Danielle set the overflowing mug of latte on the table and nestled into ‘her’ comfy chair, in the corner of her favourite local cafe. She had always thought of this place as quaint, a word not used often these days but still somehow perfectly describing the atmosphere and charm it held. She had recently made a routine of coming here every Saturday morning. In actuality there was no point; she had an espresso machine in her apartment and was more than capable of making whatever she wanted. But the shop was comforting in its familiarity and besides, she reasoned, a single girl in her twenties needs to get out if she's to ever meet someone.
Pulling the novel from her purse she rested its worn cover on the table’s edge and opened the bookmarked page, briefly allowing her eyes to sweep through the room. The cafe was surprisingly busy this time of morning. Her eyes were half-turned back to the book when she spotted him. Danielle had seen him here each Saturday around this time, which perhaps was a large reason for her continual return. Impeccably dressed in business attire, she couldn’t help but wonder what he did for a living. Executive? Salesman?
Whatever the case, the laptop always occupied a good amount of his time. This morning as any other he was fixated on the screen, which allowed her the usual time for stolen glances. The kind accompanied by quick aversion of our eyes when the subject of our attention looks our way, should (God forbid) they ever notice our interest. Their eyes had never met yet she couldn’t help but wonder if he played the same coy game, and was as skilled as she at not being obvious. Danielle grinned, fully knowing that without this distraction she would have finished the novel long ago.
She lazily sipped on the hot drink, awash in morning sun as it came around and began gently streaming through the window. This was her favourite part of the day, a chance to enjoy some quiet solitude before the reality of chores, errands and phone calls intruded.
Only this morning was different. Because with one careless glance, one glimpse too long, this man who had remained elusive for so long looked up and met her eyes with his.
Oh crap! She froze, just long enough to catch his smile before quickly turning feigned attention to her book. She was afraid to look back up, a million thoughts running through her head. ‘What did that mean? Was he even looking at me? Of course he was stupid, you’re sitting in the corner. There’s no one behind you.'
From the corner of her eye she caught his form as he closed the laptop and rose from the table. Making his way towards her, he turned not towards the door but instead to where she was sitting, and before Danielle knew it he was before her. This couldn’t be happening.
He leaned in.
"I wouldn't normally say this but..."
The anticipation of words to come hung in the air for an eternity. She wanted to clutch her chest, almost afraid he'd hear her heart racing. She stared into his eyes, embarassingly lost in the depth of blue gazing back at her. He moved in closer still. God he smelled good.
"You have some foam on your nose," he grinned, then slowly disappeared through the door.
Danielle slunk into the chair, exhaling silently for no one else to hear,
Intellectual property copyright Barry O'Shea. All rights reserved.