Gradual Epiphany

Coffee Sketch 1

It was a typical Thursday morning and I was back at the coffee shop. I enjoyed working there — was a regular, in fact. There was something calming about the sounds of the espresso machine, the clink of hot cups and static wail of the milk foaming. Conversation ebbed and flowed, paused by intermittent slurps.

They entered seperately, he ordered a cappuccino – she took a coffee, black. Their bags down, they sat across from me and I thought nothing of it. Their conversation faded into the background and I went back to work.

Something caught the corner of my eye and I glanced up from the screen. I noticed he was sitting, rigid now, his eyes fixed on her face. His voice carried, mild but strained,

“We both know this can not continue. You are constantly on my mind, these times together…” he paused. “They haunt me.”

She sighed and looked down at her hands. The pause lengthened and it seemed the very air became heavy.

“I know.” she said, her voice quiet but clear. “But, I keep hoping we can find a way past the attraction… infatuation? Maybe this tension can pass and we can find simple friendship on the other side. You know I like you, I like these times and the laughter we share.”

His gaze softened and he reached hesitantly across the table — it was then I noticed his ring. It was a heavy, old-fashioned gold band, scratched and scarred by years of wear.

He gently cupped her cheek, his fingers sliding down her jawline and under the chin; he lifted her from the downward gaze. She leaned against his hand and waited a moment, eyes closed.

Her eyes opened, warm pools of light.

“You entrance me.” he said, “There is an undeniable chemistry between us. I don’t know where it would take us, but have my suspicions that it would be.. ” he paused. “…very good.”