"Oh, gosh, is that the time? Sorry, I have to go," the man mumbled evasively, as he stood up and reached for his bag.
"What?" the woman said.
She glared with uncertainty. She hadn't heard him say it was over. But he had called her — his girlfriend of three years — to come out for a serious conversation . . . and now he had suddenly announced he was going to work in America. He was to leave immediately — in a few hours.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold ~ by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated by Geoffrey Trousselot, 2019, time travel fiction (Japan)
If you could go back, who would you want to meet? In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee — the chance to travel back in time. Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn't so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most important, the trip can last only as long as it takes for the coffee to get cold. This novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?