"Hi, how may I help you?" I ask, a pleasant smile plastered onto my face. The customer, an elderly man with hair as silver as the frames of his glasses, barely glances up at me
"A large hot coffee with three sugars and regular cream." He states. I punch in the order into the register as he says it, then snatch a large styrofoam cup and scribble his order on it with the pen. I place the cup on the counter for Greg to fill.
"Anything else?" I ask, with the same inoffensive smile.
"That's all." He says.
"Okay, that'll be three..." I cut myself off. He already swiped his credit card and walked over to the pickup counter. I rip the receipt off of the machine, then glance back up.
"Hi, how may I help you?" I repeat, smiling. The customer, a frazzled middle aged woman with a toddler screaming on her hip places her order, including the pastry that her kid felt was the most important pastry in the world, judging by the tears and various goo streaming down the kid's face. After the woman and her kid leave, Greg and I share an amused glance.
"Man, if my kid acted like that I wouldn't buy the pastry. That kid needs to learn some self control." Greg laughs.
"True." I say, popping a donut hole into my mouth.
"Kyle, toss me a chocolate one." Greg orders. I oblige. The door jingles and I return to my spot at the register. A gorgeous girl strides through the door. I'm not quite sure if I'm imagining it or not, but she actually appears to be walking in slow motion, her brown hair fluttering from the gust of air that always blasts people when they first enter the air conditioned store. For some incomprehensible reason, she starts to head towards me. Why on Earth would she talk to me when she's so... pretty?
"Hi!" She smiles, her sky blue eyes sparkling above her rosy cheeks. It suddenly occurs to me that I have a job.
"Hi! May help I you?" I stutter. Oh my god, what am I doing? I sound like an idiot! I smile enthusiastically, trying to salvage whatever fragments are left of my dignity.
"May I please have a medium iced caramel coffee with four milks and two sugars?" She smiles sweetly.
"Sure! Of course! Yes!" I grin stupidly, accidentally pressing the wrong button on the register. I correct my mistake, then grab a medium cup, fumbling it and almost dropping it on the floor.
"It's all good." I say, my cheeks flaming. I mark her order on the cup and pass it to Greg, who shakes his head at me.
"Anything else?" I ask, hoping that she'll order something else.
"I think that'll be it!" She grins at me, flashing those sky blue eyes at me.
"Oh, okay. Well, uh, goodbye." I say, hoping that my disappointment isn't too evident on my face.
"Don't I need to pay?" She tilts her head in adorable confusion.
"Oh, yes, yes! It's two eighty nine! Two dollars eighty nine cents to be exact. Mmhmm!" What the heck am I doing?
"Okay!" She smiles and hands me three dollars. I punch it into the register and pull out eleven cents.
"This is your change." I say. Apparently I no longer have a functioning brain. I plop the change into her outstretched hand. God, even her hand is beautiful. Her fingers are long and soft and delicate, especially compared to my stubby hot dog hands. Greg silently slides the girl's drink across the counter to me, not wanting to interrupt his new favorite comedy show: my miserable life.
"Here you goes!" I smile excitedly, handing her the drink. For a moment her soft hand brushes against mine, and I swear that I can feel the electricity pulsing between our fingers.
"Thank you!" She grins sweetly, then turns and walks toward the door.
"Have a nice day!" I yell belatedly as the door closes behind her. Greg begins to laugh.
"Oh my god. You're gone. You're just completely... Wow, man. She's got you hooked." Greg wheezes.
"Did I look as stupid as I though I did?" I mumble, my hand pressed against my forehead.
Greg nods, tears of laughter still streaming down his face.
The next day I come in to work is a Tuesday afternoon, and I keep an eye out for the beautiful girl. She doesn't come in. She doesn't return on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Every time the door jingles, my eyes involuntarily glance at the door, hoping that she will be the one to enter the store. Finally, on Sunday she returns. I'm not even sure if it's possible, but she looks even prettier than I remembered. She walks up to the counter, her blue eyes twinkling. Okay, just keep calm. She's just another person. An incredibly lovely person who looks like a beautiful flower. Oh my god. Just shut up and act like a normal person for once in your life.
"Hi, how may I help you" I say in a voice that shockingly almost resembles the voice of a normal human being.
"Oh, hi, it's you again! I was hoping you'd be here!" She smiles at me, catching me completely off guard.
"Y... you were?" I awkwardly smile back.
"Yeah! You make the best coffee." She gushes.
"Aw, thanks!" I grin. She thinks I make the best coffee. This is amazing!
"What's your name?" She asks, her kind blue eyes smiling at me.
"Kyle." I smile. "What's yours?"
"Beth. So, Kyle, may I please have a medium iced caramel coffee with four milks and two sugars?"
"Sure!" I snatch a medium cup off the top of the pile and scribble her order on it. I head over to the coffee station and make her drink. After I finish I head back to the cash register.
"There you go, Beth." I smile, handing her the cup. Just like last time, her fingers brush against mine as she takes it.
"Thank you!" She grins.
"Is there anything else I can get for you?"
"No thanks, that'll be it!"
"Okay, that'll be two dollars and eighty nine cents!" I say. She hands over a three dollar bill and I hand back eleven cents. She immediately plops the change into the tip cup.
"Have a nice day, Kyle!"
The next day, Beth came back and ordered her signature drink. She returns the next day, and the day after that. Pretty soon, Beth's visits become a daily event, one that I look forward to while dealing with unpleasant customers. Each time she comes we chat a little, providing that there is nobody else in the store. And each time Beth comes I fall more and more in love with her. One gorgeous Thursday afternoon, Beth walks in the door. I take a deep breath. If I'm going to do this it has to be today. I'm just going to go for it.
"Hey, Kyle, how's it going?" She smiles at me, that beautiful smile that I cannot get out of my mind.
"Oh, life's great. Some guy came into the store earlier, told me I reminded him of some student of his with a French last name, even though I've never seen this guy before and I'm not even French. Then he gave me this demo CD." I laugh, holding up the CD as proof.
"Wow, and I thought my day was odd. I just saw a herd of guys running by having a heated argument about which light bulbs they prefer." Beth grins.
"Wow, that is certainly strange." I laugh. "Let me guess, the usual?"
"You know me so well." Beth puts a joking hand over her heart.
I grab a medium sized cup and walk over to the coffee station. I pick up a pen and take a deep breath. I can do this. I write Beth's name on the cup, and next to her name I draw a heart. I make her usual coffee and bring it over to Beth.
"Here you go!" I say, trying to keep my voice even. I hand Beth her coffee and she smiles.
"Thanks Kyle!" She hands over three dollars, and I give her back her eleven cents, which she places in the tip cup. "Have a nice day!"
"You too!" I smile, my heart pounding. She didn't even notice it. Oh my god what have I done? I just dropped this huge hint and she just left without seeing it? Why did I do that? She's going to think I'm insane. Now I have to spend the whole rest of the day thinking about Beth and that stupid heart. I pop a donut hole in my mouth, then another, then a third. God, I'm going to get fired for eating everything in this store. Just as I pop another donut hole in my mouth, the door jingles. Beth comes running in, her caramel brown hair fluttering in the wind. I swallow the donut hole without finishing chewing it.
"Beth?" I ask in surprise. Then I notice the coffee cup in her hand.
"Come here." She orders, her voice nervous despite the firm tone. I obey, and walk over to the counter that divides the two of us. She places the coffee cup down on the counter, and leans across, grabbing my collar. She pulls me towards her and presses her lips against mine. She breaks away, smiling.
"What?" I say, a smile dancing across my lips.
"Why do you think I kept coming back here, Kyle?" Beth grins.
"Because I make the best coffee?" I smirk.
"Ha ha." Beth jokes, her beautiful blue eyes shining. "After you get out of work, do you want to go get some pizza?"
"You know I do." I smile at Beth, and she smiles back with her stunning smile that changed my life.