Strange man



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He was a regular customer here. A tall nice looking young man -- sat exactly on time. I always looked forward to serving him. I don’t really know what made me like him so much -- he was a regular customer -- but I always liked him. He used to get the same thing - Americano, extra dry, two sugars. I'd place it before him and he would look up from the coffee and our eyes would meet. I used to walk away with a blush on my face. He sat there looking at the table, on the edge of that seat, as if he couldn't wait to go. He would sip his coffee slowly, lost in thought, his eyes on me. I listened very carefully to every single thing he quipped.

“Hi”, I’d say waving.

“Hello”, he’d say.

“What can I get for you today?” I asked.

“Just an Americano please”, he replied. We exchanged a few polite “hellos”.

He used to ask me all the time if I could help with anything. Sometimes he'd ask me about different restaurants and reminds me of this one place I used to go to regularly and suggest me to go there now. Quite often he would ask me about the weather and the season of the year. He always wanted to know if it was raining or hot for today.

He used to ask me about my name especially. I used to inform him that I was a major noobie when it came to things like these. He was so polite to me and every time he asked me if I was my real name and I’d say “Yes” and rush in to tell him. I used to try to realise every single bit of conversation and trend of his art. I used to smile at him often. After a while, we did get along and I never felt uncomfortable talking to him.

“Do you really love your job?” he asked one fine day.

“Yes, I really do,” I replied.

“But why do you love it?” he asked.

“I love the way you smile when you ask me that”, I said again. He had a very nice face. I always wanted to draw it.

“See! I was just asking because I was bored” he said.

“I'm sorry, I haven't been able to stop smiling since you arrived”, I said. He got up to leave. I wondered how about letting him know that I liked him so much. I wondered if he was feeling the same thing. What if he didn't feel the same way, but he was just being friendly.

Suddenly he turned to me with that smile. It was almost as if he didn't have a care in the world.

“Hey! I was just being friendly! I didn’t want to do anything”

I looked back at him my mouth half-open.

“Didn’t want to do anything?” I asked.

“Don’t you like me?” he asked.

“Of course, I do,” I laughed.

“Then why didn’t you ask me out?” he asked.

“You know why?” I asked. He nodded.

“It’s just that I never had anyone that I could talk to about that. No one took notice of what I wanted to know. No one cared. I thought you were different. I thought that you liked me so wanted to be with me. I thought - maybe just a little bit”, I confessed.

“The feeling is mutual”, he replied.

“Yeah! I know!” I said.

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