The downpour begins as Melia makes her way into the cafe, causing her to shiver slightly at the temperature drop. A part of her feels nostalgic at the setting, what with it mirroring her first time in the cafe. Back then she only wanted to escape the rain, whereas now she visits to escape the troubles of life.
The employees greet her bubbly, and she takes pride in the fact their joy is due to genuine happiness towards her presence. As she goes to place her order, she notices a blond sitting in the corner next to her usual table; an unusual sight considering people avoid this part of the shop since the aging air conditioner couldn’t keep it cool.
“Hey Mel.” one of the seniors–Amanda–greets her, and she responds with a small smile and a wave. “The usual today?”
“Yes, thank you. Oh, and another cup of whatever the blond had.”
Amanda grins. “Noticed the hottie eh?”
She laughs into her palm, having gotten used to the older woman’s teasing. “He looks like he could use it.”
“Oh you have no idea. Guy came in ‘round 40 minutes before you looking like he’d been to hell and back. Ordered a coffee, sat down and began typing stuff–coffee was gone within three minutes. Mind you, it was steaming hot coffee.”
“Yeah. Best part? He’s on his fourth cup. Four cups of freshly brewed, piping hot coffee in 40 minutes!”
She could feel her ‘mom friend mode’, as her coworkers have deemed it, begin to surface; that is definitely not safe levels of caffeine. “Scratch the order then, he’ll have herbal tea.”
Amanda chuckled. “Anything for our favourite patron. I’ll bring it over myself, alright? You go sit your busy lil’ tush down.”
She gives a curt nod before walking to her table, having learnt over the months that it was impossible to argue with Amanda when she decides on something, especially when it comes to delivering the order herself. The blond surprisingly didn’t seem to notice her. That, or he mastered the art of ignoring beauties such as herself. Or maybe he didn’t swing that way?
Deciding that contemplating the sexuality of her corner-mate was a little bit much, Melia pulls out her favourite source of entertainment on her phone. The familiar background of the chatroom loads in, their previous exchange still fresh on the screen.
“Good afternoon Fen. How was today?”
In an instant he begins to type his response, almost as if he was waiting for her. She couldn’t help but smile at that.
Her smile disappears.
“It’s quite foolish really; I can’t make any progress on my work today.”
“Any particular reasons why?”
“It’s not how I’d like it to be.”
She frowns. It looks to be like one of those days, the ones where her friend would begin breaking down simply because he can’t achieve perfection. It happened every once in a while, and each time is as unpleasant as the last. He never learns, the stubborn guy, that perfection is an impossibility.
“Fen, I think you know what I’m going to say next.”
“I think I do.”
“Soooo, what do you do when you feel frustrated with yourself? When you feel like you can’t get anywhere with your work?”
“I stop, and come back another time.”
The blond next to her suddenly groans, his neck rests on the back of the chair when he leans back. He pulls his glasses off with noticeable force, slamming them on the table. What kind of material did he have those made with? Well, it was non of her business. Returning her attention to the screen, Melia resumes typing.
“What are you working on anyway?”
There’s a noticeable pause before he responds.
“I’m to find and fix any and all errors on the accounts.”
“Huh? When was this a part of your job?”
“It isn’t. It was forced upon me by my wretched coworker. The useless brat claimed he was busy that day, but I knew damn well he was going on a date. The boss grew a liking to him though, so I had no choice.”
“Ah, sorry I can’t be of any help here.”
“Nonsense. You’re already helping by allowing me to vent.”
“Aww, that’s so sweet coming from the so-called ‘Heartless Analyst’.”
Her worry increased tenfold when Fen didn’t immediately quip back.
“You can tell me if something's bothering you Fen.”
He didn’t respond still.
“Sorry, I was thinking.”
“It’s silly. I’ve got to go now, talk tomorrow?”
The blond beside her closes his laptop loudly, and she wondered how it could look so new with how it was being handled. He swiftly moves to the exit, when Amanda interrupts him.
“Here dear, some herbal tea to help you relax from all that coffee. Don’t argue with me.” she finishes with a wink.
The blond only grunts as he takes the cup and leaves the cafe.
Amanda places a hand on her hip and sighs. With a resigned smile she comes to Melia’s table, pulling out the chair opposite her and sitting down.
“The guy’s having girl troubles no doubt.”
Melia raises an eyebrow, motioning for the elder to continue.
“Looked like he was contemplating his relationship with someone. I’d know, having had that period of thought before… Can only hope he doesn’t screw up like I did.”
Amanda’s eyes became more blank. “I ignored my feelings in favour of not destroying a friendship I had built. By the time I acknowledged them, lad was already married with 2 kids. Can’t find anyone else to this day.”
Melia pats her shoulder. “You can still try though, right?”
“Yeah, but not many are gonna go for a 31 year old cow like me. I don’t really mind though.”
They stay silent for a few minutes, neither knowing what to say.
“Mel? Promise me something? As a friend?”
“What is it?”
“When you find someone you like, don’t wait.”
Melia blinks in surprise.
“Don’t want you living life with such a regret. It hurts, trust me.” Amanda stands up from her seat. “I’ll get back to working then, ring me up when you leave, yeah?”
She nods, the silence allowing Amanda’s words slowly start to sink in. When? She said it with such confidence, almost as if the older woman thinks she already found that someone. Had she? Wouldn’t she know if she did? Knowing Amanda, it could mean a lot of things. She admires her after all, for being so perceptive.
She begins to reflect on her life, sipping on the drink she ordered. What would’ve caused Amanda to believe such a thing? One person’s name came up, but she writes if off as pure coincidence.
After all, you couldn’t really like somebody you met online, could you?