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The Bean Company (chapter one)
“Oh, sorry about that, sir.” I mumbled, groggy and emotionless to the man I bumped into. 7:00 am wasn’t my favorite time of day, but my daily caramel-swirl coffee from The Bean Company (a little café about 2 blocks from my house ) usually helped me deal.
It wasn’t until I went to sip my favorite beverage that I noticed half of it was poured onto the man I had unintentionally harassed a few seconds before. That was enough to snap me out of my morning mope.
“Oh my god! I’m so so so so so sorry! I’m just exhausted and in a-”
“It’s okay!” he cut me off, not seeming angry at all.
Smiling he said, “ Brown looks good with my white shirt, don’t you think so?”
He posed in front of me like a Calvin Klein model. I ignored his attempt to make me feel better and grabbed a wad of napkins from the counter and avoided the gaze of the annoyed manager.
“Let me help you.” I handed him half the stack of napkins to wipe himself off and I cleaned up the floor with the rest.
“Really, I should be thanking you. My outfit was looking bland today. Plus I will smell like coffee, and coffee smells good, correct? At least this will cover up the fact I forgot to put on deodorant today!”
Humiliated, I stood up and tossed the caramel-swirl soaked napkins into the trash.
I then looked in his eyes. They were soft and welcoming, and there was not even a trace of annoyance in his genuine smile.
“Really, just stop.” I groaned, “You don’t need to make me feel better. Seven o’clock and I’ve already embarrassed myself. There’s no use in trying to make my day better, and I know inside you’re pissed.”
“Really, I’m okay!” he laughed, “I have an extra shirt at work. I brought it in last week. I just had a feeling I’d run into a girl like you.”
I couldn’t help but giggle at his pun, but I was still annoyed.
“Great.” I said sourly, “Girls like me.” I looked down, my face reddening.
“No, no it’s a good thing. There’s something irresistibly cute about your type.”
“My type?” I said firmly in a desperate attempt to gain back my dignity, “And what might that be?”
He chuckled a low, throaty laugh. “Clumsy, bashful, sweet, beautiful..”
“Beautiful.” I repeated, scanning up and down his body. He certainly was but me, not so much.
“So,” I changed the subject, “are you making fun of me or is this a pathetic excuse for flirting.”
He didn’t look offended by my jest. Instead he raised an eyebrow.
“You tell me. Are you wooed?”
I rolled my eyes.
“Fair enough.” he laughed.
“So you’re making fun of me then?” I asked, glancing at my watch. S**t. I was late for work Damn dark-haired man for distracting me…
“No you’re beautiful, but either way you wont believe me.”
“Well I don’t even know you, but how would you know whether I believed you or not?”
“Because you are of the females, emotional, doubtful and unconvinced.”
“You know, you’re very stereotypical.” I said tapping my foot. I probably had at least 10 missed calls by now. I pulled my phone out of my coat pocked. Nope, Eleven.
He seemed to catch on to my impatience, “Well you probably have to go to work now.”
“Well, here.” he took out a off-white, crumpled business card from his pocket.
“Take my card. Call me or email me some time. Or maybe we could meet here tomorrow.”
“I’m here every day, same time.” I said, rushing to the door and out into the chill of the December air. I instantly regretted not buying another coffee after spilling the majority on the dark-haired man. I could already feel a caffeine headache coming on.