The Red Porcelain Mug

Second Chances

Chapter 4

“Large café mocha, extra hot!” “Chai tea with a cinnamon scone!” “Dolce de Leche, decaf!”

His Surprise

One by one the baristas dispersed orders until finally, my order was ready. A latte with whip cream, mocha drizzle, and an everything bagel with cream cheese to-go. I grabbed my order and was ready to get on with my day but first I had to maneuver through the sea of people blocking the path from the pick-up area to the door.

Several excuse me’s, two averted mishaps, and I was almost to the finish line then boom I crashed into the owner rushing in with an unfinished cup of tea. “Oh my goodness, I am so sorry sir!” Yup, someone’s saliva remnants that swirled the tea now covered my wool grey coat. She scrambled to set the cup on the counter closest to the barista station, grabbed one of the towels on the side, and began to dab my now stained warm covering. She continued to apologize, “I can’t believe I did that! I am truly sorry, please let me pay for the dry cleaning!”

After coming out of my stunned trance, I took a deep sigh and told her it was not a big deal, even though it was as I had a meeting in roughly 30 minutes and did not want to show up looking like a caffeinated canvas but accidents happen, unfortunately. She insisted and said it would only take a few moments to get a form for me to fill out. I’m assuming it’s some sort of reimbursement slip after I quote the dry cleaning. Anyway, I nodded in agreeance but told her I was in a bit of a hurry.

She rushed to the other side of the counter and directed another barista to make a tea for the table she initially was scurrying from before splashing into me, then headed to the back. I sat at a table closest to the barista’s station and waited for the owner to return. While sipping my drink, I noticed the coffee shop beginning to sound less chaotic; the morning mob was pretty much gone as quickly as they arrived.

I’m not usually one to rush through my day but today was a special day, a day that would change my life for the better. You see I am an artist, well, let me specify as my resume has a vast list of artistic things including being a professional sketch artist. I am a musician who can sing as well as play a variety of instruments but I love writing lyrics more. When my words are turned into a melody, it does something to me energetically. It’s like when you first wake up to the chirping of birds in the morning, it’s an inexplicable feeling that’s hard to put into words but you embrace the heart-felt feeling without asking why. You are in sync with the melody because it brings you to a space of balance and joy. This is what music does for me. This is what my words entangled with harmonious chords do to my heart. This is also why today is so important to me because I am about to sign the deal of a lifetime that will put my verbal creativity on the map!

Anyway, I sat at that table with one leg tapping the floor and constantly unlocking my phone to check the time; thirty minutes has now become twenty. It’s a good thing the meeting is only a block away. I continued to sip my latte while watching the baristas mingle behind the counter. The one barista who was directed to make the tea made her way to a familiar table by the window. After she set the cup down and began walking away, my heart dropped like the initial descent of a rollercoaster and the movement of the coffee shop began to slow like the key moment in the scene of a movie.

I’m not sure if my eyes are playing tricks or if I’m having a deja vu moment, but a beautiful figure in dark denim jeans, oat-colored boots, a multi-shaded pink sweater, and a tan rancher hat appeared like a magical being. She sat towards the rays of the sun that beamed down highlighting her caramel skin, then picked up the red porcelain mug the barista left only moments ago and began gazing out the window mimicking that rainy day. I was shocked, astounded, and wondered what game the universe was playing with my heart. I was also contemplating making an optometry and second therapy appointment of the week.

I have come to this coffee shop almost every day for a few weeks following that nostalgic rainy day in hopes to run into the red porcelain cinderella until I simply gave up. I figured she was trying a new coffee shop like I was on that day, but here she is drinking out what looks like the same red unit. She took a sip from the still-steaming mug and smiled like it did something to enhance her well-being. People passed by my view slower than usual it seemed, and it was annoying! I wanted to be sure I was not losing my mind so I found myself shifting my neck, head, and body to get a clearer view. Surely enough, and there in fact was the woman who first captured my vision so many months ago. The woman who had me second-guess my confidence then disappeared only leaving an empty red mug like cinderella and her glass slipper.

Was this a second chance?

Second Chances

“Ok, I can get up from this table and approach her, no matter the words I can do this!” Just as I was about to move the owner came back with the form. Let’s just say timing is hilarious as fuck! She began to explain what she needed in order to be reimbursed for the dry cleaning but I still had my sights on the table by the window and I was determined to not let that beautiful visual disappear from my sights again. “Sir, did you hear me?”, the barista inquired. “Um, yes I will have this back to you later today,” I responded with disinterest then took the paper, my bagel, and latte, and headed over towards the window; I stopped midway. I didn’t want to approach her with a stained coat, so I scrambled to take it off and drape it over my arm. “Ok, here we go”, I mumbled.

It’s not that I am nervous about approaching her it’s that I am afraid of possible rejection, afraid I will make a fool of myself, afraid that she might view me with disgust, hell I’m afraid her beauty may only be surface level and nothing more! I know that might sound presumptuous but if you knew my past encounters with pretty women you’d understand why I’m fearful. You’d understand that a book’s cover only tells so much. Darkened hearts, ugly minds, and scorched egos can sometimes encumber the pages. After experiencing disappointment, heartbreak, dissatisfaction, and questions of my own sanity, I am not here for just another pretty face and body, it runs deeper than that. So to be hit with such a melody in my heart without intentionally looking not once, but twice has me curious, “Is she my something more?”

I made my way to the table and before I could plant both feet to a stop my words met her ears, “Excuse me, is anyone sitting here.”

To be continued…

To catch the beginning of this story check out Nostalgia at the coffee shop, A sip of morning tea, and An Unexpected slice of red velvet cake.

Thanks for reading!

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Making your way through life alone is one thing, but to cross paths with someone who adds enhancement to your heart comes once in a lifetime. This story is about 2 individuals who through a caffeinated and nostalgic rainy day spark something unexpected. Could it be love?

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Self-improvement and creative writer focusing on mental health, and personal growth while living the best way I know how.

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