The scent of spring rain lingers. It wafts from the mud which still glitters with raindrops. All around, there's a blush of cherry blossoms. Sweet smelling. Rising to touch the light wash of blue above.
No, this isn't a draft out some creative writing class. (Like I have any chance of that.) It's nature's wallpaper outside the window.
But I can't waste more time waxing eloquent. I have a life, and more importantly, a job. Serving molten goo, twisting any grimace to a grin, ironing out frown lines with makeup. One spill, one stumble, can cost me my job.
Folks scurry in and out like mice. They just grab coffee (or whatever passes for it), occasionally a sandwich or donut, then scoot. They seem to be knit of stress and hurry.
Well, all except for him. Him in the navy trenchcoat, on the table closest to the counter. He hasn't budged for four and a half hours since I prattled about the rain and blooms, and is on his twenty second cup of espresso. (I kid you not.) After the twelveth, I just couldn't resist.
"You aiming for Guiness Records' Most Pointless category? Or have you swallowed too many sleeping pills and are desperate for an antidote?"
It came out as lame as it sounds. His curled lip made that clear enough. "I said one more cup. Please." He snarled.
It's my job, I couldn't whine unless I wanted an early long holiday. I did as he said. But when he finished the nineteenth, my mouth just automatically unzipped itself. (Really, there are two things that need a proper, functioning zip, my mouth and my jeans. Undoing both before people always leads to regret.)
"You're generous today with your cash, huh?" I drawled. "Getting moist-eyed over my meagre earnings? Pity from customers is bloody lucrative, you know-" He rammed the cup into my hands and through tight lips said, " If I understand right, you earn from serving coffee, not from tedious verbiage."
Wow. Lord fancy-pants using fancy words, no doubt to flaunt his oh-so-pricy Ivy league major English over the oik he thinks I am. Just for the record your frickin highness, I've sailed through Princeton too, in psychology. Unlike his inherit-Daddy's-business ilk, I do live in the real world and have to waitress to pay my bills.
But I didn't say any of that. I happened to snatch a glimpse of his cold, steel grey eyes. I somehow didn't like to say anything more.
The cafe's got nobody except him now. The owner's told me to close in a couple of minutes. He'll have to get out, unless of course, he has a fetish for being locked up in dingy rooms. He's welcome to that.
I don't have to mumble anything though. He somehow reads my face. Silently, the silky trenchcoat swishes past me into the chilly night.