The warm aroma of coffee wafted through the air, blending in with the familiar scent of wood and newspapers. A soft jazz tune hummed gently from the hidden speakers in the high-rise ceiling. The tune rose and sank with a peaceful elegance, creating a solitary calmness that filled the coffee house. Square wooden tables were lined neatly in three rows, accompanied by red cushioned chairs with daisy prints.
A young woman in her mid- twenties stood behind a long black counter that was furthest from the entrance. She twirled a strand of her blonde-brown hair and watched small specks of snow float down the wide glass window by her right. Empty streets, cloudy skies, and snow, she thought. That was how it was every winter. One or two customers might visit the shop once in a while, but that was it. She glanced at her leather wristwatch, watching each second pass with every tick of the second hand.
A gentle, clean cologne filled her senses as she tore her eyes away from her wristwatch. A tall man clad in a long, black winter coat that skimmed his knee stood by the entrance, brushing off a layer of white from his shoulders. His figure loomed large in the coffee house, and she couldn’t help but notice the way the dull morning light dusted his sandy brown curls. She could almost hear the soft swish of his grey straight-cut trousers as he turned away from the entrance, towards the counter.
“Hey.” Five large strides had brought him to the counter where he greeted her with a smile. His emerald green eyes locked upon her hazel ones. They were gentle, like soft pastel colors matched with the painting of a meadow.
“Hi,” she smiled in return. “Cold out there, isn’t it?”
“It’s freezing!” His eyes twinkled with laughter as he gave her an exaggerated shiver.
“That’s true.” A small chuckle escaped her lips as she took in his long eyelashes, almond-shaped eyes, double eyelids, clean-shaven chin, thin lips, and long straight nose. His olive skin glowed with a slight tan–the healthy kind that resulted from outdoor hobbies. He definitely belonged to good looking.
“Could I have a cup of coffee?”
“Oh yes definitely!” She felt embarrassment flush across her cheeks as she gestured at the two blackboards placed by the side of the counter. Thank god he couldn’t read minds, she thought as she watched his green eyes flicker from side to side as he read the menu.
“A… Doppio Espresso, regular?”
“On its way.”
She stared at him, bewildered and caught off guard.
“Your name tag.” His hearty laugh broke through the gentle sway of jazz and echoed endlessly in her head. Damn, she thought as she felt her heart skip a beat too many. She was a sucker for laughs.