She burns her tongue from sipping on her latte too eagerly. The ‘too eager’ mentality is how she approaches life; there’s a readiness to share and be open and be ruthless when necessary. There’s a pertinent longing to connect and strike a chord that resonates. And sometimes, when that happens, you get burned.
She picks at the foam with her fingers and brings it to her mouth, hoping to alleviate the unpleasant sensation.
An elderly man at a nearby table peers at her rather curiously. She tells him that the beverage is too hot to drink. He doesn’t say anything and goes back to skimming the Op-Ed section of the paper.
She sinks into the depths of the couch and attempts to read, but she knows full well that her eyes will merely glaze over the words without much comprehension. There’s a couple that’s nestled on the Big Chair. The Big Chair is the chair that everyone tries to obtain, but you have to arrive early enough to secure the spot.
When she was in Jamaica last summer, her friend would wait on line, at dawn, to acquire one of those precious huts near the ocean. The huts were situated on the golden sand, facing a sea that shimmered like turquoise diamonds, as the palm trees swayed in a light breeze. And though the breeze was light, it woke the two of them right up. You gotta move towards what you want.
The girlfriend sits comfortably on his lap, and her blonde strands of hair, perfectly straight strands, rest on his shoulders. They’re both holding cups of green tea and they both look like they sincerely like each other through their whispering and laughing and touching. Another couple in the far right corner eats their whole grain muffins in silence. Their strained silence can be heard throughout the confines of the cafe.
One of the male baristas wipes the sweat off his forehead. Either the heat outside permeated through the open doors, or he’s just emotionally drained. She wonders if he’s meeting someone special after his shift; he’s too pretty not to have someone special in his life. He knows the regulars, he memorizes their orders, and he drinks his coffee black in the moments that he’s not occupied, when there’s a lull in business. She barely speaks to him, because she knows that if she were to start, he’d quickly become someone who’s important.
But it’s okay that she’s only his customer, and he’s only the guy who hands her a latte that she burns her tongue on. He’s too pretty not to have someone special in his life.
She decides to leave; she can’t read here, but she’s already drawn that particular conclusion a long time ago. In a glance, her eyes scan the coffee shop in its entirety before exiting.
She walks out onto the city street, book in hand, knowing that she will be back.