Time was going by fast. I looked at the clock and saw that it was eleven. In just a few more minutes I would have my lunch break.
“I’m here!” My coworker, Sasha, quickly made her way in through the back door. She put her bag away and put on her apron.
Sasha has blue eyes and brown hair cut into bangs and a bob. She’s more on the thinner side but has defining features like her sharp jaw and high cheekbones.
Unlike Lincoln and I, Sasha has worked as a barista longer. I sometimes questioned how she got away with arriving a few minutes late, then again, I don’t think anyone ever made a complaint about it. Despite that, she was a workaholic.
“You’re okay?” Lincoln asked before chuckling.
“Yup.” She sent him a curt nod. Her cheeks were kissed with a tint of red. Sasha made her way to the pantry and examined the sweets and pastries. She then left to go to the back room.
Lincoln finished the drink in his hand and made his way next to me, calling up the customer. He handed her the drink and turned to me. “Do you know if Sasha has a thing for me?”
“As in she likes you?” I glanced behind him, making sure she hadn’t come out. “It seems like it.”
I continued, “do you feel the same way about her?”
“It wouldn’t work out,” he shook his head. Lincoln didn’t seem affected by his answer. He had probably accepted it or maybe there was more to his answer. But even then, he didn’t really answer my question.
I decided to leave the topic at that. I wasn’t one to delve too much into anyone’s business. Even if I did want to ask more, we were at work and I’d rather not seem like I wasn’t working. I was saving up for college. Losing my job would only set things back.
Sasha came back with a tray filled with pastries. She began filling the shelves before heading to the back room.
• • •
Lunch time arrived quicker than I had expected and ended just as fast. Lincoln, Sasha, and I took turns when taking our thirty minute lunch. Two of us had to remain behind the counter to attend any customers and make sure things were stocked.
I had the usual. One of cafe’s famous sandwich with chips and one of Lincoln’s mystery drinks. It became a thing that Lincoln would blend a new drink, nowhere on the menu, and I’d be the first to try it since I was the first to have my lunch. Once I was finished, Sasha and I switched. Lincoln insisted on always being the last to eat.
“How’s saving going?” Sasha asked. She leaned against the vanity full of pastries. “Are you close to your goal?”
Sasha and I got along. We weren't as close as I was with Lincoln but we usually spoke when work wasn’t hectic. Currently, all our customers had either left with their orders or were sitting at one of the tables.
“Almost halfway,” I nodded. “Hopefully in the next three months I’ll have enough to start my classes.”
“I’m sure you can do it.” She smiled before continuing, “what are you planning on majoring?”
“Something related to science. Whether that might change, I don’t know but science is the plan.”
“Well good luck with your classes. If you ever need any college tips, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s sometimes hard adjusting that first semester of college.” She chuckled. “After that things go smoothly, for the most part.”
“Thanks,” I nodded.
We busied ourselves with work when a group of high schoolers entered the cafe. Lincoln soon returned back behind the counter to make their drinks.
• • •
Seeing that I only had thirty more minutes before my shift ended, I sighed.
"Hey Emma, you doing ok?" Lincoln asked.
I turned his way, “yeah." At that moment, a customer walked up to the cash register.
"Hello and welcome. What would you-" I stopped myself when I saw the person standing on the other side of the counter.
His warm brown eyes stared back at mine as he smiled. “Hello Emma."
I widened my eyes, not believing who I was seeing. "Nathan?! What are you doing here?"
He wore a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers that matched his blue and white varsity jacket. His dark brown eyes matched his hair. "Well I wanted to get something to drink and Audrey mentioned that you worked at this cafe so I decided to come see you.”
I couldn't help but smile, "well it's good to see you. What would you like to order?"
"A cup of coffee would be nice," he smiled.
"How would you like your coffee?"
"No cream. Just sugar. Black coffee."
I shivered and Nathan chuckled. "I don't understand how you can drink your coffee with nothing.”
He shrugged. "It's not bad."
"Oh it's bad." I laughed as I finalized his order.
"You don't even drink coffee,” he chuckled.
I smiled. He still remembers. “Your order should be up in a few. We’ll call you when it’s ready.”
He nodded as I handed him his receipt. “Did you already have your break?” He asked.
“Yeah, my shift actually ends in thirty.”
“Would it be okay if I waited for you?”
Heat rose to my neck and cheeks. I didn’t expect to see him anytime soon, much less where I worked. I remembered that he had been back and hadn’t contacted me. Was it intentional? Or was he busy? “Sure.”
He was here though. That meant something.
"Great, I'll just wait for you over there.” He pointed at empty table next to the glass wall. I nodded just before he went to take his seat.
Audrey introduced me to Nathan at one of our school's football games. Since then the three of us would hung out almost every day, mainly because I wanted to see Nathan. Audrey didn't seem to have a problem with it, she encouraged it.
Compared to the other football players, Nathan was the fittest and one of the tallest players. He hadn't changed much besides the fact that he was more buff and taller by a few inches. I always wondered if it ran in his family or if he did other things to stay like that. Snap out of it Emma!
I still couldn’t believe that he was really here where I worked. It warmed my heart knowing he hadn’t forgotten about me. I wondered what he wanted to talk about. Would he tell me about his trip? He didn’t seem to say much to Audrey, maybe he was busy at the moment or something.
I looked back up at the clock and began undoing the knot of my apron. I hung it at the rack, grabbed my things, and made my way to were Nathan was.