A Superhero Love Story
By Annabel Wigoder
Location: Starbucks, Deansgate
This story was a finalist for our Rainy City Love Stories competition
Michael’s new girlfriend went by the name of Wonder Woman. She was a freckly Londoner who worked in Starbucks, and the first of Michael’s girlfriends to let him have full-blown penetrative sex.
Michael was queuing for coffee when he caught her eye over the counter. Two Japanese businessmen turned and glared as she beckoned him to the front, and a large American talking into a headset pretended not to realise he was blocking the way.
‘Sorry,’ said Michael. ‘Coming through!’ He squeezed to the front of the queue and had to stand sideways between a pushchair and a woman with two dogs who refused to make room for him. Michael manoeuvred an elbow on to the counter.
‘Hi,’ he said. ‘Thanks! Can I get, uh, one medium coffee to go?’
‘Sugar?’ asked Wonder Woman. She scrawled something on a paper cup and passed it to the man at the hot drinks machine. Then she leant forward and said something to Michael that he couldn’t hear over the noise of the milk steamer.
‘Sorry,’ said Michael. ‘I didn’t catch that.’
‘I said you look a bit like Bruce Wayne.’ It wasn’t quite what he’d been expecting.
‘As in Batman?’
‘Crime-fighter, billionaire, international playboy?’
Wonder Woman checked over her shoulder and indicated that Michael should come closer. She undid the top two buttons of her shirt.
‘I get off at six,’ she murmured. Wonder Woman was wearing something under her Starbucks apron that glittered red and gold in the lights.
‘Meet me outside,’ she told him, re-doing her shirt with the fingers of one hand. ‘Mr Wayne.’ Then she turned to the rest of the queue and shouted: ‘OK! Who’s next?’
The woman with two dogs shouldered Michael out of the way. He bent down to pat the smaller dog and let it lick his fingers. It was 9.32am. Michael picked up his coffee, went to work, and spent the day researching Batman on the internet.