He landed his laptop over the rustic table in front of him and took a sit. The sunlight is weaker at that corner, and I think that's why he always chooses that specific table. He seems kind of darkish. Not that I think he is a bad person, but he should be more… cheerful?
I approached his table, smoothly, taking off my notepad and getting my pen ready.
"Hi, what may I get to you today?"
"Orange juice and a… hmm, do you have chocolate cupcakes?" He tried to take a peek at the counter where I had put a bunch of pastries earlier.
"I guess not. But I do have honey cupcakes. Those are pretty good, too."
"Yeah, that will do." He looked back at his laptop screen. I walked back to behind the counter, reviewing his order.
He had been a regular costumer for the last three weeks. He always had a different order, but since past Monday he took the orange juice and the cupcakes by his primary choice. I wouldn't take him by a cupcake person. I mean, when you think of a cupcake, you think cheerful things. And he's not cheerful at all.
I hurried on finishing his order. I only had to put a cupcake on a small plate and turn on the orange juice machine. And shall I add that the orange juice machine always causes me trouble? Every time I use it, something bad happens. That's why, when I have my co-workers around, I ask them to make juice for me. Unfortunately, today Aarti, the Indian girl, is sick, so I have to look for the coffee shop alone. Well, nothing like a challenge to make my day.
I grabbed a glass and pushed the button that started the machine. It turned out well, after all. As the juice fell into the glass, I got distracted and didn't notice the machine spilling juice on my shirt. I took everything and left for his table.
"Here you go! Hope you enjoy it!" I smiled as I rested the cupcakes and the juice on his table.
His eyes moved from the laptop to me and widened. I stood there blankly without knowing what to do, for he was staring deeply to my shirt.
"Is there something wrong?" I slowly asked.
"You should change." He said.
"Your shirt is wet. You should change it." His attention turned back to the glowing scree.
"Oh! I didn't notice. Thanks, dude!"
"Dude?" he answered back.
I didn’t answer back and left him looking strangely at me as I rushed to the staff restroom. It took me seconds to find my spare shirt and to dress it up.
When I got back to my place behind the counter, he was deeply concentrated on whatever he was doing in that laptop. It was a sunny March day. The cold still remained, but the sunlight was enough to make me want to be outside, instead of being inside this darkish coffee shop.
The walls were decorated with embossed dark red bricks, and the floor was dark; as my boss' wife would say "It was for that urban look". Well, it fitted. The tables and the chairs were all in metal, except for those on the corners. The sitting places from the two corners were complete opposites: on the right corner, the light would reach out and warm the flowers on the window. On the other side, the shadows lived. Even though the nearest window wasn't far, it was weakly illuminated. And it was his place of choice to spend, at least, two hours playing video games (that's my guess).
If taken a closer look, behind his glasses, it is possible to behold a miracle. I'm talking about his eyes. There's passion in them, something wild and daring. I wonder why he hides it behind his act. Maybe it's not even an act. I wonder if he ever saw himself as someone confident and bold. He seems so closed to the world.
Ugh, who am I to judge him? This was all out of boredom, I believe. However, he has caught my attention.
When I realized, it was already dark on the streets. I was too absentminded to notice him put his laptop in his bag and make his way to me.
"How much do I owe you?" I only mentioned his eyes, but his voice… Oh, his voice was so manly.
"Owe me what?" I try to regain my composure.
"A glass of orange juice and a cupcake." He rolled his eyes and stared at me as if I was some kind of dumb bitch. I didn't mind to give him back the same expression. Also, to make my dearest costumer wait a few more minutes, I took my time looking for his ticket. And, dear, did I take time. Since little, I was famous for my disorganization. I got to the point of thinking I had actually thrown it away. Then, it hit me. I hadn't registered his order.
I looked back at him. "Just a minute, sir." I said, almost sarcastly, even though I could barely hide my embarrassment.
He paid and went away. A sudden solitude filled my chest and my mind emptied. It sure wasn't for being alone in this tiny café, but for his departure. This was the first time this feeling overwhelmed me. And when I got home, an hour later, it wouldn't disappear. Little did I know what was about to start…