by Shanice Alexandre-Oezbicer
"The usual?", I asked him, stroking a strand of hair out of my face, which (as always) had found its way right over my left eye because it just could never stay in my ponytail. I internally sighed, but gave him my best smile. Not that my smile mattered in that moment, he wouldn't have seen it anyways. He was still focused on his paper, simply holding a hand up, gesturing me to wait a moment until he has finished his sentence, which I did. I was used to it. I was never annoyed, or impatient. It was fascinating to watch him, and maybe he was right about me having a talent in observing people because I noticed all the small unimportant little things, that would remain undiscovered by all the other people. How the left corner of his mouth slightly curled up, forming a little, almost invisible smirk, whenever he wrote more than five sentences in a row without having to stop to think during the process. How his right hand always held onto the coffee cup like it was some kind of treasure while he was writing. How he would play with a curl of his hair, while he murmured his written words quietly to himself to see if they were good enough. How he scratched the back of his neck every time he put his quill aside, because he didn't know how to continue his poem or story, or whatever secrets were hidden on his pieces of paper, seemingly nervous about not having anything his fingers could clasp in the meantime.
Maybe I was just good at observing him...
"Yes, the usual, please." he quietly said, then turned his head to look at me and flashed me a smile. It was brighter than normally and his voice sounded more cheerful. I wondered what the reason for his good mood could be... A new idea for a story? A long sleep? A woman? The last thought made my heart sink a little. Jealousy? Did I have the right to be jealous? Feeling the urge to, I smiled at him just as brightly wanting to let him know that I liked seeing him this happy... somehow... "Alright, then..." I nodded my head, still smiling and when I was about to tun around and leave (and tell Hannah how handsome he looked in hat white shirt and how much I loved the necklace he was wearing and how fancy the watch on his wrist made him look), I stopped myself, which caught his attention. "I... uhm... read your poem." I spoke rather hesitantly, almost afraid that this simple statement would somehow be too intimate, too secretive to talk about. He put his quill aside and leaned back in his seat, ere leaning forward again, his elbows on his knees for support. He then raised an eyebrow in a questioning manner. "So? How did you like it?" What kind of stupid question was that? How did I like it? It was beyond perfect. He must have known that. I bet all of his works were beyond perfect. Perfect enough to make any woman on this planet melt. In that moment I wondered if he had a girlfriend. Someone as attractive as him in words and looks, must have had one, right? Right. And followed by this thought I felt a painful stinging in my stomach and I just barely stopped myself from touching it with my hands to see if I was actually physically hurt, because, yes. It did hurt that much.
"It was... beautiful in every way. But... if I remember correctly, it was not the same poem you read to me the other day..."
His smile widened and he nodded his head, seemingly satisfied with the fact that I had noticed it. I could have sworn to see his cheeks turning crimson for a second.
"I know... I felt like yo would like it."
"Why did you tell me it was the other one then, if I may ask?"
He hesitated for a moment, then sighed.
"I was afraid of making you feel uncomfortable by reading a love poem to you."
Now his cheeks were definitely crimson and I could not deny that I loved this sight. I chuckled lightly and bit my lip to prevent myself from bursting out into a series of flustered giggles.
"Well... you do not have to worry about that, Your poems are beautiful and it is always a pleasure to hear or read them." He smiled thankfully and with that, I walked off. I could see Hannah already standing behind our selling desk, her arms crossed over her chest, as she eyed me suspiciously up and down. "Don't give me that look." I threw a wet towel at her, but couldn't stop myself from smiling. "Is you guys constantly flirting going to be a thing know? Because we all might puke from all the love at one point." immediately Joey and Sam, (our co-workers) agreed with Hannah. "He is not even attractive, Honey." Joey stated while changing the water in the coffee machine. "You're one to talk." Sam quickly countered, earning a slap on the neck from Joey and a fist bump from me. "I never said we were flirting, okay? I never said, that I was interested in him and I never said that I think he is attractive." I tried to justify, but Hannah was having none of it. "You tell me all the time how handsome you think he is and how much you would love to-" I stopped her from finishing that risky sentence by putting my hand over her mouth rapidly, smiling innocently at my friends, who were all raising an eyebrow at me in unison. "Could you guys just leave it? Fine, I think he is attractive, I admit that, but it's not like he is the only attractive man on this damn planet." - "Right, as long as we have Joey, almost every man is attractive." - "Shut up, will ya?" Joey said while rolling his eyes. "Have you heard of Emilia's Birthday party tonight?" Hannah asked, changing the topic with a slight smirk hidden in the corner of her mouth. She knew she would get a reaction for that question, as always when she brought up Emilia in a conversation. Sam rolled his eyes and annoyingly groaned. "Can we just not talk about her." - "It's been half a year since your break-up, hun, move on." Joey put a hand on his shoulder, but Sam was quick to push him away and disappear into the staff room without another word. I sighed. "Give him some time. He really liked her, you know?" Hannah just crossed her arms over her chest. "Is that our fault? He behaves like a little child every time we mention her, she didn't have a problem with moving on at all. She is with that Barkeeper, who works at spring break now, remember the club?" Joey quirked an eyebrow, while I frowned. "I thought she was with that guy from s-" Hannah shook her head before I could finish my sentence. "Not anymore. See? She is dealing with the pain quite well. I give that guy 2 weeks before he gets cheated on as well." Joey and me both opened our mouths to say something against the blunt way she was describing Emilia but soon realized that she was right in every point and that Emilia was indeed, (excuse my French) a bitch.
"Alright. So, who's going?" Joey asked. "What?" I questioned and Hannah looked at him just as confused. "Who is coming to her party with me tonight?" - "Are you stupid, Joey? Why should we go?" - "You guys are taking all of this way too serious. She was our friend, remember? Did she cheat on us? No. We don't have a reason to be mad at her." - "Yes, we do! Sam is our best friend, you idiot!" I countered and folded my arms over my chest. "She invited all of us and I'm gonna go. I need some fun." Hannah turned away and devoted her attention back to the cold coffee that she now shoved into my hands. "We'll talk about this after work, okay?" Me and Joey simply nodded.
I made my way to my favorite table.