4/19/2018
Green apron

It has come to this point. You have been at this coffee shop so often, your third space as the smart ones call it, your spot for a quick pass through pending work before you go off to another meeting - such is the freelance life, after all. You have your usual seat, and the staff no longer have to ask for your name whenever you put in your usual order.

"Can I have your order, Dan?"

"Crispy chicken sandwich combo, the usual."

You've seen her name tag. Her name is Tina. You want to call her by her name, but you think she'll think you're creepy. What are name tags for, then? you ask. You're not really close! you realize. You smile at each other as you hand her your money, like customers should, like service crew must.

It has come to this point. You have been at this coffee shop so often, you find yourself attracted to one of the staff. Tina. It's not a bad thing to be attracted to one of the staff. It's not a bad thing to be attracted to Tina. Besides, there's no chance it'll go beyond this attraction, right? You'll never get to know her. You'll never even call her by your name. You'll just smile at each other and you'll watch her as you wait for your usual to arrive.

She's got a bowl of coffee grounds. She's putting them inside this container that says something about coffee. It's not iced coffee, but it's not the espresso machine either. Maybe it's just another container for coffee grounds? What is that for anyway? This is your usual place, and you've never noticed that before. You've also never noticed what she really looks like outside her work uniform, her green apron, her green visor, her black outfit underneath. You only have that smile of hers to go with, and the way her eyes shift from espresso machine to cash register, and the way it all comes together, that thing you can't really describe.

You'd never dare imagine what she really looks like outside her work uniform. You'd never dare imagine what she really is outside this coffee shop.

What's her favorite movie?

What's her favorite song?

Does she like Ed Sheeran?

Oh, God, Dan, you hate Ed Sheeran. He's a pathetic excuse for songwriter, and he sold out for fame. But he does write the occasional good song, though. Maybe he's not really that bad. Maybe you'll learn to like him. If you like Ed Sheeran, will she like you?

Will she ever like you?

Does she like someone else?

You stop, because now, right now, you're being creepy. You're being disgusting. If you were uncomfortable doing that then, you can't as hell do it now, not with these hashtags lying around.

"Sir Dan?"

It's Tina, handing over your chicken sandwich combo. Your usual.

"Oh, um..."

For a split-second, you see that her eyes aren't shifting from the ice chute to the pastry display cabinet. They're looking at you. You can't enjoy this, but, well, you do.

"...can I order a donut with that?"

She smiles.

"No problem, sir."

And your responses...

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