Coffee (Flash Fiction)

The line advanced, and Bob moved ahead nervously. She’s so cute, he thought. So very cute. He tried to focus on the menu, but the task was impossible. Her smile was beyond adorable. Her brown hair, the long curls captured in a loose bun, danced above her eyebrows. She kept brushing a loose strand behind her ear. The line advanced again.

He heard her laugh. It didn’t sound forced or shallow, like so many other girls who just laugh to try and be liked or make someone else feel a bit better about themselves. Her smile was genuine; you could see it in her eyes, those brilliant blue eyes. Bob noticed a small mark below her lip, perhaps a mole or a freckle. It didn’t matter which. It was perfect either way. His feet shuffled forward.

The man before him was a large man. He wore an expensive suit and talked loudly on his phone. For a moment it didn’t seem as though he would bother to make an order. Bob shot a glance over the thick shoulder and caught her looking back. He retreated out of sight. The man was gracious enough to pause his conversation and blurt out a complex order. She took it all in stride and even took the time to correct him on a technical term. He did not seem amused. She handed the obese man his change and stood at the counter, waiting. Bob moved to within inches of her.

She wore a sweet perfume, one that pleased with its scent rather than over-powered. Bob could make out the faintest lines of her white bra through her button-up shirt. “Hi,” he squeaked out.

“Good morning,” she said. She gave the lightest bite to her bottom lip. “How can I help you?”

Bob’s mind seized with cold realization. He hadn’t a clue. Days and weeks and months he had spent examining the delicate curves of her cheeks, the subtle glint of smiling that twinkled from her eye, how she shifted her weight from side to side. And every time, without fail, he would find himself in the very position he was in now.

“Would you like what you had yesterday?” she asked.

“I don’t remember what I had yesterday,” he said, her eyes already putting him in a trance.

She smiled. “I do.” Her fingers punched the register quickly and he handed her exact change. He sat and waited. He saw that she was preparing his personally.

“Here you go,” she said with a smile, another perfect smile. “I hope you like it.”

Bob took the cup quietly into his hands. He looked down to see seven digits lingering in the foam. His eyes lit. He caught another glimpse of her smile as she slid to the side to help another customer. Bob felt a pride in his heart then, a pride never quite felt before. It was a pride that bordered on confidence. He nodded to himself, enjoying the aroma that drifted from the cup. He took a long drink and looked down. The numbers were gone.

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