It’s a typical Friday night, and I am stuck working. The only job that can work around my schedule as I am currently studying Law at University. It’s quiet as always with everyone out at the pub or a party at Twenty-One part of me wishes I acted my age instead of being sensible and actually having a job. My thoughts turn to “The Guy”. I am wondering if he will make an appearance tonight? He was fast becoming one of my favourite things about my shifts at The Steamy Mug.
He was polite, ordered the same coffee and gave me a panty-dropping smile. The catch is he is completely out of my league. Never standing a chance with a man like him, and the fact I became a bumbling idiot when he was near, didn’t help me in any way. I smile at my best friend Lily. I love working my shifts with her but my boss cuts that short and one of us can finish early as we are practically dead now. We both look at each other and chant.
“1,2,3 Rock, paper, scissors.” I looked down to find Lily went for scissors and I went for paper. I tilt my head.
“Best out of three?” Lily laughs at me, undoing her work apron.
“No mission. I have a hot date tonight that I need to get ready for.”
I scoff at her. “Some friend you are!”
“Aww don’t be a sore loser I won fair and square.” Lily hands me her apron with a cheeky grin. “Night Chloe, I will see you later.”
I wave her off. “Fine, see you at home.”
We both room together at the dorm. I have known her since we were five. We are inseparable. When it came to university, we both got into the same one. As luck would have it, they also gave us the same dorm room. It’s been fun living together. Lily is wild and outgoing compared to me. I’m quiet and reserved. I hate going to clubs. So awkward I don’t fit in, but she’s my person, she always has my back and I would do anything for her even though we are opposites.
I’m cleaning the tables when I hear the doorbell chime. I don’t even look up to see.
“I will be with you in a minute to take your order.” And that’s when I hear his voice.
“That’s fine, no hurry I’m pretty sure you know my order by now.”
My cheeks heat. I know that voice, it’s just me and him, my boss is in the office and I don’t have Lily as my buffer. My heart is beating a mile a minute. I give myself a pep talk. He is just another customer calm down. You got this. I make my way over to the counter and start making his coffee.
“It’s really quiet in here tonight.”
I give him a curt nod. “Yeah.”
“Have you worked here long?” he asks.
I clear my throat, refusing to look at him. “Two years.”
“Ok, so what else do you do?” He asks.
I finally look up and bite my lip. “I study law. Here’s your coffee, will that be all?”
I watch as he looks over at me. “Yeah, Chloe.”
“That will be £2.10 please.” As he hands me the money, his fingers graze over mine. I swear fireworks just exploded everywhere. Then it hits me that he knows my name?
“Here is your change.” I snatch it away before he can take it from me.
“How do you know my name?” I question.
He gives me his usual panty-dropping smile and its dimples galore. “It’s right there on your apron.”
I feel like a total idiot. Please, can the ground just open and swallow me up?
“Well, thank you for the coffee Chloe, see you again.” He is out the door before I can even get a word out.
The door closes before I whisper. “Yeah see you again.”
A few days have passed between classes and my up-and-coming winter exams. I have been pretty much living in the library. Looking at my watch shit, I’m going to be late for my shift. Arriving at the cafe, I put my apron on and get to work as I look up at the clock. Only a few hours have passed and again it’s another quiet night and the boss lets one of us off early. I swear Lily is in my head. I lost to another round of rock, paper, scissors. Reading my book on tort laws when I feel someone’s eyes on me. I look up and find these deep brown eyes staring at me.
My cheeks are burning up. How did I miss the doorbell? I’m just standing there like an idiot. He is still standing there, looking at me. “Sorry I didn’t mean to stare, just you were so engrossed with your reading I didn’t want to interrupt.” He politely explains.
I close the book over and smile. “Just the usual?”
“Yeah, sorry, that would be great.” He smiles.
I make his coffee when I hear him say something. “Actually, can I have it to sit in?”
I make the coffee and go to hand him his mug. “That will be £2.10 please.”
He reaches me the cash and smiles at me. “I haven’t seen you for a few days?”
Has he been looking for me, no that can’t be right, he just needs his coffee and he probably lives close by?
“Yeah, I had a few days off to focus on my studies.”
I watch as he simply gives me a nod, and it’s quiet for a minute and then I finally hear. “The coffee wasn’t as good, there is something about you making it.”
“Bet you say that to all the girls?”
Hold up, am I flirting with him?
I watch as his cheeks flush. “That really sounded like a chat-up line, sorry I’m sure your boyfriend won’t appreciate that.”
I don’t know where this newfound confidence has come from. “He won’t mind at all.”
He looks at me, and his shoulders slump a little. What the hell is going on? Does he like me? I quickly finish. “He doesn’t exist.”
He looks up at me and smiles. “You nearly had me there! Well, I’m Damien.” He puts his hand out and for some reason, I put my hand out, excited for the connection.
Before I knew it, we had been chatting for hours, about books, movies, my studies, even our families. A few red flags went up. There were a few of my questions he skirted around the answers. I may have been crushing on him for ages but he has the personality to match and red flags be damned. With it being quiet, I sat with him for a while the conversation just flowed and it was just nice. If it was a date, they would define it as a great one. I didn’t realise the time when I looked at my watch. I didn’t want the night to end, but I had to close the cafe.
“I really should close up now. Thank you for keeping me company. I know it was probably not how you planned your night to go?”
He smiles at me. “I actually didn’t have any plans, but it was a pleasant way to spend my night,” he says.
I have had my eye on her for months, don’t judge me I’m not being creepy but she is sweet, innocent and a far cry from the usual girls that grab my attention among other things, I don’t have the best reputation but you can’t blame me if they are going to throw themselves at me who am I to reject them. I can tell by the way she looks at me, acts around me, she has no clue who I am. Fast getting fed up with the same scene and girls. When I saw Chloe, I wanted to get to know her better.
I had an enjoyable night with her. I wanted to ask her out, but someone like Chloe needs to be approached with caution when she escorts me to the door so she can lock up. I ask for her phone. At first, she looks at me like I have no idea what I’m doing. She hands it to me and there it is again. I felt it every time she handed me my change. It’s like electricity running through my body. Typing in my number I send a message so I have her number. I think if I asked her she wouldn’t give me it. I look up and find Chloe smiling at me. “Well, night Damien, thank you for keeping me company.”
“The pleasure was all mine.”
We stand by the door, and I watch as Chloe gets her keys out of her apron. My body goes on autopilot as I place a finger under her chin. I think about going in for a kiss and I am only inches from her when I chicken shit out and peck her on the cheek, let her go and I walk off. I can’t help but smile as I hear her lock the door. Unable to help myself, I looked back and gave her a wave. As I walk back to my car, I take out my phone, deciding to seize the moment before I lose my balls.
Damien TEXT - Hi Chloe, hope you don’t mind me texting, I enjoyed tonight if you’re working again tomorrow night can I suggest the same time and place?
I start my car and make the drive home. When I finally hear my phone peep, I look down and see her name and for some fucked up reason my tummy does flips. What if she rejects me? I have never been rejected before, but when I finally opened the message I let out a sigh.
Chloe TEXT - Yeah, same time and place would be nice. See you then, night night.