It was a typical Monday; I'd woken up maybe an hour before I drove into the parking lot of my favorite Starbucks at 7:13
I had barely thirty minutes from the time I ordered my coffee to get to my work; the local animal shelter. I was interning there. I had wanted to become a Marine Biologist all my life until I got to college. Then I discovered the field of animal medicine, and from then on my life's goal had been to become a Veterinarian. And I had done it, succeeded with honors, and was currently working off the required internship years. I had one left to go.
The only drawback I could really discern was the glaring lack of social life; it hadn't really bugged me at first, at all. But now that my mind could go think on something other than the poor terminal doggy, I realized that it sucked.
I'd been having trouble sleeping at night, like not feeling tired until almost 2 in the morning…it was not healthy on a schedule were every single second of sleep was a bonus. Like last night.
Every morning had me walking like the dead until I got my coffee, and was able to walk around and start actually mentally waking.
My car had been parked in the lot for a full five minutes, working up the energy to move and starting to nod off, when my internal voice woke me up with reminders of my college tuition and future. I headed out of my car and into the Starbucks, planning on my usual jaunt in, chat with the cute barista, then shoot out of there quick, cursing, when I realize that I've only got 18 minutes left.
I walked in and I focused on the cash register and the friendly face behind it – he was almost a friend now – the guy that was always on my shift and the one that gives my baggy eyes a sympathetic smile.
"The usual, sleepy head?" See? I'm so deprived of a social life, the guy behind the register – actually his name is Dante – calls me 'sleepy head.' Because I come in here enough, at the same time, for him to recognize me and consider me a…oh screw it, thinking doesn't fit with me this early.
I nod, "isn't my head that," I yawn to punctuate my point, "is sleepy, Dan the Man," he is the Dan-the-Miracle-Working-Coffee-Giving-Man, but after calling him that one delirious morning, he made me shorten it. Thus, Dan the Man.
Now… about now, every stranger within ear shot realizes that we are flirting – even if I look about ready to drop. But I know he's gay, so I think the guy is just friendly. How do I know? I saw him snogging Mark, an orderly from my work (coincidence? I think not) on one of my better days here.
But anyways, he smiles again and we share a private chuckle before I move on to Barista the Cute, and my delicious, life giving liquid in-a-cup.
"Aw, hun, you look horrible, can't sleep still?" Barista the Cute has such a lovely voice, comforting and mellow. I feel like I'm five again when she talks to me.
So I nod demurely and pout slightly, "Yea…I feel horrible, your coffee is the only thing keeping me going," the last I saw with as much of a smile as I can manage, and she responds brightly. Morning people I will never get. Never, ever, ever. But I don't and won't begrudge her brightness.
Barista the Cute adds an extra pump of flavor to my drink, for free, and then puts the lid on it. I sigh when I have the warm cup in my hands and take a long, long sip. Even extra hot I manage to gulp quite a lot down.
She only laughs and says, "On your way little busy rabbit, it's almost seven twenty five!" I look up at the digital clock on the wall in horror, and manage, just barely, to stem the loud 'shit!' I want to scream out. There are children present! I settle with a brilliant, "crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Thanksforthecoffeegottagonow,bye!"
I turn around to leave and my eyes brush past the fireplace with the comfy chairs and the not busy corner then continue on to the door. Only to freeze, three steps away from the counter, to look back at a little hidden table in the corner.
There she is.
Beauty personified and elegance and dignity and pretty…she's sitting at the table sipping her own coffee looking at her laptop so that I get a profile view. She has brown hair, that in the light looks like it has red streaks, natural, and she has it up in a lazy bun with hair this way and that.
The thing that catches my eye is that she's wearing a large red Spiderman shirt, which I'm internally snorting at somewhere, and baggy sweatpants. Which don't fit her at all because her neck has a very graceful curve, and her arms look all feminine (though definitely muscled).
She's drop dead gorgeous and I can't look away, but at the same time I have to look away because she's reminding me of my glaring lack of a life. Let alone social life. And there's the fact that I have barely enough time to get to work. Besides, today is Monday. Not my day to make good first impressions.
I stand there practically gaping at her for a good minute, before she looks up, and straight at me, and I'm treated to the two most beautiful eyes that I'll ever see. They are Caramel brown with flecks of gold and a darker brown, with a dark black ring around those colors. No makeup. She doesn't need any.
Her gaze has me flushed, and I walk out swiftly fixing my eyes to the top of my cup. She is the final straw; I will get a social life if it kills me. And who knows, maybe she'll become a regular and I'll get to see her again. Somewhere, I make a mental note to be late more often if it means I get to see Perfection again.