The Stranger (SHORT STORY – Genre: Love)

Flick the Bean is the cleverly named coffee house that I used to venture to when I had an assignment to write. Cheap coffee, free wifi, sockets for my chargers and a comfortable couple of spots of which I could relax and write. Something about the ambience and smell meant that I got a lot done, particularly when it involved characterization.

Every day, new and old faces would pop in and the conversations were excellent subject matter. The baristas got to know me, so as soon as I arrived, I would get a nod, I would nod back then my Cappuccino would be placed next to me and I would be left alone.

I used to notice a man come in; he was dressed in a suit and without fail, he would get the same nod as me, have a shot of espresso, sit a few tables away and read his paper. Coffees would regularly be placed next to him and he would occasionally look up, look around, smile at me, then back to his newspaper. This man would come in, every day, just as I did. He was good looking in a preppy professional way, then he would leave before I did.

Eventually, we would get to know each others’ sight. He would nod at me and would flash a smile that I found cute. I think I used to blush every time, smile back, nod and look away. Before he would leave a cookie would be placed beside me from one of the baristas “from the gentleman” they would smile before continuing with their duties. The cookie would be different every time like he was getting me to try the whole cookie menu.

Without fail, he would be there, I would be here, a cookie would be involved and our silent friendship.

One day though, the gentleman never came.

I wrote very little that day, I was distracted. This may be a little embarrassing to admit, but I missed his routine presence. I missed his rugged face with designer stubble. I missed his perfectly coordinated suits, polished shoes and deeply dark eyes. I missed his curled hair and just his presence. I’d hate to admit it, but he had become a part of my life, though we had never spoken a word to each other. I hoped that he was okay. My thoughts danced all day with thoughts of my cookie donor.

Days passed like this.

I began to start to find my routine in writing back. To distract myself, I began writing about him. I focused on the right descriptions, the right emotions, the right story that I dreamt up that would give him life as a character in one of my stories. I designed a life for him. In my story, he would find love and they would run away together. I really embellished it, because I had no idea what happened to him.

Then he arrived.

As soon as he walked in, our eyes met. My heart pounded, I swear that you could hear it coming out of my chest. He nodded at the barista on duty, but rather than finding a seat for himself, he made a beeline for me. My mouth went dry, my head swam and my stomach fluttered with butterflies. “sorry that I have not been around” he stated. I nodded, lost for words. “I think you and I should go out for dinner and drinks” I once again nodded and he passed me a piece of paper with his name and number as well as email on it. Then took a seat at another table, then turned and winked as another cookie got placed beside me.

We did go for dinner and drinks. We ended up seeing each other every day, unable to leave each other’s’ side. I found out that his name was Cole and he worked as an investment banker on Regents Street, that he liked me since he first saw me and was working up the courage. I also found out that he wasn’t in for those days as he was stuck at work for an important job, but he thought of me every day like I had. That he had found it hard to focus and hoped that I would be there when he returned. He promised himself that if I was, he would ask me out.

That was a few years ago.

Today we were married, and do you know what our wedding cake was? It was a giant cookie! We invited the Baristas too. We have lived happily ever after, and yes, he saw the story that I wrote about it. Major cringe but he loved it.

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