1. The stranger
I looked like lady in distress. I was running late for work, again. I knew that I should have been more responsible but what could I have done, I spent majority times just watching Netflix movies. My boyfriend, Jacob had some work to do, So I called over my best friend, Sofia. She’s my boss as well, and that is kind of how I got away with being late. It was a really bad habit though, and I needed to change it.
My jet-black, curly hair was tied up in a ponytail while the wind was causing a few strands of my hair to fly around. The wind caused some dust to fly into one of my eyes, but I didn’t want to ruin my mascara, so I stopped myself from rubbing my eye and just continuously blinked to somehow make it go away.
I was only a few steps from turning left and entering the café when, “Ahh!” I ended up bumping into someone. While rubbing my forehead in pain, I looked up to see who it was, only to find out that there was no one there. Did I just bump into air!
I turned around and saw a tall, masculine guy walk past me towards his black car, which stood out amongst all the other cars. From the back view, I saw that he was wearing a dark grey suit. He used his right hand to hold onto his phone near his ear and he used the other hand to hold his coffee. He didn’t even apologise for bumping into me. Rude.
Entering the café, I made my way towards the staff’s room, while struggling to take off my coat. I came face to face with Sofia, who had a ‘disappointed-but-not-surprised’ expression on her face.
“I know, I am so sorry. It won’t happen again”. I put on my apron while and attempted to reassure her.
She signed, “You need to understand that I can’t keep doing this, Lilly”. I understood what she meant. She was right. She had done a lot for me, and I really appreciated it. She gave me this job when I had nothing in my hands. I had left my parents 2 years ago, to be with Jacob. They didn’t approve our relationship. They wanted me to marry my dad’s best friend’s son, and only so that he can become their business partner. He had always put his business before our family, before me. For the first time, I had chosen my own happiness over his business and I didn’t really regret it. I was living a happy and peaceful life with him. Something that I always had wanted.
I went on with my day as normal, serving customers. I loved my job, taking orders and preparing deserts and drinks for them. Did I mention that I love cooking? Now you know. My mum is a great cook, and I learnt what I know about cooking from her. No matter what had happened between us, I still missed them a lot. I just hoped that they do too.
Do they miss me? What might they be doing right now?
I was lost in my own thoughts when the door chimed open, and I blinked myself back to reality. I grabbed my pen and notepad and forced a smile on my face. I lifted my hazel eyes to meet a clear ocean blue eyes that were just, Wow.
He had thick black hair that looked so soft. I wondered what it would feel like to run my hands threw them. Shut up, Lilly!
He had jawline that looked sharp as a blade.
He had broad shoulders that were screaming for me to lean on. He was wearing white shirt with dark grey blazer and trousers. He had a gold watch that was screamed, rich.
Something about this person seemed awfully familiar, like I have seen him somewhere, but where?
“Are you done checking me out?” Someone was confident, and arrogant. His deep voice made the sentence come out as arrogant.
I ignored his question. “What would you like today?” I looked down at my notepad and pen, ready to write down his order. There was a little silence, and I could feel his eyes on me the whole time, until he finally spoke.
“I will have a croissant and cappuccino”. He stated while he continued to stare at me, and while he was tapping his finger on the counter. His rudeness bought my eyes back from the notepad to him. Did the ‘please’ escape through the window?
I was tempted to say it to his face, but I had to remember ‘professionalism’ as Sofia had always reminded me.
I gripped the pen in my hand in annoyance and jotted down the order on the notepad. “Have a seat”. I would normally say, ‘please, take a seat. Your order will be there shortly’. But was he worth wasting my breath? I didn’t think so. He had confirmed it by being so blunt and rude. It seemed like he was a bit taken back by what I had said.
No one made him taste his own medicine.
The stupid coffee machine was being so slow. Today is not my day. I murmured to myself while Sighing, I started to bang lightly on it with my fist. Stupid of me to do? But I was in a bad mood since morning. Someone was burning holes at the back of my head with their eyes, I turn around only to gasp. He was standing so close to me that I had to lean against the counter. He was still staring deep into my eyes with his piercing blue eyes. I wanted to get away, but I couldn’t; physically and mentally. First, there was no space for me to move, second, his eyes were too captivating.
Shut up, Lilly! You have a boyfriend, who loves you immensely.
I forced my eyes to peel away and looked at the floor while he used his left hand to fix the machine behind me, without even looking at it. He is not human!
I abruptly moved away, and he grabbed his croissant and cappuccino, while sliding money onto the counter near me. I mumbled a ‘thanks’ and turned around the carry on with my work.
He seemed like a businessman. He was in a suit, expensive watch, and phone. Yep. Definitely a businessman. But what was he doing at a Café around the corner?
I was asking many unanswerable questions to myself in my head. I was rudely interrupted by Sofia who beamed into my ear. “Who was that handsome dude?” She wriggled her brows mischievously making me turn around to face her while laughing.
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t even start”. I tried to push past her, but I failed. She is stubborn.
“Come on!” She looked around to see if anyone was listening and whispered in my ear. “He was undeniably hot”. She needed to learn how to be quiet because I could hear a few customers trying to supress their laughter. My cheeks became red as a tomato instantly, made me look around for escape.
“Sof, just stop”. I groaned and speed walked towards the staff room. She followed behind me.
She closed the door behind her and approached me again. “Lilly, I know that you love that douche but”, She saw my expression and sighed. “I mean, Jacob. Listen, all I am saying is that you deserve someone better. He doesn’t even have a job; he doesn’t do any of the house chores and he doesn’t even pay the rent. You do everything. You deserve someone who would help you, someone who would be there for you emotionally and financially. God knows what he does outside all the time, he barely makes time for you”.
I knew deep inside that whatever she was saying was true, but I didn’t want it to get to me. I didn’t want to think that I had left my parents for no reason.
“Please Sof, I don’t want to think about anything. I know that he is trying his best to find a job and he cares about me. That’s all that matters”. I lied. I sent a reassuring smile her way and went back out to serve the customers.
Is he just using me to have an easier life? No, that’s a lie, right?
I tried to convince myself that it was a lie and he really loved me and cared for me. I engaged myself with serving and cleaning that the unwanted thoughts were soon out of my head.
I turned around afterwards and noticed Jacob leaning against the door on the opposite side. I smiled towards him and walked around the counter while he made his way towards me and at once engulfed me into a hug. “Hey beautiful”. I smiled and gave him a peck in response. All my worries vanished into the thin air when I saw that he had come to my workplace to pick me up.
What was I even thinking? Of course, he loves me, and choosing him over everything was absolutely the right decision.