That Café on the Corner

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There's a café on the corner. It's not very close to my house; in fact, I have to walk nearly five miles to get there. It's on the edge of town, but I don't mind. It's dark and quiet in there, and that's what I like.

Usually, I sit in there and write poetry and song lyrics in a little black leather book. Sometimes, my band and I perform there. There really isn't a crowd, because it's such a small place, but I still enjoy it.

The waiters and waitresses are really nice there. They all know what I order - a tall cappuccino, with extra whipped cream. My favorite waiter is named Aiden. He always puts sprinkles on, too. When he has free time - which is often - he sits and talks with me. We don't really talk about much - just the usual: work (or lack thereof, for me), family, life in general. I tell him all my dreams, like finally getting my band, Monolithic Dreams, recognized, and becoming a writer. He listens, but he doesn't speak often. But that's okay. We understand each other.

One day, I walked to that café on the corner in tears. I had just had yet another fight with my father. It was the same thing - he wants me to do something worthwhile. According to him, sitting in that café on the corner, performing and writing things isn't worthwhile. I disagreed, and we fought.

Aiden was waiting for me, cappuccino with extra whipped cream and sprinkles in hand. He even added a cherry. We sat down at my usual table, and I told him all my worries and woes. He nodded and listened sympathetically, letting me cry on his shoulder.

I adored Aiden. Even though he had never really spoken to me, we had a connection. He understood me, fully, had understood ever since I walked in that door to that café on the corner two years ago, on my seventeenth birthday. He had been nineteen then. I had wondered why someone like him - a tall, blond, handsome guy - would want to listen to the pathetic worries of a seventeen-year-old like me. But I never asked him. It just never came up.

When I was finished crying, I wiped my eyes, smiled at Aiden, who smiled back, and opened my little black book. He nodded and got up to serve other customers, promising with his eyes that he would be back soon. I returned his nod.

That night, my band was playing in that café on the corner. I was the lead singer. I loved my music more than anything. I poured my heart and soul into singing the words that I wrote, and didn't care if people loved it or hated it, because it made me feel so complete.

Aiden always watched from the counter, a bar rag thrown carelessly over his right shoulder, leaning on his left elbow, smiling. He enjoys my music. He's never told me, but I can tell by his gaze, and the way he nods at me when I come offstage.

Tonight, when I come off the stage at that café on the corner, he's waiting for me at my table. He's sitting calmly, two Cokes in front of him. I smiled. He knows that I always take cold Coke after a performance.

He looked up as I sat down. "Selene," he said quietly.

I was surprised. "Yes, Aiden?"

He smiled at me, sliding out of his seat and kneeling in front of me on one knee. "Selene...ever since you first walked through that door, I've had my eye on you. I've admired you for two years, listened to you and watched you write and perform...and I've realized something. I love you, Selene...will you marry me?"

That was the most I'd ever heard Aiden speak, and I knew, for two years, he had been saving his words for this moment. I knew, I could see it in his eyes. I smiled.


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