He comes here every Sunday for a “cup of Joe” and a pastry. He orders it just like that, “one cup of joe please!” And he chooses a different pastry every time. I guess you could say I’ve been watching him, he never seems to notice though. And I’m ok with that.
Today he has on dark denim jeans that hug his muscles in a way any girl would appreciate. His t-shirt is a dusty green that compliments his completion perfectly. He takes his coffee and pastry to the same little table as always, in front of the window facing the street. And he just sits there sipping his drink and occasionally taking a bite of his pastry, today it’s a blubbery scone. He doesn’t read, or play on his cell phone, or complete the crossword puzzle in the newspaper on his table. He just watches the world go by before joining the rabble in their hustle and bustle.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten bolder, watching him more openly every sunday. He’s never noticed me before so why would he now? And then his eyes are boring though me. I never noticed the gold ring that is elegantly wrapped around his pupil in those otherwise ordinary brown eyes. For a moment the sparkle there draws me in and I get lost.
Then the rest of the world comes back into focus and I can feel my face heating up. I drop my eyes and clutch my mug tighter, the warmth attempting to sooth my raw nerves. I take a sip of my chai tea and dare a peek over the rim. He’s still looking at me. My heart stutters, in excitement or horror I don’t know, maybe both.
I down the rest of my tea, burning my tongue in the process. I wince, that’s gonna be inconvenient later. Grabbing my bag, I make a dash for the back door of the café. I chose a seat not too far from it just in case I ever got caught staring, but it still feels like a million miles before I reach the door and slip out of my once haven and into the daily grind.
I take a swallow of my coffee as a herd of church goers hurdle by in their neat clothes and clean cars. A few teens pop in and out of shops on the other side of the street, checking out the wares before moving on. A mother pushes a stroller toward the park on the corner down the street, her toddler running around with airplane wings spread wide. I turn from the world outside to the interior of my favorite café in town.
And then I’m staring into a pair of big, bright, bold blue eyes. Eyes that stare right back, unabashedly. It takes me a few moments to realize the eyes belong to a girl. A pretty blonde in a pink dress. A bit of her hair has fallen from her pinned up hair do, and although she’s obviously tried to tuck it behind her ears, some of it stubbornly flutters to rest against her cheek. A cheek that is now flame red. I seek out her eyes again but she’s gazing into her cup as if it’s the most interesting object on the planet. And then she’s peeking over the rim of that fascinating object at me. A smile tugs at my lips but she’s gone, her seat empty, her cup abandoned.
I shoot to my feet but she’s already out the door and disappearing into the world outside, a brief flurry of a pink skirt the only trace of her before it to is gone far too soon. I slowly lower myself into my chair, my half eaten blueberry scone forgotten along with my favorite cup of Sunday joe.