'Finally, a place to stop.' I thought to myself as I pulled into the vacant parking lot of, what looked to be, a small diner. The lights were on, but I couldn't't see anyone moving around inside.
The snow was falling a lot faster than it had been an hour earlier. To keep driving in this weather would be a death wish considering my headlights were only shining about five feet in front of the car.
I'll never understand why my brother had chosen to move to Michigan after college. It was a strange jump from California and baffled everyone. When he asked me to come visit I decided to make a road trip out of it. Now, on my way home, it had started to snow harder than normal, even for Michigan, and I had to stop. Too far away from Kyle's to turn back, I kept going, hoping I would run into something. This was the first place I had seen for miles.
I wrapped my scarf around my neck and made sure my coat was buttoned all the way up before I stepped out into the blinding snow and slowly trudged towards the glass doors. I pulled one open with a gloved hand and stepped inside, greeted by warmth and bright colors. The counters were a bright red accompanied by orange walls. I took in the booths that lined the walls as I moved to take a seat on a worn brown leather stool. No one was behind the counter but I could hear noises coming from somewhere in the back. I took off my coat and scarf, draping them over the stool next to me.
"Be there in a minute!" a man called from the back.
I noted a lingering smell of coffee in the air that was sweet and at the same time a little bitter. It was very…cozy. As I looked around and unconsciously drummed my fingers against the counter top a white door swung open and out came the source of the voice. He was tall, at least 6'2, with black hair that contrasted against ice blue eyes. His prominence was almost out of place in the small diner, but the smile on his face was warm just like everything else.
"Sorry about that. What can I help you with?" He leaned against the counter in front of me and the tight black tee he was wearing didn't't leave much to the imagination.
"Um, coffee is fine." I finally managed after a moment of ogling.
He nodded and turned around to a pot of coffee sitting on a burner. He grabbed a white mug from a cabinet and filled it to the rim.
"Cream and sugar?" He was still turned away from me and the question was barely audible.
He stirred in perfect amounts of both and turned to slide it towards me. "What are you doing out here so late?"
The question caught me off guard and I looked at him as I removed my gloves before wrapping my chilled fingers around the hot mug.
"I'm on my way home and didn't't realize it would be snowing this much."
He smirked and, knowingly, nodded. "That happens a lot. You're not from here are you?"
I smiled a little, "How'd you know?"
He reached for a towel under the counter and pulled out a rag. He began to wipe down the counter even though it looked clean already. Must be a habit.
"I've never seen you before and I know most people around here. Plus, I would remember a face like yours." The last comment was more to himself then me I think. Maybe not.
'I would remember a face like yours too.' I thought to myself. Then something clicked in my head. I looked back up at him as he focused on wiping everything down. I did remember that face. It was definitely a little older and mature but still the same man. I was pretty sure of it.
"Why are you out here so late?" The question wasn't't out of pure curiosity. I was digging. Digging for anything that could verify my thoughts.
My brown eyes focused on his blue ones when he looked up at me. "For drivers like you."
Then I knew. We stared at each other for a moment and I knew we were thinking the same thing, but I still had to make sure.
"Michael?" My voice was barely a whisper, but the soft smile on his face told me he had heard it.
"Allison." He moved to the waist high swinging door and came to my side of the counter. "I've missed you."
I slipped off of the stool just as he wrapped his arms around me in one of his familiar hugs. Michael and I had gone to college together. We were best friends; practically inseparable all four years. I had heard he moved out here a little after Kyle. They both liked the atmosphere…or something like that.
I wrapped my arms around his sold waist and remembered all the nights we had spent together. Everyone had thought we were a couple but we were just really comfortable with each other. I had always liked that about him.
"I really have missed you." I felt his hot breath saturate through my hair when he spoke. "There was something I needed to tell you before you left, but never got the chance."
He pulled back only enough to look down at me and I saw the same look in his eyes the day we graduated. The day I left.
"Well, here's your chance."
He gave me and easy smile and I felt his hand slide up my shoulder to cup my cheek. I tilted my head into his palm to feel the warmth that I had missed so much.
"I think you already knew when you left and I was just too scared to take the risk of losing you. I lost you anyway and now that you're here, I don't plan on losing you again. I love you Allison. I always have."
I looked up at him and smiled "I don't know what took you so long."
We laughed together and before I realized what was happening he was pulling me closer and lowering his head. He gave me the most memorable kiss of my life and I was sure he would be around for many more.
I had never been so glad for snow in my life.
"That's really how you and Grandpa got together?"
My bright eyed granddaughter sat next to me in the swinging chair on my porch and looked up at me with a smile on her face that looked almost exactly like Michaels.
"Mhm. Your grandfather and I have been with each other ever since that night."
She sat back as if she was thinking to herself and I let her. Stephanie was going through a typical teenage girl fascination with love. When she had asked when Michael and I had fallen in love I was more than happy to tell her.
"I hope one day I'll find love like that." She dreamily mumbled.
Right then Michael walked through the screen door, aged as was I, but still as handsome as ever. The smile he was wearing hadn't aged a day just like his eyes. He had been listening, I knew.
I smiled as we locked eyes. "Oh, you will Stephanie and when you do, hold onto it. I did."