invade Wizebucks?”
Will placed his black and white football on his head, “I don’t see why not? NiGHTS seems to hate the place. Maybe I’ll grab a Puffychino along the way.”
“Mine are better,” Claris mumbled.
It became tomorrow night, and Claris sang a few songs with Elliot. The audience was pretty decent for the fact that Jackle was playing across the street. Must have not been their style.
It was time for Claris to take a break. She stepped off the platform and Helen was there with her violin case, “ready?”
After they looked both ways a lot so there were no passing cars, and finally crossed the street so they can invade Wizebucks, they walked into the store to sing the one song that Claris knew would catch everyone’s attention.
“In a dream I can see, you are not far away! Any time Any place, I can see your face! You are that special one I have been waiting for, and I hope you can find someone like me!”
The entire Wizebucks was crowded, and they all looked at Claris, then applauded. When Claris looked around, she saw NiGHTS behind the counter cleaning a blender. Has NiGHTS been working at Wizebucks? Is that why NiGHTS been taking a week off? NiGHTS was mouthing something to Claris, but she couldn’t recognize what they were saying.
Helen began to sing to break the silence, “In my dreams, I can see you calling me, in the night, everything’s so sweet, in my eyes, I feel, there’s something else, inside.”
NiGHTS began to rap out, “one two three four five!”
Then the entire café began to sing, “In the night, dream delight, I’d like to see you standing there! In the night, dream delight, I found someone who really cares!”
Everyone began to laugh, then Helen called out, “Claris is across the street at Javatopia if you want to hear more of us!”
A good crowd followed Claris to Javatopia where they are delighted with a variety of colors were all around the café since so many guests arrived at once.
After the show, Claris went out with her e-cig and blew a puff of vapor. NiGHTS flew next to Claris and leaned on the outside wall of Javatopia.
“For what?” Claris droned, “I bet you needed the extra cash, you were a manager there, are you not? Also, Reala and Jackle seem like cool beans if they’re not being mean.”
“They can be very cool beans,” NiGHTS laughed, “but I don’t need cash. They were just short staffed for that week.”
“You could have told me,” Claris snapped at NiGHTS, “nothing is wrong with working for someone else when they need the employment.”
“I’m not a barista nor a manager for the money,” NiGHTS admitted, “I’m there to help grow Ideya of humans. It’s Wizebucks that try to steal them.”
Claris placed her e-cig into its case, then sighed, “that’s classic NiGHTS. They only want to make people happy.”
“Yeah,” NiGHTS smiled, “It’s been a good 20 years since I started working at Javatopia, it might not get to another 20, since people haven’t been going since it’s no longer fresh in customer’s minds.”
“Javatopia will always be fresh,” Claris noted as she winked at NiGHTS, “We sure got a whole bunch of people excited about the place again, but soon it’ll fade out and a few of us will still stay.”
“Like who?” NiGHTS asked.
“Like Elliot and I, and our most recent customers: Will and Helen.”
NiGHTS nodded, “and that is all that matters.”
And that was all that mattered.