We didn’t talk over anything very important or interesting, merely the weather and the traffic patterns. But it gave me a glimpse into how you think. how you look at the world. I appreciated that. When the conversation seemed to be fading out, I went ahead and stood up, not wanting to push it further or risk anything.
“You’re a great guy,” you smiled up at me, your eyes finally free of that tiny glint of sadness. “You know, its comforting to know that you’re always here when I come in. It’s a little piece of my life that I can rely on being the same. You’re not planning to leave any time soon, are you?”
I smiled back. “No plans to leave. You’re the highlight of my shift, if we’re being honest.”
“Is that right?” You looked away now and I could see the color starting to bloom a little on your cheeks.
“Yes.” I started to move away, again not wanting to push anything.
“You know, after…” you hesitated and became very serious. “After.. after what happened… I have had a very difficult time trusting anyone in my life. But this coffee shop has continued to be a safe place for me.”
“Good,” I tried to smile encouragingly. Who knows if it really worked, but the corner of your mouth twitched in the smallest version of a smile possible. “I really have to get back to work now, but let me know if I can do anything for you.”
“Maybe another caramel latte?” you asked, almost in a whisper, and I nodded.
Since Lily was handling all of the other customers without problem, I went straight to making your latte, even managing to do some of the best foam art of my barista career to date. When I set it down on the table beside the book, you wrapped her fingers around my wrist, almost as though you were clinging to it.
“Thank you,” you said softly before releasing my wrist. I caught a glimpse of your eyes before you looked down at your book again, and I knew you were thanking me for much more than latte art.