That Simple Smile

a short story by Jeremy C Kester

She entered through the door in a hurry.  The rain outside was coming down in droves.  Her outfit was saturated despite the umbrella she carried.  No one seemed to notice her entrance as it had matched so many before her, and undoubtedly it would match many after.

I smiled as her eyes scanned the room and passed my own.  It didn’t appear as though she caught that I was looking right back at her.

Quickly, she entered herself fully into the store and went to the line.  Her order would be a cup of coffee, black.  I’ve been here every morning sitting and enjoying one of the only points of my day I find solace.  It allowed me the ability of learning her brief coffee habits over the months of her coming here.

Each day I’ve admired her as she entered.

Each day I watched as she left.

Each day I debated on whether or not I should talk to her.  

It was always a brief moment that she was in the shop.  Courage was much easier to summon while she wasn’t there.  Often I simply found myself dumbfounded by her when she was before me, and I forget my ability to utter sounds through my mouth.

There were a few times that the opportunity could have presented itself.  Each time I happened to be in line either before her or after her.  She would always smile at me when we met eyes, but then she would immediately turn away and brush her hair from her face.  That smile entranced me.  Next the server would call either of us and I would forget my courage.

Quietly, I continued to watch as she got closer.  There were no false hopes about today.  I expected that she would leave almost as swiftly as she entered.

Taking my eyes off of her, I grabbed my phone as it nearly fell off of the table in front of me.  I felt foolish as I fumbled with it trying to both silence it and figure out who it was.

When I returned upright it took me just a second to realize that she was now sitting across from me.  My heart lept into my throat as she smiled at me.  I gave one of my own.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi,” I said in return.