The morning rush has finally cooled to a moderate hum and my feet are aching already. I really should get better shoes. That’ll be my first purchase after this week’s paycheck rolls in. The doorbell dings and I look up expectantly. It’s 8:45, right on time, as usual. He lightly lumbers to the register where I smile sweetly and say, “Hi, Rob! What can I get for you?”
“Oh, the usual,” he replies huskily. Rob looks like he’s in his late twenties, but sounds like he’s in his forties, which, strangely, makes him more attractive. He’s always wearing the same worn-leather boots with some darker shade of jeans and a black tee that stretches tautly over his broad, toned chest. Every time I see him, he looks to have gotten a bit tanner while his hair seems to get a bit lighter, which makes me assume that he works outdoors, yet another turn-on.
“One medium iced dirty chai latte coming right up,” I say shakily. He literally only said three words to me. Why am I shaking?
“How’s today been? Pretty busy?” he asks quietly as he reaches for his wallet.
Is he talking to me? Why is he talking to me? He never talks to me. Oh wait, I’m never on register when he comes in. Shit, wait, what did he ask me? Oh, right, busy…
“Yeah, pretty busy, but it’s much better now.”
“Are you new here? I’ve only seen you a handful of times,” says Rob as one of his thick eyebrows raises ever so slightly.
I reply, “It’s my first week, so, yes, very new. I’m a little nervous because it’s my first time working food service,” as I ring his order up and handed him his receipt.
“Oh, don’t be too nervous. I loved the drink you made me yesterday.”
He remembers that I made his drink? He noticed me? Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! I stutter back, “Oh, wow, yeah, um, thank you. Um, yeah, I, uh, tried my best to, uh, not mess it up.”
He smiled a soft, genuine smile that perfectly juxtaposed his burly stature, and stated, “You definitely did not. It was delicious. Perhaps, the best one I’ve had since coming to this coffee shop.”
Blushing, I say, “Oh, I’m just doing my best.”
A moment of silence passes and Rob says abruptly, “Okay, I don’t normally do this, but I also don’t normally run into people as sweet and adorable as you, so fuck it. I’m going for a ride tomorrow morning. If you would like to join me, here’s my number. Just text me. It’ll be around 10 AM. Maybe we could get lunch somewhere.”
“That sounds fun! When you say “ride,” do mean as in horses or motorcycles?”
Chuckling, he says, “Motorcycles, and I’m glad you think so. I’ve been looking for a good riding partner.” Then, he writes his number on the back of his receipt, hands me a ten dollar bill with the glorious receipt of a demigod, and says, “Keep the change,” as he walks to the end of the bar to pick up his drink and walk out the door.
Stunned, I put the sacred scrap of paper into my apron and try to wipe the shock off my face. My coworker, Kira, who was eavesdropping on the whole interaction, squeals, “Ray, oh my gosh! I can’t believe he just gave you his number! I’ve been flirting with him all month and not a single smile. Who knew he swung your way? Gosh, why are all the cutest guys gay? It’s just not fair. Save some for us, please!”
I laugh and nudge her playfully, “Oh, shut up. He’s just being nice.”
Her brows drop and her face goes slack as she says, “I know you don’t seriously think that. Just shut up and text him already!”
“I’m at work, Kira. I’ll text him when I get home,” I say nonchalantly.
Although, she is right. I knew he wasn’t just being nice. A smile slowly spreads across my face and remains as I imagine the roar of his motorcycle and my arms around his waist as he drives at full throttle. My skin tingles at the thought.
© 2021 Writings by Z
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