Volume 1: Caramel Offsets
This had been the worst day of Janet's life. She floated down the street incredulous as to how everything had gone so wrong, teetering on the highly erodible cusp of a full emotional breakdown.
It was earlier that morning, the proverbial nail in the coffin of her nine-month relationship had been hammered in. As Janet strolled up the street of her city's main thoroughfare mourning the relationship she had put all of her hopes and dreams into, she felt as if one of the Mayans from Raiders of The Lost Ark had just torn her heart out and watched it beat in front of her. If anyone had approached Janet on the street that afternoon, even a Greenpeace canvasser or a Mormon proselytizer, she would have lost complete control and spent well over twenty minutes delivering hysterical and unintelligible confessions to a total stranger.
Janet knew there was but one consolation left in her life. When she was pushed to the edge, to the last point where a human could tolerate the sickening intangibles that accrue on your conscience, there was only one last thing that could give her the courage to keep fighting.
Janet was going to drink some caramel.
She stared at the barista, making dead eye contact with him while her tear ducts sat like a dam with a large crack down the middle, looking for any semblance of inertia to break open and flood a village with uncontrollable chaos.
"I'd like a Caramel Blended," Janet explained. "Large. With whip. And caramel. Extra caramel. Can you put extra caramel in there?"
She watched as the guy behind the counter chased ingredients from every orifice of the overly thought-out establishment, consolidating them in a blender and blanketing them in unbroken sheets of ice. When the barista, knowingly looking up to her for signs of feedback regarding his proportions of ingredients, Janet shot him a dead-pan poker face of disdain and abhorrence, as if saying "fucking caramel."
"WHIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR," The blender whirred.
Drink in hand, she stabbed a straw into it and sucked violently through the straw. The time for patience was over, the time for caramel was now. As the icy Caramelita-Blended drink slid into her mouth and down the back of her throat, suddenly her heart collapsed. It was assembled totally wrong. Everything was wrong. The icy inconsistencies overrode the sweet, tender texture that was such a desperate necessity to her in this dire moment. Despite everything she was already braving, she would have even stomached the icy unpalatability of this one last pleasure that her life yielded, but what got Janet was the caramel: there wasn't extra-fucking caramel in this drink. There was an average amount of caramel in this drink.
With all will gone and only her visceral human instincts left, she took the icy drink, cocked her arm back, and chucked it straight behind the counter towards the man who had assembled it, nailing him square in the chest and causing whipped cream and icy caramel to explode onto several employees and a customer standing dominantly over the pastry case. Janet fell to her knees and began sobbing violently, in an arrhythmic overture to her full emotional breakdown. "I'm sorry," she choked through her heavy, asthmatic sobs. "I WASN'T AIMING FOR YOU."