The breeze from the door ruffled my blonde curly hair, dangling below my shoulders. I looked up with the slightest hope it was him stepping through the door. It wasn't; just another customer approaching me, with a fake end-of-the day smile, wanting their afternoon coffee. Yes, you guessed right. I was a coffee girl working as usual, all day six days a week in a small cafe off Queens St. What a way to live a young 24 year-old life in the thriving city of Melbourne. I had an apartment just a few blocks North of here, so I didn't need to travel far; avoiding the crazy Victorian drivers and out of control trams. But, if it wasn't for this one inspiration to get up and come to work every day, I don't think I would've been able to get out of bed every morning. Yes, I was talking about him. He was a regular customer at the café, ordering his coffee routinely every afternoon at 5:10pm. Sometimes he would be late by a couple of minutes, but he usually walked in on time. I daydreamed every day about all of the possible jobs he could have. Sometimes my imagination would lead me to think he was a prince. I had always thought of it as a possibility, but a rare one. I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall above the stack of coffee bean bags. It was 5:02pm. Not long now, I thought to myself.
"- please, Kylie?"
I spun around from staring out into the street from the counter, to see Gail standing no less than a foot from me. Her hair spiked out in multiple directions, with a little help from an orange headband trying to keep it out of her face. Gail was one of the few friends I had in this crazy city, and she was used to me daydreaming like this while at work.
"Did you hear what I said, Kylie?" Gail held out a tray holding two cappuccinos.
I looked at her dazed; suddenly realising I had no what she was talking about.
"Sorry?" I asked; a little embarrassed from my pensiveness.
She put the tray in my hands and pointed to table three. "I need some help, do you mind?" she asked. Her eyebrows rose, waiting for my response; already knowing what it would be.
"Of course," I replied.
Gail turned back around and continued to make coffees hastily. I hadn't even realised we had become quite busy; especially for a Tuesday afternoon. As I ran out a few more orders, I couldn't help but glance at the clock every thirty seconds. It was becoming an obsession; and I didn't even know his name. By 5:08pm, dumped the serving job and regained possession of the counter. I served only one more customer before the door opened, at precisely the right time. I didn't even have to glance up to know it was him. I felt the gust of wind hit my face. I could feel my blood heating up, making me a little dizzy. I glanced up to take one peek, as usual. His brown hair was a perfect muddle around his striking face. He was dressed in a navy blue business suite today, with a silver tie and white shirt; briefcase in hand. He was walking directly towards me; where I stood behind the counter. I regained my strength and took one last deep breath before he reached me.
"The usual," he spoke in his magical voice.
I smiled back at him, still mesmerised by his presence. I looked away suddenly realising I probably looked retarded. I began to make his half strength latte with an extra dash of chocolate powder. I placed the coffee in front of him on the counter. He dug into his back pocket and pulled out a twenty. My heart beat was beating out of my chest so loudly; I could have sworn he could hear it.
He placed the twenty dollar note in my hand and for the split second that his hand touched mine, a tingling sensation shot up my arm; my heart skipping a beat. I froze where I was while he held my gaze a second for what seemed like minutes. I noticed his eyes held a look of somewhat curiosity and confusion, but also something else; unless I was just imagining things. He broke away from my perplexed stare and picked up his coffee.
"Keep the change." The sound of his voice made my heart skip another beat. "Oh and thanks, for the coffee," he continued. He glanced once more directly into my eyes and turned away, walking out of the café.
My heart beat slowed as I tried to catch my breath. Then, I suddenly heard someone clear their throat from behind me. I whirled around to see Gail standing with her arms crossed, staring at me. The expression of disbelief crossed her face as she shook her head at me. I knew she was only going to make fun of me; like every other afternoon.
"Seriously, Kylie," she started, staring at me like I was an "When are you going to get a grip on yourself and ask him his name?"
I looked down at my feet ashamed at how weak I must have looked. She didn't understand the power he had over me; the way my heart dances in my chest, and the way my blood quickens its speed.
She continued when I didn't answer. "You need to ask him out." She watched the fear roll across my face, suddenly cancelling out that possibility. "Or at least talk to him!"
"You don't understand, Gail," I explained, trying not to talk too loud in case some customers were eavesdropping. "What would I say to him?" I asked, honestly hoping she had a better offer than ‘Hello' or ‘Goodbye'.
"I don't know, ask him about work. He probably goes to work every day," she suggested, pointing out the obvious.
I considered her opinion for a moment, resolving that I would just make a fool of myself; without replying.
"Ok fine, tomorrow," she planned with a smug grin on her face, "you are going to have a conversation about going out with this guy, whoever he is, whether you like it or not."
I opened my mouth about to object when she held up her hand to silence me. She had won, and I was going to ask him out on a date... this had to be my worst nightmare.
The next day at the café, time seemed to pass faster than usual; probably because I didn't want it to. Gail had made sure I was at the counter at 5:05pm, just in case he was early. I kept glancing at the clock, time after time, until it struck 5:10pm. But for the next five minutes, he still didn't show. I looked across at Gail eagerly, while she served a table. She just shrugged with a look of disappointment washing across her face. He was never late. Not once in the whole three months I had been serving him. I glanced back at the clock; it was 5:23pm. Just as my heart sank deep into my chest with disbelief and worry turning my stomach, I heard the door open. It suddenly picked up speed, even faster than yesterday. I looked up to see his beautiful self standing in the doorway with briefcase in one hand. I noticed something was different. His other hand seemed to be clutching something also. As he stepped over the threshold, I caught my breathe causing my heart to stop beating for a few seconds. He was holding another hand. She was almost as beautiful as he was. Wearing a business like high waisted black skirt, with a pink collared shirt. Her high heels made her almost as tall as he was, extending her already perfect legs. Her brown straight hair fell perfectly around her neckline, swinging as she walked. I realised that once they had reached the counter, my mouth was still gaping open. I quickly shut it making a snapping sound. They both looked up at me in surprise and smiled.
"The usual," he said. Just like it was another day. However he stopped, changing his mind for the first time. "Wait, two of the usual this time."
I just turned my back on them and began to walk through the back door. Gail had obviously seen the whole scene and covered for me, as the coffee machine began to boil. I closed the door behind me, once in the store room, and fell to my hands and knees. I felt a tear rolling down my cheek, dripping on the floor below me. Why was I so stupid to have even the slightest hope of a possibility that he liked me? Of course he had a girlfriend being so handsome and perfect. And sure enough, she was almost as remarkably mind-blowing too. I'm not sure why I even thought I had a chance. I stood back up and dusted off my dirty knees from kneeling on the filthy floor. I knew I had to get over this and go back out to face the music. As I re-entered the front end, they were gone.
The next few weeks went by in a blur. In my mind, I couldn't help but re-enact the conversation I was meant to have with him. It was sort of stupid really, spending all my days pondering on something that was already lost. Just as I gave the change to the lady I was serving, I noticed the door open, sending a gush of wind into my face. I looked up without my heart skipping a beat and without my blood speeding up in my veins. But that's when I saw him; it wasn't him, but maybe even better. He had a perfect face, like one I had never seen before; unique in a way. He walked smoothly towards me with a big grin on his face. And that's where it all began... again.