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For The Love of Coffee
The warmth of a coffee shop brings the coldest of people's hearts to puddles. The sweet smell of hazelnut wafting throughout the red painted walls, wrapping around every by passer's nose pulling them out of step to the tall countertop. Couples sit near the windows sipping down the hot liquid, giggling, and talking. College students sit at the cushioned chairs typing away at their laptops barely lifting their glance as the reach for the white cup. Teens run in and out grabbing a muffin, while as the tasteful ones pause to order a steaming frappe with whipped cream. I notice all of these things as I lean over the counter waiting for the next customer to arrive.
The door opens letting in a blast of cold Manhattan air revealing a man in dark jeans a blazer jacket and a scarf. I stand up straight, brush over my green apron, tuck that nagging piece of bang behind my ear, and plaster a warm smile across my face.
He walks over, looks up to the chalkboard signs, and mutters different things under his breath. I lick my lips as I try to look occupied by reaching for a pack of post-it notes and a pen.
"Hello," he finally says as he looks down. I stop doodling circles on the pad and look towards him. Green eyes stare back at me. I can see my reflection. I look like an idiot.
"Hel-lo... Hello," I stammer trying to get out the words. He runs his hand through his windblown brunette hair trying to keep his cool. Oh dear, God.
"Does the hazelnut espresso come in a small?" He asks. His voice is deep and smooth. Like the narrator's voice in those kid shows.
"I'm sorry, sir, but that's only available in a medium or large," I shake out.
"Oh well then, I guess I'll be on my way..." he begins.
"Wait!" I call a little too desperate. Half of the coffee shop looks my way as I shout across the room. "I guess I can make an exception," I say blushing.
"Excellent." I smile, realizing how desperate I really am, and walk over trying to attempt to make a small espresso. You see there's too many ingredients in our espressos to fit in that small cup...
"So how long have you been working here?" he asks interrupting my mumbling.
"About three years," I answer as I take out the can of whip cream.
"Wait," he says just as I'm about to open the can. "Let me do it."
I hand him the whip cream can and he does the perfect doll-up on top of the steaming drink then hands it back to me. "Thanks."
"So will that be $4.70," I say distracted by that cute move. He hands over a debit card, signs the receipt, and is on his way. I look back at the receipt as the door closes, and read in a scrawled script: Noah Brandon (212) 949-5115.