A smile to melt a coffee cup

Posted: February 8, 2013 in #fridayflash, Short stories

I began to question the randomness of bumping into him after the fifth time in three days.

The first time was leaving the coffee shop on Monday morning at 7.45am. I knew the time so precisely because I watched the second hand snap to the 9, on the over-sized clock face, at the same time the smiley lady handed my extra cream, chocolate sprinkled, vanilla flavoured super skinny Latte, to me. The aroma of the coffee place lingered in the fresh cold air outside, as the door swung closed behind me. He brushed past me whilst on the mobile telephone, making me spill a good mouthful of my ‘morning wake up potion’ on my high street blouse. I thought him rather rude if I’m honest. Typical business man, dressed in a powerful tailored suit and show-off tie, not even acknowledging my existence that alone, god forbid, apologising for his misdemeanour.

The second encounter was at the bus stop only a few minutes later, when he walked in front of the bus, still on the damn telephone. He was oblivious to world around him it seemed. The bus had piped its horn and the driver waved his arms about in air-attendant fashion, but I knew those weren’t the basic metaphor words he was mouthing. Even a colossal sized vehicle, vibrant red and tooting its horn didn’t distract him from his conversation or journey to wherever his arrogance took him.

I must’ve realised it was the same man I’d seen the day before, when on Tuesday he was in the coffee shop again. This time in a different suit and even more annoyingly bright tie, sat at a table with the phone still to his ear. I remember smiling internally to myself, that the phone might actually be stuck to his ear. Maybe he had children like my four-year-old nephew Marcus, who was as curious as a cat in a room of empty boxes and drawers. Maybe his son had found super glue and spread it on his screen. He was now desperately trying to call someone to help him out of this ‘sticky’ dilemma. Of course I was being daft and the joke had been on me when my trance was broken by the smiley lady asking for my order. I’d been so thrown that I forgot to say “…skinny latte,” after my customary long order. Now I’d have extra cream, chocolate sprinkles, vanilla flavoured cream and FULL fat milk. I shot him an angry glare as I left, but he was none the wiser.

He was in the coffee shop again today, same scenario as the days before. Tailored suit, another glaring tie and of course the telephone stuck to his ear. He was in front of me in the queue. I was either running late or he was a few minutes early. Either way I wasn’t amused as he had taken the last banana bread flapjack. That was usually my mid-week treat and he’d robbed me of it. Who was this man anyway? I’d not seen him in here before. Ever! The smiley lady seemed to be smiling at him more so than anyone else. She was exceptionally beaming today. I examined him, as he ordered. For a tailored suit, it hugged his posterior nicely. It was like looking at two perfectly formed baked beans, firm yet soft and smooth. I listened to his order “… extra cream, chocolate sprinkled, Cappuccino with a shot of vanilla syrup please,” and my eyes forgot to blink momentarily.

As he took his extra large take-away cup from the grinning-like-a-Cheshire-cat-lady, he continued on the telephone call as if he had merely paused for a breath. “Carol,” he said sternly, “no that sounds too frivolous…I can’t do it like that!”

I’d spent all morning trying to get the image of his perfect behind out of my memory, but it was ingrained there. Just like the ringing in my ears, of his northern middle-class accent. It was only then that it had occurred to me I hadn’t seen his face properly. The guy was constantly in a rush, therefore leaving the recollection of his features a complete blur, or obscured by a hand holding a mobile phone.

I was fairly disgruntled when I left for work that evening to meet my friend, only to find ‘Mr Ego’ sitting in the same wine bar we had chosen, on the edge of town. Still on the phone, still arrogant looking and still with that dazzling tie that I’d like to use as a noose. I went to the bar to order a bottle of wine with two glasses when my phone beeped. My friend Carol had text to say she was running late and that she’d be with me within the hour. That’s when I began to get suspicious. She was never late. In fact she was notoriously early. I sat by the window and poured myself a glass of wine. Whilst sipping it slowly a shadow appeared over me. It was him. I looked up and froze.

“Hi,” he said shyly. “Are you alone?”

“No,” I spluttered, “my friend is running late that’s all.” I smiled politely.

“I know,” he smiled. “I’m afraid you’ve been subject to some underhand match-making. My colleague Mark’s wife, Carol is your…”

“… best friend!” we said in unison.

He smiled. He smiled a gorgeous un-arrogant and dental-hygiene-advert grin and my heart instantly liquefied.

“I’ve been trying to find the courage to talk to you all week, but I’ve pretended to be on the phone and could never find the nerve.” His cheeks began to glow a bright crimson and suddenly the arrogance facade cracked and fell off his persona like a newborn chick breaking through an egg. “I was nearly ran over by a bloody bus!” he sniggered. “Can I get you a drink?”

Little did I know the sixth encounter would be across a table in a little coffee shop and two customary long orders for coffee…oh and another too-bright-for-daylight tie.

  1. Tony Noland says:

    I thought the set up here was very well done, as was the confusion of the moment when there was more to this guy than meets the eye.

    The final bit, where they come together, might have benefited from a bit more transition. It seemed somewhat too abrupt to go from “he’s an arrogant prat” to “yum yum bed candy”.

  2. I too liked the set up but the jump from not liking him to ending up in bed was as Tony expressed before me a little too abrupt to be believable.

  3. brainhaze says:

    You’re both absolutely right. I’ve made a minor alteration which I hope is more fitting to the overall piece. Thanks guys

  4. I didn’t get to see this pre-alteration, but this works really well.
    I hope he turns out to be worth all that full fat milk…though I suspect some calories may have been burned rather pleasurably

  5. Sonia Lal says:

    Hehe nice. Eye-catching behinds do stay in the mind like that. 😉

  6. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Aw this was so sweet! Loved it.

  7. bzuley says:

    Can’t resist anything with coffee in the title :).

  8. […] A Smile to Melt a Coffee Cup by Brainhazewp ~ @Brainhaze ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Slice of Life […]

  9. Finn Felton says:

    Great story always starts from a coffee shop. LOL. Funny isn’t it? By the way, I loved your blog.

  10. John Wiswell says:

    Is there such a thing as coincidence in fiction? Don’t chance it, and make the leap. Very sweet!

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