Alicia loved to come into work early, before the light and the bright lights turned on, before the first customers congregated before the door and waited for her to flip the sign to “Welcome!” and greet them with grace. She made herself a coffee from one the of shop’s full bodied blends: a dark roast, a deep bitter so thorough and so dominant behind a little half and half. Alicia took this drink to the window wall and sat where the kitchen did not share its brilliant glow. Palms and fingers cherished the warm touch, cheeks received a thousand warm wet wispy kisses, and her presence melded into the dying silhouette.
One by one her co-workers came, letting one another in while Alicia absented herself from interaction. She did not greet, did not turn to face or accept good morning bids except with a faint smile and a reply too feeble to dialogue. If asked, she would justify her seclusion as meditation, but really she just shied from the world and its people. Her shell of cool and calm protected her; won her peace by assuring no rivals, or allies for that matter.
A new worker showed his new face at the door and unknowingly beckoned to her with his eyes and his knocks. Alicia would have ignored him, let the café’s all-star go and greet him with all her endless blonde hair, but this boyish excuse of a man stirred her to blush and dream.
She’d get up, greet him; smile and establish her charm. When he saw her sitting so isolated he’d ask about her and feel drawn to the questions swirling around her enigmatic presence. Wonder would infatuate him with tantalizing curiosity as his brewing fantasies realized each and every morning just how near and possible their love could be. And when he finally approached her she’d string him along to an eventual confession and they’d get married the day before yesterday.
Saylene opened the door for him, and she snared another lover to be denied and shelved with the other wannabe boyfriends. They went to work, and Alicia hid in the refuge of her coffee, but the heat had faded to warmth and no longer clouded her chilly soul with that wonderful fog.
Outside, the regulars mingled by the front door lights. Among them, was there a dreamer infatuated with her consistent welcome? A dreamer for this dreaming girl to wish about love and hope for luck to pre-determine and destine some chance encounter; to date according to fate and not her own courage.
Alicia grimaced till frustration boiled over and she got up to let the customers in.
The next morning, Alicia made her coffee and sat in her usual spot. On her table, she set up a sign that read:
Hey new guy!
Wanna get love and coffee?
I’ve been dancing back and forth between “make love and coffee” versus “get love and coffee” for the last line. “Make love” comes off stronger, but I’m worried it’ll be misinterpreted as “let’s have sex and coffee”. Let me know if you have an opinion on this!