I sat down in an old chair and set my hot chocolate on the table in front of me. By cupping my hands around the insulated mug I was able to thaw them out a little.
Wisps of steam touched my face as I took the lid off and bent over the cup to smell the rich chocolaty aroma. The steam made my cheek wet as it hit my cold skin, and I wiped it away.
Normally the chilly air wouldn’t have bothered me, but I had taken an extra long walk this morning, and ended up farther away from home than I had intended. I pulled the long neck on my sweater higher. I would have a long walk back, but I kind of liked it. I should come this way more often.
The peace of the coffee shop relaxed my shoulders, and I sat watching the baristas mix orders and joke with their customers. One employee in particular caught my attention. He was a little taller than medium height, with light colored hair. Clean shaven, with a finely chiseled face, he was good looking without being too handsome. He was serving an older man and the customer’s gruff humor was answered quickly by the younger man.
The old timer joined several friends at a table and the young man went on with his work.
I turned back to my hot chocolate and took a sip. The hot liquid scalded my lips and I winced. Still too hot. What was the good of taking a hot drink on a walk if it was always too hot to drink?
I got up and went to the counter, standing awkwardly to one side as another customer was served.
“I can help you over here.” The barista I was watching earlier motioned me over.
I approached a little shyly. “Thanks, could I have an empty cup? I brought a drink, but it’s too hot, and I want to cool it off.”
He reached over and handed me one with a smile. I thanked him again and went back to my seat. I poured a little of my drink into the cup and blew on it.
As I drank my hot chocolate, I tried not to watch the young man. But people were so interesting, that I couldn’t help it.
When my drink was gone I glanced reluctantly at the old pocket watch attached to my key chain. I would be late to work if I didn’t hurry. I grabbed my thermos and cup and made my way to the door, glancing back and promising myself that I would come back.
The young man looked up as I opened the door, when he saw that I was leaving he smiled and waved. I smiled back, and then stepped out into the brisk air.