I’M LOVIN’ IT by Judah Arun Jun01


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I’M LOVIN’ IT by Judah Arun

I stared at the ‘M’ and it stared back at me.

The glistening golden arches: a beacon of light amidst the darkness. A lighthouse in the fog. There was no greater blessing in life than a McDonald’s down the road. It was a reminder—a routine—that no matter how bad life got happiness was but a happy meal away.

It was especially wet that miserable Monday morning. I was cold, knackered, and soaked to the skin. I was also disappointed that I still hadn’t managed to get enough diamonds despite mining all night. 

Ten minutes. 

I checked the timetable again just to be sure. Ten minutes until the bus arrived. I slumped onto the bench, sighed. I looked over at the McDonald’s down the street. They had posters advertising their new Caramel Cappuccino. In that moment freshly ground, roasted, steaming coffee smelled like heaven’s nectar to me and I had found myself in the McDonald’s before you could say ‘Bada da da da daaa.’

It was the same as always. The tiled floors. The rows of seats, some lofi-beats. The abstract walls, placed between dining areas. The laminated wood counter. Some ginger who looked like he had been getting high in the back alley. The store was barren, not another customer in sight – which was rare. It was always busy. I made my way up to the register. The order was simple. Americano. Been a while since I last had one (was more of a Monster Energy person). I found an empty seat, sat down and waited.

A black tray had slid itself onto my table and with it my coffee plus a thin wooden popsicle and packets of milk and sugar. I looked up at the waitress.

“Order number one?” 

And that was when I saw her first. 

Emerald eyes veiled behind round-rimmed spectacles. Auburn locks, ensnared within the mesh of her hair net. Flawless fair skin and luscious lips. A voice akin to melted rainbows.

“Can I get you anything else?” 

She smiled, her cheeks caving—dimples—like a pitfall trap that I had stumbled into. I froze like a damn deer in headlights. What I wanted wasn’t on the menu anymore. I wanted her more than I wanted McNuggets and I’ll have you know I love my chicken McNuggets. I stared at the woman for a solid five seconds like an idiot before finally mumbling:

“Did the cups always look like this?”

She cocked an eyebrow, glanced at the coffee cup, back at me, and back at the cup, before my question finally seemed to click.

“Oh! Those! Yeah it’s the new promotion thingy,” 

Sure enough, around the body of the cup was a tear-off paper loyalty card. Black and White, with six empty boxes, and one sticker of a coffee bean off to the side. 

“Collect sic-sikh-BLEGH-six stickers for a free regular seventh cup.” 

She replied with a sheepish grin. I found the fact that she could not read properly adorable. “Well then! Enjoy your Caramel Cappuccino, Sir.” 

“Thanks, you too.” 

She giggled as she walked away, and I didn’t notice that she had gotten my order.


My morbid mornings were now marvellous. I’d walk in, order, and she would almost always bring it over: My McBeautiful. We’d chat for a bit, and you have no idea how much I looked forward to those five minutes. She thought I really liked the taste of McDonald’s coffee. I had to ask myself who in God’s name goes to McDonalds for Coffee?

Me. That would be me. 

Cuz that cup of Coffee was special. She was special. And just like chicken nuggets entranced my taste buds, she had captivated my heart. And today was another such day, where she was in the process of wrapping me in her warmth just like she made spicy chicken wraps. 

“Thanks, for the coffee, whatever your name is?”

“I’m Ruby!” 

Her name was Ruby. Such a lovely name. Though I wondered why she didn’t wear a name tag. “Wow, that’s crazy,” I told her. “I’m Qrowe.” 

“Ah, crows like shiny things don’t they? Do you like me?” 

“Bingo, baby.” 

I smirked with a wink, paused, added some finger guns. I earned a giggle from her yet died inside due to my deplorable demeanour but managed to force a smile while I threw up inside.

“Oh my God, you’re so funny!”

“I am?” 

That wasn’t funny. That was cringe. Straight up, cringe. It was so cringey that I wanted to hurl myself off a rooftop. So either she pitied me, or really liked me. The sound of the bus rolling by alarmed me. 

“Shooot! I gotta go.” 

I grabbed my bag, my jacket and turned on my heel but her soft voice stalled me.

“Before you go, Qrowe…” 

Ruby casually slipped me a loyalty card across the table. Except it had already been filled out with six stickers. Confused, I glanced back at her for an explanation. 

“This isn’t min-” 

She shushed me, made a gesture with her hand – thumb and pinky sticking out while the rest of her fingers were clenched. Brought her hand to her chin.

“Call me~” 

She whispered, winking. Then she turned, went away to help another customer who looked an awful lot like my long lost dad, but wasn’t. I simply stood there stumped. 

Call her? With what? Wait. I flipped the loyalty card over, and sure enough there was her number scrawled in pen. I turned the card over again, beaming at my fully filled loyalty card.

I don’t even like coffee. 

And I missed the bus. But that was alright. Cause I was in, Lads. I was in. 



Not even GHOSTED, just straight up BLOCKED. 

Things were finally getting good as well. I has already started planning out my imaginary life with her. Ruby was the literal female version of me; we were two sides of the same coin! I certainly wasn’t a man of religion but I was convinced that there was some higher power behind our encounter. There had to be! Except there wasn’t.

Where did it go wrong? Was I too clingy? Was it something I said? Did I look desperate? I closed my eyes, as the events of days previous flooded my brain. 

After she gave me her number that day I called her as soon as I got home. She sounded sick alright, lots of weary whimpers and groans. I asked her if she was okay, she said yes. But I didn’t want to disturb her so I just let it be for a day. She was back in at work the day after though and I finally worked up the courage to invite her out on a date. She said yes.

We went out for dinner, and went back to my flat to watch a movie and eat some more snacks. Then when I woke up the morning she was GONE. Just like my dad, when he left to buy milk all those years ago. The only proof that she was ever here were those McDonald’s vouchers on my bedside table.

Then I went to send her a text, asking her if she got home safely and it was then when I realised I was BLOCKED. Again.

Why? Why did she block me? What had I done wrong? 

I sat there, burying my face into my pillow in grief. NO! I would not end like this! I was going to see her, and I was going to demand an explanation! It was the least I was entitled to. 

The glass doors hissed open. I had never felt more nervous walking into a McDonald’s. It didn’t take me long to spot her. And it didn’t take her long to spot me. The look on her face said it all. 

I couldn’t bear to stay there any longer, nor could I bear to leave. Stuck in my trance all I could do was stand and stare while twinges of unfamiliarity pricked at my heart. There I was, stuck in my trance, until a man bumped into me. I almost called him Dad because of how similar he looked to my missing father. He reminded me of myself and how happy I had been a few days prior.

“Haha, Sorry my Dude!” 

The bearded man replied with a bright grin as he bent over to pick something up. My heart froze. It was a McDonald’s loyalty card, and on the back of it. A phone number. HER phone number. Ruby didn’t need to explain anything. It all made sense now.

For the first time in twenty years: I wasn’t lovin’ it.