On this particular morning, two men are lounging near the entry. We push past them into the store. The coffee people don’t seem too interested in the pair outside, but my one and only says, uncharacteristically, “You have two crooks outside.” She usually isn’t judgmental. At least not outloud. But this day she must have a feeling because while waiting for her coffee, she turns toward the window and sees one of the men approach two bicycles with what looks like a red handled bolt cutter. He is bending over the bicycles. Alarmed, my one and only says “The man is stealing a bike!” Two big coffee workers run outside and stop the theft. Then one of the workers wheels a bike into the back of the store. He thanks my one and only for saving his bike. And the next morning when we went into the store, he thanked her again.
A few mornings after that, a different coffee worker was smoking a cigarette outside before starting her work day, and when we came out she asked my one and only if we weren’t scared to walk around the block in the dark. My one and only said she didn’t think she was scared. (I like to think I am protecting her.) The young woman said that she was always being approached and asked for cigarettes. We don’t smoke, so no one would stop us for that. The young woman went on to say people are crazy. As proof of this madness, she mentioned an almost bike heist right outside the store.
She didn’t seem to know she was speaking to the real hero of that thwarted theft. My one and only filled her in on what happened, not omitting who deserved the credit. She didn’t explain it exactly that way, but I think that was the gist of it. The young woman stubbed out her cigarette in a planter box and went inside to go to work. My one and only and I continued our daily walk around the block. She held her double short one Splenda latte in one hand and my leash in the other. We kept alert for crimes we could prevent, confident our crime-fighting reputation would keep us safe. We also greeted other early morning risers who crossed our path.