A long line of caffeine-deprived folks stood between Gina and her much needed coffee. The normal average order time with the barista at the register was only a few minutes, but due to it being rush hour, that time multiplied several times of the norm.
And Gina was beyond impatient and frustrated. The day wasn’t going as smoothly as she had hoped and the long wait was making it worse. This morning, her phone alarm never went off, leaving her with only a few minutes to get ready for her college class. No shower, slapped on “natural-looking” make-up, and a greasy hair bun later, she had arrived to class a few minutes late but still got scolded by the professor to be better organized.
As the thoughts of her stressful morning clouded her brain, she didn’t realize that she was at the head of the counter until the barista at the register popped her mental stewing with, “Ma’am, do we need to call 911 for low caffeine pressure?” Her cheeks turned bright red as a cough from behind insisted she hurry up with her order.
But did her cheeks really turn red from failing to pay attention to her surroundings? No, she was blushing. Blushing because the man standing behind the counter was the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. From his dirty blonde, short trim hair, welcoming hazel eyes and smile to his tall, well-built body shape, all her troubles seemed to drift far away and butterflies broke free from their cocoons to flutter in her stomach.
“I… ah…Coffee of the day…” She stammered, glancing all over the place from the random CDs on the counters, to his short sleeves wrapped tight around his biceps, over to the over-hyped nut bars, to his name tag that read, “Kevin,”, and then back to his eyes. He grinned, revealing his dimples, and pulled out a paper cup from the stack next to him.
He placed the sharpie to the side of the cup, “Name please.”
“I like cream…” Gina clearly wasn’t paying attention again and as soon as she realized what she said, they both burst into a quick laugh. She covered her eyes, wishing she could die right then and there. Today was not her day.
“Oh my god, please don’t write that!” She grumbled, removing her hand from her face and sighed, “It’s Gina. G-I-N-A.”
“Gina…” Kevin grinned to himself as he held the paper cup in a strange way and scribbled away. He passed it to the other barista in charge of making the drinks and ringed up her total, making sure to include the cream she wanted to add. She blushed again, embarrassed that she had made a fool of herself in front of this incredibly attractive guy.
Kevin gave her change back and a look she can only assume was partially flirty. Or maybe she was assuming that’s what his facial expression translated to. But her gut feeling told her to stop, breath, and see that he was being flirty back.
As she stepped over to the pick-up end of the counter, she wished to herself that she could have talked to him more. She also wished she didn’t look like she had woken up from partying the previous night. But with the long line behind her and the high chance that he was already taken by another, probably much more attractive, woman, she decided not to risk getting her feelings hurt. Why make a bad day worse when she could keep it simply a bad day?
After ten minutes because it was still rush hour, Gina’s name was called. Not by the barista who had been rushing to make the drinks, but by Kevin who took her order. She walked up and couldn’t resist a big, blushing smile when she saw him standing there with her coffee. With an irresistible smile revealing the dimples in his strong facial features, he handed her the cup.
“Hope to hear from you.” He said before stepping off and returning to the register.
His comment made Gina’s head tilt out of wonder. How could he hear from her without a phone number or full name for social media search? Maybe he has hopes to see her more often. Maybe he was being flirty after all. Nah, she thought as she shook her head to herself. There is no way she had a chance with a handsome man like him.
Hurrying out of the coffee shop, the winter wind attacked her face and Gina reacted by stopping in her tracks and blocking it with her hot coffee. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the peculiar way Kevin wrote her name and pulled the cup away from her face to better examine it. He shaped her name into a young rose and the stem… was his phone number. The leaf was the area code.
Spinning around on her heels, Gina peered into the glass double doors of the coffee shop. Kevin shot her a bright grin as he wrung up a customer. She couldn’t breathe from the flattery and excitement filling up her chest. She felt like she was going to explode, shriek, skip, and even hug a random stranger over this amazing moment.
What a wonderful way to turn this bad day around!