It had been a long time since I’ve found someone genuinely attractive.
Someone that made my heart pound.
Someone that made a knot form in the pit of my stomach.
Someone that made me curl up my toes in my shoes.
That someone just walked into Lola’s.
I wasn’t sure who this man was but he wasn’t even looking at me but he was causing me to feel all of these emotions that were swirling around me like a twister.
Leah was right though. The group that trickled in after him was large. They were all very beautiful and seemed to carry themselves with high esteem. They walked in like they owned the place.
I shook my head and placed a smile back on my face. They all approached the counter but hung back a bit to let the main member of their group come forward.
“Welcome to Lola’s. How may I help you?” I hoped that my voice had come out as steady as I wanted. I didn’t even know this man but he was causing me to feel like a lovesick fool.
I awaited his response but his focus was glued above my head. I suppose he was reading over the menu but for some strange reason, I had the strong urge to have him look at me.
5 minutes later, he still hadn’t decided. I didn’t mind much though. I took the time to study his intense facial features.
His narrow eyes were trained intensely on the board above my head. His pupils were dark, darker than mine. They seemed to be dark, empty pits. There was no emotion in them, no matter how hard I looked. His eyes were however framed by the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a man. They softened his features a bit and gave him the slight appearance of being innocent. His nose was sharp and fit his other facial features well although it was slightly crooked.
I wonder how that happened?
His lips were fixed into what I believed to be a permanent frown.
Finally he glanced down at me.
I could’ve sworn I heard his breath hitch and something quickly appear in his eyes. However as soon as it appeared it was gone and his face instantly returned back to its static nature.
I licked my lips as they had suddenly become dry. I saw briefly that his eyes flicked to my lips for a moment before returning to mine.
“Have you decided what you wanted?” I asked hesitantly.
“No.” His voice was rough as if he hadn’t used it in days. The one simple word made sharp tingles run up my spine. His eyes were boring into mine as if he was trying to find out my deepest secrets. I matched his gaze to see what I could discover. My mother always said that the eyes were the window to the soul but his eyes revealed nothing. Nothing at all.
Tired with our staring match, I decided to speak up again. “Are you going to order anything?”
“No.” This man was slowly infuriating me. What was the purpose of coming into a café if you’re not going to order anything?
Before I could catch myself, I found myself speaking my thoughts, “Is there something wrong with your eyes?”
His eyebrows quirked up, “Is there something wrong with yours as well? You’ve been staring at me since the moment I walked in this door.”
I scoffed. “I’d never give someone like you the time of day.” With every passing moment, I found myself loathing this man in front of me with every word he spoke.
“Someone like me? You don’t even know me.” He retorted.
Before I could say another word, Leah decided now was the best time to grace us with her presence.
“Kyros. It’s a pleasure.” She didn’t seemed fazed by his presence. Perhaps they knew each other previously?
Kyros? His name was Greek as well?
“Leah.” He nodded his head in her direction but still hasn’t taken his eyes off me. “Is she new here?”
Leah shuffled a bit. I could feel a bit of nervousness coming from her.
“Yes. She is. She’s new to the town as well. Eva, this is Kyros. He and his group are regulars here.” She sounded as if she was reading from a script. Her voice held no emotion.
“I don’t think we got off on the right foot.” I stuck out my hand in an attempt to smooth over our first rough greeting.
He didn’t shake my hand.
He finally turned to Leah. It was relieving to finally have his hard gaze off of my face. “Leah. You know what we like.” With that he turned quickly and the rest of his silent group followed after him.
I turned to Leah to speak about what happened but as quickly as she appeared she was gone, the door swinging was the only indication that she had even moved.
I wasn’t sure if I was to follow her or stand post here. I chose to stay.
Many customers trickled in and out. Many of them stopping near the table that held Kyros. I had snuck a few spare glances towards him and he seemed to be preoccupied with his group. They were speaking in hushed tones and making rapid hand gestures.
Leah did come back out with a tray of food. I was surprised she could hold so much as she was a relatively small person. She easily maneuvered her way through the throngs of tables and stopped in front of their table. She shared a couple of words with Kyros before he glanced at me again. His eyes were calculating and judging me.
I turned away from his stare.
After proceeding to drop off the food, Leah came directly to me after she set the serving tray back on the counter.
“Don’t mind him much. He’s just curious on who’s who you know?”
I didn’t know.
“It’s a little odd. He’s always staring.” When I looked over at him again, his food was untouched. His eyes as always were on me.
“Don’t worry about it.” When I went to open my mouth again, she was gone.
My ‘shift’ ended about an hour later. Everything went smoothly for the most part. Kyros and his gang had left sooner than I thought and for that I was relieved.
Shrugging on my jacket and placing my hat on my head, I pushed open the door and was greeting with the familiar bite of the chilly Maine air. I had hoped that the sun would’ve warmed up the atmosphere a bit but the cold was still alarmingly present. Shoving my hands in my coat pocket, I began making my way down the empty streets. However I didn’t make it far.
“Hey!” Someone’s voice rang out in the frosty air. It sounded distant so I assumed it wasn’t for me and kept my focus on getting home.
“Evathia! Wait up!” The voice was closer now and was accompanied by the loud thumping of their shoes against the pavement.
I halted my movement and turned around. Drew from the café was bolting down the street in my direction.
It didn’t take long for him to catch up with me and I had expected for him to be out of breath when he reached me but his breathing was even and soft.
“Thanks for stopping. I wanted to speak to you as I didn’t get a chance to at work. I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Drew.” He smiled widely which revealed two gorgeous sets of dimples on each side of his cheeks. His eyes were a light green which were filled with what I assumed was happiness. It contrasted nicely with his dark brown hair.
He was cute. But cute wasn’t my type. However wanting to be friendly I took his outstretched palm in mine and shook it briefly. “I’m Evathia..but you can call me Eva. Everyone does.”
“Eva..I like it.” His eyes were glancing in the distance behind me. They hardened for a moment before going back to their friendly manner. “I happened to overhear that you were new to our small town. Is that true?”
I nodded briskly. “Just finished moving in today.”
“Where are you from originally?”
His eyes widened significantly. “Really? Me too! What part?”
I could barely tell but if I listened closely, I could hear just a tinge of his southern accent in his voice. “Around Austin. You?”
“Dallas. Maine’s a whole lot different than Texas isn’t it?” I could tell from the small conversation that we were having that he was the inquisitive type. The type that would ask questions until they were sated.
“Sure is. I had to buy many winter items. Does it snow often here?” I had taken the liberty of buying a couple items here and there in preparation for the full brunt of the winter. However snow tires for my Jeep were the last on my list.
“All the time. You came at a great time though. Winter hasn’t fully set in yet. You think this is cold? Just give it a couple weeks. You’ll be thinking that you’d rather have this cold now.” I was curious on how long he’d lived here. He seemed very knowledgeable about the town. However looking at his attire, one would think he’s crazy as he’s dressed for a casual day at the beach. The arms on his flannel were rolled up to the crease of his elbow revealing a set of tan arms covered in ink.
“Aren’t you cold?” I blurted out.
He chuckled softly. His laugh was smooth and even. Like he had spent time practicing it. “Naw. You get used to it. Plus I’ve always run hot. Even since I’ve been a baby.”
I smiled at that, secretly imagining Drew as a tiny baby.
When I didn’t respond, he took that as a cue to keep talking. “Have you gotten a chance to look around town? There isn’t much but there’s a few hidden gems that only the locals know about.”
I shook my head. “Nope. I’ve only seen what’s in between my house and Lola’s”
“That being said..would you mind if I took you out possibly? To show you around I mean.” A blush began creeping up his neck and a faint pink tinted his cheeks. His eyes were trying to find somewhere else to look besides mine.
I hesitated in my answer. I don’t ever go out with guys willingly unless I’m actually interested. I hate seeing the look on their faces when I tell them that I wasn’t interested in them and what they had to offer. However, having a guide to show me around would help me out tremendously as I had no clue where any thing was.
Pulling my jacket flush against my body in an attempt to block out some of the cold, I nodded my head towards him. “I’d love that Drew.”
His smile appeared instantaneously on his face again. “Perfect. Does 7:30 sound okay to you?”
“That works. Should I eat in advance or..?”
“Save your appetite. You’ll need it.” His eyes glanced behind me once again. “I’ll see you 7:30?”
What was he looking at?
"Definitely. See you soon.” After giving me a brief wave, Drew pushed his hands in his pockets and turned back to the way he came. I watched him as he disappeared back into Lola’s.
Shivering, I realized how cold I actually was. Drew had been somewhat like a personal heater when he was near causing me to forget all about the bitter cold.
Turning back towards my house, I began making my way towards the place I called home.
Stepping inside my home for the second time was comforting. The heat had been set at a comfortable temperature that warmed me up instantly. Shedding my coat and hanging it on the coat rack, I made my way to my bedroom to begin to prepare for the ‘date’ I had.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I hoped I was making the right decision. My body and brain said yes but there was a nagging feeling in my heart that was saying that this was an awful decision.
I ignored it.