Tables in the corner are hard to get. I know. I’ve had to come in and basically circle one like a vulture waiting for the hyenas to move. I secured this one about an hour ago. My chai is cold now. It’s okay, really. The lukewarm version of Christmas-in-a-cup is actually better than searing my tongue as I suck it through that pinprick of a hole in the top. I should have gotten the frozen chai, but I thought I’d be here a while, and didn’t want to drink watery slush.
So far I haven’t found him. Or her I guess. The right her is just as suitable as the right him I suppose. As of now I’ve only met the wrong people.
Wait for it. Ding. Right on time. Mr. likes-to-wear-black comes in at seven oh seven every morning. He chats on his cell while talking to the barista and rolls his eyes like everyone, even Miss so-new-she-still-has-to-circle-her-fingers-over-the-cash-register, should just know what he’s going to order. Then he leaves without holding the door for anyone else. Yesterday poor grandma almost got steam rolled by him and then spanked by the door. Luckily Mr. too-shy-to-ask-out-new-girl, one of the green apron wearers that works here, saw what was happening and caught the door for her while grabbing her elbow to steady her in. Nice kid that Shy Guy. Cute, but not in an overwhelming way. Yeah, Mr. likes-to-wear-black would make a good bad guy, but he’s a tad shallow for my taste. So I’m still looking.
Maybe I should come at a different time. Though I’m hoping to find my hero and heroine at the six o’clock hour, I’ve already got my eye on Miss trying-to-memorize-the-cash-register-buttons-under-morning-rush-pressure, aka finger circle girl, and the Shy Guy of course, who encourages her through the whole process. Yeah, he’s sweet, and completely overshadowed by muscular Italian who gives all the hot girls the Joey Tribbiani nod. “How you doin’?”
But I’m not looking for them just yet. I’m looking for—hello. Fingers poised over my keyboard, I’m ready to write down every detail. Not many people come in during morning rush and eye the menu on the back wall. And no one takes out their wallet to count cash. Yup, Mr. new-at-this is here for a reason. His money counting isn’t all that sets him apart from the crowd here. His scuffed Stetson boots and heavy on the metal belt buckle help a bit. College town in the business district isn’t exactly home for a rifle totin’ cowboy. Bowlegged. Grizzled beard. Sean Connery frown. And did he just look into my eyes? It’s like he can sense me taking notes. Goodie! He’s got super powers too.
I can’t tear my eyes off of him as he steps up to the counter to order. Mr. Too-shy-to-ask-out-new-girl makes eye contact. For one electrified moment the room stops. It’s just Mr. Rifle and Shy Guy. Hard brown eyes meet liquid blue. Something hitches in Shy Guy’s step when Rifle’s frown turns into a Sean Connery sneer. Man I love tension. And just like that I know it’s him.