An Un-Boxing Day

in Cinnamon Cup Coffee2 months ago (edited)

that's all of them, ma'am...

The delivery agent doffed his hat, smiling at the modest tip I had pressed into his hand.

Thank you. Enjoy your new home!

Slightly overwhelmed, I sank into my love chair - an armchair made for two - you're meant to snuggle up. But for now, it would just be me. It felt like I was being swallowed up by its cavernous space. I hugged my new cushions tightly but bolstering would hardly compensate for Diego's absence.

I stared at the mountain of boxes in my new living room. I had no idea where to start. I hadn't packed them. Diego, who seemed regretful and apologetic for his sudden need for space in our relationship, had taken it upon himself to arrange the entire move. He had said since it was his fault, that he should shoulder the responsibility. Still, this was going to take a lot more out of me than I had expected. I sighed. I needed coffee. A lot of it!

The one thing that had come with me was my Coffee Master 5000. It already sat shiny and pristine on my kitchen counter. It was busy roasting the special Columbian Coffee beans that Diego's mom sends to me each month from Bogotá. It always resulted in the perfect slice of coffee heaven but, this time, I would have to enjoy it while wrapped up in an emotional hell. I missed Diego immensely.

His sudden change of character made no sense. We had only recently celebrated our fifth anniversary together. We were happy, at least it had seemed that way. I indulged in a moment of self-pity before the app on my phone pinged, pulling me back from my reverie. My brew was ready and waiting.

Relinquishing the comfort of my chair, I followed the deep and sensuous aroma to the kitchen through misty eyes. Leaning back into the countertop, I gazed at the amber elixir, steaming from my mug. I closed my eyes, inhaling, before succumbing to the taste. Hmm... nice and strong. I figured I was going to need it to tackle the memories awaiting me in the room I had just left behind.

I sat down in the middle of the soft-pile rug, surrounded by a few dozen cardboard boxes. I took another sip - Columbian courage... I managed a slight smile at my own wit! I looked at the contents list for the first box. It was empty except for a nondescript note defining the contents as

Fragile - handle with care.

Hm... that's strange. I thought. Diego is usually quite meticulous about things like this!

I looked at a few more boxes... all bore the same inscription.

Perhaps he was too busy, I mused... perhaps he really doesn't care anymore.

I took another sip - damn that machine made a great cuppa!

Then I proceeded to open the first box.

Inside, bags of white powder. What in the name of...? I opened the next box... to be met by the same... and the next... and the next. All boxes appeared to hold the same mysterious contents. It couldn't be...? Could it? I poured over them again... This was the stuff of movies.... but it was almost certainly Cocaine! I had no idea why drugs would be present in my removal boxes. Then it hit me. Somebody somewhere was gonna be pretty pissed off! What the hell was I going to do?*

My phone started vibrating inside my jeans pocket. I shifted my weight and reached for it, checking the caller id - Diego.

*What was I to do? My amateur detective brain went into overdrive. He was Columbian. His mom sent him packages every month from the Capital. His sudden change of character. His insistence on packing all of our possessions himself. The cocaine showing up on my doorstep. Holy smokes!!! Was he part of a drug cartel? Was I involved with a Drug lord? Should I run? Call the police? Answer his call? Would he hurt me? Could he hurt me? My head was spinning. My stomach was in knots.

The phone rang off... then almost immediately started ringing again! My heart raced as I paced back and forth. My eyes darted between the bags of cocaine lying on the living room floor and the lit-up screen in my hand. I made a decision and sent the call to voicemail. I waited. When the notification arrived, I dialed in and listened to his message:

Sally! It's Diego... you have to listen to me. Do not open the boxes. I repeat, do not open the boxes. I can explain everything. I am on my way. I'll be there in ten minutes. Don't leave the apartment, and don't open the door, for anyone!

I was shaking uncontrollably, barely hitting the right keys as I dialed the police. If Diego was on his way over, I might need protection. It appears the police were in my area, as a few minutes later there was a loud knock on the door.

Who's there?

I asked tentatively.

Police, Ma'am. Open up, please.

I was still flicking the latch on the door when it flung open and four burly men charged into my apartment. Before I knew it, one had a gun to my head, whilst another was shouting the odds; loose bags of cocaine were returned hastily to their boxes.

Who are you? Who else knows?

I could smell the stench of day-old liquor on his breath as the spittle hit my face.

Diego. Please speak with Diego. He'll explain.

I pleaded.

The man stepped back, staring blankly.

Who the hell is Diego?

I am!

I looked up as Diego stormed into the room, weapon drawn.

Hold it right there! You're under arrest!

Taken unawares, within seconds, the thugs who had forced their way into my apartment were in custody.

Diego held me tight.

I'll explain everything

he whispered.

Oh man, is that mama's coffee? - I'd kill for one now!

This is my entry for the Cinnamon Cup Coffee fiction challenge.

Header image by Alena Ozerova on canva pro

Dreemport banner used with permission of @dreemsteem and @dreemport and designed by @jimramones

 2 months ago  

OMG! I was on the edge of my seat reading this one!
I am now breathing hard catching my breath 😂
This story is ace 🙌
BTW, my hand was hovering over the publish button to close off all entries as the countdown ended 😆... I had my mobile and managed to type that smiley face.

I'm glad you beat the deadline, and I hope you were not too stressed :)))

Oh my gosh you don't know the half of it... I finished it then saw my word count and it was a frantic edit to tighten up the story! It's amazing how ruthless one can be when you have to! !LOLZ !LUV !ALIVE

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 2 months ago  

I was laughing when I saw the entry. I hate last-minute stress, so I empathise with what you might have experienced.
You did an excellent job editing it 😍

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 2 months ago  


Made it by a minute !LOLZ

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 2 months ago  


 2 months ago  

WOWOWOWOW! This story made me vibrate! I hope none of the reside from the bags got through my screen 🤣 Phew. I have a feeling that you could tell a whole series of short stories about how Diego explains! This was a great read, thanks Sam 😁!LUV !PIZZA

hehe thanks Grindan, I enjoy writing for these #CCC prompts. They are a lot of fun and allow me not to take myself so seriously and to just let my writing flow more freestyle. I had to edit down the word count... but the intention was for Diego to be an undercover drug enforcement agent who was working on a big bust... and he has to send Sally away to protect her. But he needs to make her believe that things are not good between them in order to keep her away. He was trying to lure the drug cartels in and was using previously confiscated cocaine to create a trap... but the removal company accidentally picked up the wrong boxes and delivered them to Sally instead! And of course, the Cartel were hot on the case as they were following the delivery. But #CCC has a 1000 word limit !LOLZ so... I had to cut the explanation! Thanks for dropping in and giving me encouragement! !LUV !ALIVE

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 2 months ago  

Brilliant @samsmith1971! You had me glued to the page, absolutely riveted. 🙃
Colombian drugs, hehe, now when I think about it I realize there is more than one.
Coffeelicious intrigue, mad tension and then…oh, my…a total blindside.
So glad that you beat the deadline. Excellent

hehe thanks my lovely... my heart was racing in those final few minutes !LOLZ !LUV

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My heart was racing! Come! Feel my sweaty palms! Sweaty I tell you!
This is so great and you never disappoint Sam. I just knew I was in for a ride when I saw this and ridden I so was!!!!

You and me both, Deraaa! I made the cutoff by a minute 🙈 I need to plan better, clearly !LOLZ !LUV

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Lol. But you still did sooo well. !

I'm going to read your CCC in a short bit - it's open on my laptop :-)

a nice bait and switch story

For me the denouement needs more work, and below are some questions that need some elucidation:

  1. How does Diego over-power 4 thugs? (though this would disappear if point 2 is resolved);
  2. Is Diego an undercover cop? saying the thugs are in custody suggest yes, him arriving alone suggests no.
  3. If he is, for what reason has he remained undercover for 5 years without letting his SO his real role - undercover rules are pretty strict with regard to deceiving the general public (esp in a personal relationship scenario) is my understanding?

I was going to ask how she got 'custody of the coffee machine and beans, but the mix up with delivery seems to answer that - though it opens up him mentioning giving away his moms beans being a bigger personal screw up than sending the drugs to the wrong place.

thanks for the story. best wishes with redrafts

hi Stuart thanks for the visit and feedback :-)

Yes, he is undercover drug enforcement. I originally had him arriving with back up but a tight deadline and a need to cut word count to meet the 1000 word limit meant they had to go... regardless 🤣 I also had to cut how he took them by surprise... word count again 🙄As per my comments in the comment section, I had a more fleshed out version... but it needed to be cut under time pressure !LOLZ And yes his partner was not aware that he was working undercover on a drug sting - funny I originally had him penned as a drug lord... but then he decided to become a drug enforcement officer instead... crazy how characters take over the story like that 😂 - I didn't have time to research and fact check this part (I usually do quite a lot of research to ensure authenticity). As for the beans, his mother sent them to Sally each month. It is her coffee machine and she chose to take that with her when she left rather than have it packed in the boxes. Hope this helps to elucidate things a bit more... and yeah pretty big screw-up by the removal company picking up the wrong boxes!

I always appreciate your comments. They are very insightful and constructive. I knew it had some missing pieces to it but I had to hit publish with one minute to spare.

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Tight time & word counts have done for me on enough occasions.

But you have most of the body for a great story

Thanks Stuart, appreciate it! You're always pretty spot on with your advice! !PIMP !ALIVE

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This tale feels caffeinated. Excellent rush of action at the end. It had great twists and turns, keeping the reader wanting more. Nicely done!

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