The wind rushed through Sara’s hair as she strode slowly and confidently to the café. She flicked her head to emphasise the waves the breeze was making, pouted her full lips with their bright red lipstick and opened her eyes alluringly. Her little black dress emphasised her tall and curvaceous figure, and her extremely long legs finished in a pair of six-inch stilettos. She threw her bag down onto one empty seat next to Cheryl and sat in the other.

‘Sorry I’m late,’ she breathed. ‘I’m glad you got an outside table. I love this autumn sun, don’t you?’

‘Oh. My. God. Sara, you are such a cliché!’ Cheryl laughed then spilt her water across the table.

‘Whatever do you mean?’

‘Even the way you’re talking. “Whatever do you mean?” Ha!’ Cheryl tried to mop up water with some serviettes and knocked her cutlery to the ground. Shoving her chair back to pick it up, she slammed into the rear end of the waiter, and then, when turning to apologise, she whacked her elbow on the table.

‘I’m sorry about my friend,’ Sara oozed to the waiter, touching his arm. ‘Can I please have just a tiny, weenie latte?’

‘Oui, bella!’ The waiter rushed off, his heart pounding.

When Cheryl had finally organised herself, Sara pounced again.

‘What are you talking about, a cliché?’

‘Look at you! You’re like the girl those two kids created in weird science! That dress, the lips – even the weather is conspiring to make you look like you’re in a wind tunnel!’

Sara looked at herself in the window glass. She did look marvellous; and quite clichéd. Her eye was then caught by the reflection of her friend.

‘Well, what about you?’

‘What?’ Cheryl pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and fumbled with a small notepad. ‘Hold that thought, give me a tic, I just had a thought.’

She wrote a few calculations on the notepad, stared for a second, then grabbed it and shoved it back into her bag, knocking over the sugar.

‘Sorry, Sara, what was that?’

‘I mean that you’re a cliché too. The bumbling science geek. You couldn’t be more of a cliché unless you were an out of work actor working in an inner-city café whilst he waits for his break on Home and Away wearing a an ironic bow tie, a large, styled moustache and a fedora…’ Sara slowed as she realised she was describing their waiter. He put the coffee down, blissfully unaware of their discussion.

‘Excuse me, hon, have you been working here for long?’ Sara fluttered her eyelashes at the waiter, then realising her behaviour, she tried to stop.

The waiter blushed slightly.

‘Only a few weeks, but I have an audition for Neighbours tomorrow… yes, I know it is just a soap, but it’s a job.’ He smiled and backed away.

‘OK… Neighbours then…’ a hint of fear and confusion crept into Sara’s voice.

Cheryl looked around.

‘Holy crap! EVERYONE is a cliché!’

They looked into the café.

The chef came out of the kitchen, a butch lady with very short hair, her tattoos poking out from under her singlet. In the corner was a new mother with hair standing up on one side of her head, eyes glazed and red rimmed from lack of sleep, two different shoes and baby spit down her shoulder. She was talking to her real estate agent who kept interrupting their conversation to pull out his mobile (ringtone: Eye of the Tiger) from his pinstriped Italian suit.

Cheryl giggled as she sipped her tea and a little went up her nose. Sara pulled a pair of Jackie O glasses out of her handbag and put them on. Across the road, a very fat man took a bite of a hot dog and tomato sauce and mustard spilled down his t-shirt.

‘Where the hell did he get a hotdog in Northcote?’ asked Cheryl.

‘Shhh… watch this!’

A skinhead in rolled up jeans, Doc Martins, a white t-shirt and red braces walked his bulldog. A lady in a Chanel suit walked a white poodle, both with their noses in the air. Suddenly, the poodle started to bark at the bulldog and the woman lost her grip on the lead. The poodle ran to the bulldog, but the skinhead leant down and barked in his face. The poodle ran across the road afraid, stopping a car just in time. The lead of the poodle got caught on one of the café tables and the dog dragged it away down the street, the owner hobbling behind on a broken heeled shoe. The driver waited a moment for a mother duck to lead her ducklings across the road before he drove off.

Sara and Cheryl looked around, wondering what was next, silently drinking their coffee.


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