Kevin's Koffee

by Charlie Brule

And with the last email sent after a quick proofread, Jones wiped the lens of his glasses. He picked a piece of lint from his sweater vest and pulled his bow tie a little tighter. With one final exhale of nerves, he stood. Packing his brief case, he circled through his cubicle, pulling pieces of paper work into a manila folder for weekend busywork.  He whistled a little, stopping only when he heard the throat of the woman who worked next to him clear as an indication that she was not in the mood to listen to a canary just beyond the flimsy divider paneling. He rolled his eyes, content with himself, and lifting his coat over his shoulders. Soon, was all he could think, soon he would be across the street and…the thought trailed off but his smile grew and a shiver of excitement trailed through his spine. Soon he would see the smile that would make his weekend, before he spent the next two days hidden in his apartment alone.

Jones strolled past the receptionist on his way out. “Bye Mr. Spriter. Have a great weekend!” she called through her pink lipstick stained mouth.

“Thanks Patty, and how many times do I have to tell you, call me Jones.” He stopped, leaning on the desk. “Also, I have a favor to ask,” he said smiling. “Any way you can make 2 copies of this, mail one, here's the envelope, and then put the other in Mr. Climard's office?”

Patty huffed playfully. “Only because you are just so cute Mr. Spri…Jones.” Her smile grew as she took the paperwork from his hands. “When are you going to take me out for a drink,” her voice dropped in decibels as she leaned closer toward him over the desk.

“I'm sorry Patty,” Jones played it cool, but was visibly unnerved. “You're a gorgeous gal who deserves higher standards than me.”

Patty looked at the attractive, fit, man in front of her. She guessed he was her age, around mid twenties, late at the oldest, and she shook her head. “How can a fine man like you be too low for my standards?” She questioned rhetorically. “Well I'm guessing you are just holding out for some special lady.” Patty adjusted her tight fitted green dress, pulling it down her thighs as she stood to sort Jones' papers.

“Something like that” said Jones winking at her one last time before waving and exiting the building into what was left of the day light. His next destination was the best part of his day.

He fumbled with the zipper of his coat waiting outside the coffee shop on the corner across from the insurance agency. He cleaned his glasses again and looked at his reflection. His hands shook a bit as he entered Kevin's Koffee House. Inside, he stepped into line, trying to nonchalantly see who was working. Kevin stood behind the counter, his apron tied around his slender waist, his sleeve tattoo wrapped down his arm. Jones felt his heart react to the sight with a pounding of approval. Kevin was directing the afternoon traffic with ease, greeting everyone with a smile.

“Good afternoon, what can I get ya?” He smiled at Jones with dazzling intoxication.

“Can I get a cup of the house coffee? This week's has been really good.”

“Sure thing” Kevin handed the cup to a coworker saying, “Cup of house, leave room.” He smiled back at Jones, taking his cash.

“What's the name on this order?” The employee held a sharpie to the cardboard cup.

“Jones,” Said Kevin and Jones in unison, both awkwardly following their exclamation with a laugh.

“You come here a lot, sorry if that was creepy.” Kevin smiled handing back the change.

“Not at all.” Jones smiled at just the thought of Kevin recognizing him. “I mean bartenders know their customers, why not baristas right?” He wanted to smack his head as the corny joke left his mouth.

Kevin didn't seem to notice, and laughed with a nod. “I mean I never forget a face, especially not a cute one.”

With that, Jones couldn't contain a smile, but he moved down the line without any more words exchanged with Kevin as the other customers began to get pushy, wanting their own coffee orders. He thought he was cute! He sat just staring at the cream swirling in his coffee. The shop had been open almost three months and this was not only the longest conversation he'd had with Kevin, but he had told him he was cute. Jones knew he had to make the next move if the barista was ever going to get the hint that he was interested.