The toast popped up in the toaster, but Jade had already thrown on some clothes and hurried out of the apartment.
On the way down the stairs, Mr Frisch stuck his head out his door to complain about the noise, but by that point, she was two or three floors down.
"Time to lodge another complaint," he muttered as he shut his door.
When Jade arrived at the cafe, her fears proved true. The large window that covered the entire shop front, except for the door, had shattered. The glass fragments covered the ground like fresh snow. The news report had said that the perpetrator had thrown a brick, so it was surprising that the glass had been shattered so finely.
A crowd had formed outside—some had their hands over their mouths in feigned shock; others had their phones out to post images on social media. They were all concerned about themselves, about the attention or sympathy they could get out of it, and very few of them spared a thought for the cafe's owners.
Inside the cafe, numerous tables had been abandoned, with coffees left half-drunk. Many of the chairs of such tables were on their sides.
Harriet, ever the professional, was handing out fresh cups of coffee to the customers who had been most frightened by the disturbance. Bernie, true to character, was standing in the center of the cafe, his mouth hang dumbly open, probably complaining internally about how much the repairs would cost.
As Jade forced herself through the crowd, Bernie noticed her and rushed forward.
"How much is this going to cost—"
Before he could finish his words, Jade buried her head in his chest and started to cry.
"Our cafe has never ripped off our customers. We've never had any disputes with anyone. We haven't even upped the prices since taking over. Why would someone do something like this?"
The crowd quietened down to watch the spectacle.
Bernie wrapped his arms around Jade and tried to comfort her, but the tears did not cease.
Without anyone noticing, a little old lady had picked up a broom. It was Mrs Harper, and she was sweeping up the glass on the floor. Without saying a word or caring about what anyone thought, she began sweeping the broken glass into a pile.
When Jade heard the sound of the glass being swept, she looked up from Bernie's chest. The sight made the tears flow once more—not because of the damage but because of this small act of kindness. When everyone else was watching for entertainment, this wonderful woman stepped up.
As the crowd watched, a sense of guilt filled them. Harriet began picking up the fallen chairs. A couple of the old men who frequented the cafe found some newspaper and began picking up the larger pieces of glass.
Soon, most of the crowd was trying to help. In next to no time, the glass was all collected, and the interior of the
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