Mending and Cafe Holden
Leah’s POV :
For the past week, coffee has become an addiction.
Actually, I’d rather use the term hobby. I have been going all around my cute little city on my cute little bike and visiting every coffee house I see on my way to try their coffee. After I’m done with my personal survey, I am going to choose one of them as my personal haven where I can hide and drown sorrows in coffee.
In the past two months, I have become the walking definition of pathetic. Sean and Ronnie are now officially dating. Seeing them holding hands, hugging, kissing and doing all that once I used to do with the same guy is like stabbing a dagger repeatedly through my heart but now, I’m taking it better than before. I don’t panic and I’m able compose myself for whole four minutes and three seconds before I have to excuse myself to the washroom.
After the breakfast at Monet’s last week where Grant and Sean had a little talk, I have noticed Grant indirectly wanting me to tell him everything that has happened. He had been a little too caring, a little too protective and a little too funny. He has been involving me in everything he does including the game nights at Dexter’s. Although I know that he already knows, he wants the full detailed version from me which I won’t give him just yet. If I know my brother as well as I think I know him, he’d actually kill Sean without really killing him and I know that deep inside, I’d resent him forever for that.
Today is day five of my survey day and till now, I have been to almost seventeen cafes in our town. I honestly don’t know how many are still there. As Kevin had insisted, Busy Beans did suit my tongue the most till now but I won’t give up just yet.
Right now, I’m on my way to Cafe Holden, a place Camille - Dexter’s Girlfriend had suggested. Apparently, Grant had told all his friends about my holiday plans and so whenever they would be around, they’d name some cafes and diners and ask me if I had been there. I didn’t know if I was mad at there interference or glad I had some ideas with me.
I lean my bike against the pale brown wall of the said cafe as I reach my destination and take a deep breath along with my laptop and bag of school assignments and head towards the door. The bell above the door jingles as I push it and I smile automatically. It was one of those old fashioned bells from olden times with an earthen look and embroidery.
The cafe is really small, sweet and quaint. The amazing aroma of bagels and coffee floats around making my smile wider. The cafe is themed brown and grunge and gives it a little cozy and old school look. The booths are light brown where the tables are dark mahogany. The main counter is made up of marble with small stood with brown pads lining on one side and a really cute counter boy on the other side.
“Emilia! We have a customer.” He says as soon as he sees me and disappears behind the door behind the counter. Soon after he’s gone, a young girl, a few years younger than me, comes out of the same door and gives me a big smile.
“Hey. Welcome to Cafe Holden. I’m Emilia. What can I get you?” She asks.
I smile back. “Um hey. I’m Leah. Actually, I don’t really know what I want. Could you suggest the best coffee here?”
The girl smiles at me. “Of course! Take a seat and I’d just bring to you our best on the menu.”
That made me smile. “Thank you. That would be great.” I turn around and walk towards the most cozy looking corner booth with a cool outside view of the street. After seating myself, I take out my laptop and start working on my thesis of my own personal theories and opinions on Stephen Hawking’s theories and principals.
It took Emilia ten minutes to get me something. “Here you go.” She says pushing towards me a cup of coffee with “enjoy” written over it in an elegant calligraphy and a plate of red velvet and vanilla cupcakes. “I didn’t know which one you’d prefer so I brought both. I personally love both.”
“Wow.” I breathe. “Thank you. I really love this latte art though.” I tell her.
She chuckles. “Yeah, that’s my brother’s area of speciality.”
I frown. “Oh. You mean that rude boy who stormed off as soon as he saw me?”
Emilia laughs at my description. “That would be him. But I must say I’m impressed you didn’t ask for his number as I had expected you to.”
I frown harder. “Why would I ask for a rude guy’s number?”
She chuckles. “Some girls find that rudeness cute.” She tells me.
I scoff. “Yeah sure.”
She laughs at my expressions. “You’re definitely the only one. Anyways, I have to get back. Call me if you need anything.”
“It was nice meeting you, Leah.”
She smiles at me and turns back to walk away before I call her. “Hey Emilia?”
“Yeah?” She turns around.
“Can you tell me how many coffee houses are there in our town? The google says thirteen but I’ve been to seventeen till now.” I tell her my worry.
She frowns at me, probably wondering why I would ask about another coffee house sitting inside a cafe she works at. I don’t get a chance to make myself clear before she speaks.
“I am not sure but twenty max. Including ours, twenty one, that would be my farthest guess.” She tells me.
“Okay. Thanks.” I nod and smile at her.
She smiles at me for the last time before disappearing into the door behind the counter which I’m guessing would be the kitchen. What really surprises me is that there’s no one but me in this cafe and for a split second, a few horror movies float in my mind before I shoo those thoughts away and start concentrating on my work.
I end up spending quite a lot of time in there, at Cafe Holden and the serenity and quiet of the place really gets to me. I definitely like the place and enjoy myself there working while some old french songs play in soft melodious music. The coffee - the main aspect of my survey was definitely a 100/100 and hundred marks extra for the art on it. The cupcakes were utterly delicious and I even let out a loud moan after the first bite and was really thankful for the isolation I was at.
All while I was in there, barely ten customers came in to get something - mostly a take away coffee.
After almost five hours of me sitting there and typing, I finally get up and stretch my limbs. I then collect my stuff and walk towards the counter. “Emilia!” I call out loud.
She comes rushing immediately with an apron around her waist and and flour on her face. “What happened? You need anything?”
I laugh at her wide expressions. “No. I just wanted to pay and walk out. I’m supposed to be at home right now. Christmas, you know.”
She nods. “Oh, yeah right. Of course. Would you just wait for a moment? I’ll be back after cleaning myself up a little.”
I nod and chuckle. “Sure.”
She comes back after five minutes with a clean face and a towel in her hands. She throws it away randomly on the counter and types into the computer. “What were you doing with all that flour?” I ask her.
She laughs. “Oh that? Axel and I were wasting groceries by trying to make pizza. That’s Henry’s job but he’s not here today so.” She shrugs.
“Pizza?” I ask.
“Yup. We put pizza on our menu just last week. Henry makes amazing pizza while Axel manages coffee, counter and sometimes waiting.” She tells me.
“I’m guessing Axel would be that rude boy?” I ask.
She chuckles at my words. “Yeah. He’s my brother actually.”
“Oh.” And till now I was calling him rude in front of his sister? Way to go, Leah.
“That’d be eight dollars and twenty cents.” She says after a while.
I nod and pass her a ten dollar bill. “Here you go. Nice to see you Emilia.” I say. “Oh and you should really have someone man the counter. What if I had left without paying?”
Emilia chuckles at my words. “There’s actually a small window right there so we can see who’s coming in and leaving from the kitchen.” She points to a rectangular space on the left wall behind the counter. “But you’re right. Axel should be doing his job and not wasting his time in there. Axel!”
I hear some grumbling from inside and the rude boy Axel appears again as I make my way out.
“Hope we will have you again!” She shouts.
I laugh. “Definitely.”
I walk out of the cafe laughing and steady my bike to ride it back home. It’s a thirty minute ride back considering I was riding extremely slow taking in the beauty of our town decorated in Christmas lights and also because of the snow.
“Hey baby. Where have you been all morning?” Mom asks me as I enter the house and hang my coat. I take off my shoes before walking in and sitting beside Grant.
“On her perfect cafe hunt.” He answers for me.
“What movie is on?” I ask ignoring him.
“Everyday is up next. Mom insisted and that’s not even a Christmas movie.” He tells me.
“Good.” I say and lean back on his arm that was draped around the back of the couch.
“Here’s the hot chocolate, everybody.” Dad sings as he enters the living room. I greedily jump up first to take the mug that I think is fullest leaving the lesser one for Grant. He rolls his eyes at my childish behavior.
“Grow up.” He mumbles.
“Later.” I wave my hand at him and he looks at me weirdly. He opens his mouth to speak before mom cuts him off.
“Okay hush now, everybody. The movie is starting.” She says waving her hands dramatically in the air.
Grant and I share a look and shrug at each other.
Half way through the movie, he whispers. “So how’s the search going?” He asks.
“Good. I think I found ‘the one.’” I joke making him chuckle.
“Cafe Holden?” He asks.
“Cafe Holden.” I confirm.
The rest of the night is spent watching movies and sharing gifts and eating delicacies prepared by my father. To the outsiders, our Christmas night may seem rather plain and boring and un-Christmas-y but seeing what all we have in past two months, this was one Christmas I was really thankful for.
Grant - my brother was back from college. My parents were interacting with each other and as for me - I was still quieter than I usually was but I was smiling more than I have in past two months.