As I sit across from him, I can only think about my poor life choices. I have tried to make good decisions but have ultimately always chosen the easy way out.

I went to a local college because I had a full scholarship since my parents were poor. You never waste something that is free. (You never waste anything you pay for, either.) So, while I had dreamed about going to college and becoming knowledgeable in various esoteric topics and theories, actually completing class work and my degree were much more challenging than anticipated. I thought I could skate by and make it through like I had always done in the past.

He's studying. Like, actually studying. Taking notes and sipping on his latte, because he doesn't actually like coffee very much (his words) and is very sensitive to the caffeine he never imbibes.

I've had a double espresso which I tried to buy for myself, but he didn't let me.

His hands are shaking from half a damn latte.

Collections development in a library is not a very interesting topic to me, but I struggle to finish at least one of the assignments I'm behind on. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts (read: easy way out) a few years ago, I decided that I needed a change in my life. I worked at a local Walmart Pharmacy which is as ridiculous as it sounds and much more stressful. My pitiful English Lit degree wasn't doing shit for me, but, hey, I graduated.

It took me six months after graduating to even begin looking for a job in my field of study. I still don't know how I got the job at the county library. I accepted the offer because it was an easy choice, even though I knew I'd have to get my Master's. I also applied for a job as a copy writer, but that would have been a commute and much more work.

Every few minutes, he fidgets, plays with his hair, stares out the window. He's literally deep in thought about this medical journal he's been assigned to read. Twirls his pen, scrunches up his face, clears his throat in a way to signal a deep thought, and returns to his screen.

I'm on Facebook, trying to pretend like I'm not three weeks behind in homework assignments.

It'll be a miracle if I ever get anything published. Who gives a fuck about someone who doesn't care about themselves? It doesn't really matter to me that this is most likely a wasted effort, even as I watch him study across from me and my assignments are later by each passing minute. I feel like I'm accomplishing something by trying to catch this moment. I may be, but it's obviously not my homework.

He doesn't know that I've been observing him.

He probably thinks that I'm hard at work on a paper. He knows I'm in this Master's program and thinks it's admirable. He has no clue. My husband doesn't know how poorly I'm doing, either. He also thinks I'm doing a great thing by going back to school. He's trying to go back for his Master's, but he'll never actually do it. He puts in about as much effort as I do.

But Kevin, he is putting in serious hours here. He's working to become a doctor. A fucking doctor. It's something he's always wanted, too. He's been preparing for this for years. How does someone have that amount of dedication and foresight as a teenager, when I can't even commit to a paint color for my bedroom?

And he's a gentleman, too. I thought my husband was, but watching Kevin I can tell that I've been mislead. Kevin opens every door and waits for you to pass through, pays every check without a second thought, and my God, refers to you as a fucking lady. Prime example- when we arrived at the coffee shop, it went something like this:

He puts the manual car into park and unlocks the doors. He gets his backpack out of the backseat and grabs mine, too. He then carries it for me. I didn't ask him to and I thanked him, of course. While holding both of our backpacks, he opens the door to the coffee shop and guides me in like I've never walked through a door before. We grab a table, leave our bags, and walk up to the counter.

"So, what do you recommend from here?"

His friend actually owns the shop. It's a brick building with exposed beams, Edison bulbs, and brightly painted metal chairs. You know the type: slightly modern feel and industrially rustic in execution. It's inviting and comfy without being too over the top. He's been here several times to study while his wife is at work.

"I'm going to get a latte, because I don't like coffee much. I'm probably not the best person to ask," he shrugs.

The clerk behind the counter takes his order and asks if he wants any added syrup to his latte. He declines.

"Will there be anything else?"

"That's all for me, but I'm not sure what the lady would like," as he indicates that I'm the fucking lady. This inspires a small surge of pride at being thought of in such a respectful manner and I try to keep the radical feminist thoughts at bay. He's just being respectful. Kevin's just a good guy, not a condescending douche. Reign it in, girl.

"I would like a double espresso, please."

"Okay. Coming right up. It'll be $7.85."

My wallet goes wasted as he promptly hands his credit card to the clerk. I know not to argue, and I don't want to offend him by making a scene.

"Oh, thank you, Kevin; you didn't need to do that."

"You're welcome. I wanted to," he smiled.