I felt an odd tingle on my back. I turned to see someone leaning dangerously close to me in line. It was just another normal day, I was ordering my double espresso from Starbucks so I could get to work, but something made me think it wouldn’t be as dull as it always was.
He sees me turn to look at him and he takes a step back. “My bad” he says looking up from his phone, his cheeks turning rosy.
“Oh. It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. What are you ordering?” I ask, beginning to blush as well.
“Double Espresso. You?”
“Oh, what a coincidence. That’s my usual.”
“Nice. It’s only my first time at Starbucks. I’m a Tim Hortons kind of guy.” Tim Hortons? Oh. That’s that other coffee shop. I always pass by it. I’ve never been there though. How am I supposed to make a conversation about something I can’t relate to? Why am I worrying so much over this? I’m always a conversation starter, I can make a convo out of any random subject. Hmmmmmm. What’s something everybody can relate to?
“Nice weather we’re having, don’t you think” The weather? That’s all I could think of? I inwardly kick myself. Then again, why does it really matter? It’s just a random guy. For god’s sake, I don’t even know his name! I find him staring at me and I blink twice. He distracted me from his thoughts. “Um. I’m sorry did you say something?”
“Your next in line, but if you want, I can cut you!” he says with an adorable grin on his face. Did I really just call it adorable?I start uncontrollably laughing like it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. As if my weird thoughts weren’t enough. What is wrong with me? The clerk starts eyeing me.
“Are you going to order or what?” She says, looking like she would rather be anywhere but standing here watching me make a fool of myself. I quickly collect myself before walking up to the counter.
“I’d like..um..” I think about it. Should I really do it? I take a deep breath. “ Two grande double espressos please.
The lady sighs and says, “6.65. Name?”
“Okay, please wait until your order is ready over there, and try not to be too loud,” she says in a monotone voice, eyeing me skeptically. I grin sheepishly and walk away, motioning for...for.. I still don’t know his name! Anyway I motion for the mysterious guy to follow me, as I’ve done it. I ordered for him. He looks at me quizzically and studies my expression. I’m caught off guard and I don’t know what to say to him. Didn’t he hear my order? Doesn't he know I’ve ordered for him? The clerk is beginning to look annoyed again, as we’ve once again managed to hold up the line. She clears her throat. “Next.”
Without thinking, I grab his arm and pull him to the side to wait for our...his and mine...me and him’s…. the order. He almost instinctively pulls his arms away. I felt his muscles tense.
“What’s wrong with you?” he says, obviously irritated. I again inwardly kick myself realizing what I just did.
“I-I” I begin, but I’m suddenly flustered. What is wrong with me? I just ordered coffee for a random guy that was standing behind me in line who happened to make me laugh more than I ever had before, for no particular reason. Now, he’s looking at me with a questioning expression, waiting for me to explain myself. “ IwantedtoorderyousomethingandthentheclerkstartedlookingatyousoIhadtopullyouawaybecauseIalreadyorderedsoyoudidn’tneedtobeinlineanymore” I say in one breath.
He starts to laugh. It makes my shoulders relax. I didn’t even realize they were tense. “ So your name is Penny huh?” he says.
“ Yeah, yeah. And your name is..?” I reply, eagerly waiting for him to speak.
“David, but my friends call me Dave”
“Well, David, it’s nice to formally meet you.” I say giggling nervously.
“I appreciate you buying me a drink,but I’ll need to repay you somehow.”
“No-no really it’s. fine.Consider me embarrassing you payment enough.” I say.
“But I insist!” he says with another silly grin. I laugh. “Miladay. What can I do for you?” he says, as if he's fueled by my laughter.
“Penny. Please come collect your order.” the annoyed clerk says. I start making my way over there, but David stops me.
“Please madam. I shall retrieve our drinks.” I make a show of rolling my eyes, but I play along.
“ If you must.” He brings our cups towards me.
“Will you accept my offering of caffeine?” he says. I take a cup from his hand, then take a second glance. There is something there I didn’t notice before. I see a ring glittering in the sunlight. He sees my gaze linger on his finger and he glances down to see what I’m looking at. “Oh this. It was my dads. I wear it for good luck. Looks like it gave me some today.”
I shake my head at him. “What do you mean?”
“Well I bumped into you didn’t I?” he says.
“I’d hardly call that lucky, considering the amount of stares we’ve gotten since we arrived.” he smiles then looks toward the door. I see a pretty girl with long blonde hair and a cheery smile walk in and look around until her gaze rests on David. She begins to make her way toward us.
“I um- I have to go.” he says, trying to leave before the girl makes it to us. He’s looking around nervously, starting to fidget with his clothes.
“Is that someone you know?” I ask, dreading the response. Finally, blondie arrives. To my horror, she kisses Dave on the cheek.
“ I was beginning to worry Dave. Come on, or you’ll be late!” she says, and I nearly faint. I can feel my face go pale. As I try to slowly back away, David stops me.
“ Wait! Penny, I wanted to introduce you to someone. This is Jess. She’s my girlfriend.” I almost feel like the words coming out of his mouth are hitting my ear in slow motion.
“That’s great. Nice to meet you Jess. I’m Penny. I really must get going now, I don't want to be late.” I say, making my way to the door.
“You guys could really become good friends- you remind me of each other.” I grit my teeth and smile at them before I begin making my way out.
As I walk out of the door, I realize what I’ve just lost. I’ve just felt something I never have before, probably never will again. I just fell in love with a random guy who stood behind me in line who happened to make me laugh uncontrollably for no particular reason. And now, I realize what a beautiful but ugly thing love is. It takes you head over heels, but then you slip so easily. No wonder I never understood what my friends were saying. You can’t explain that you love someone with words. It’s nearly impossible. I sip my double espresso that’s now cooling down. I smile as I realize he once touched this same cup that I now hold in my hands. I probably won’t throw it away. Or maybe I will? Is it better to let go or hold on? I’ll never know. I guess I’ll just have to get on with my normal, mundane day...