Cream in my Coffee

I believe in a cup of coffee. Every morning, I roll out of bed with red hazy vision, and bits of crusty sleep still lingering in my eyes. I love that even if everything in my day is going wrong, the coffee is somehow the one thing that goes completely right. The moment I push the heavy glass doors of my favorite coffeehouse, as always, the big room is crowded, buzzing with a dozen animated conversations, the baristas shouting to be heard over the burr of the espresso machines. The coffeehouse may just be mankind’s greatest invention, perhaps the finest collaboration between Europe, Asia and Africa. The rich smell of coffee has always been and still remains a favorite scent of mine.

After ordering, I just sit, enjoy, and feel quite sophisticated with my cup, crushing out on the barista. I have been coming to this coffee shop for more than a month now. I don’t know a guy that doesn’t fall in love with the woman who makes his coffee, but still, I wonder if she remembers me? I’m in love with the barista, a black woman, with a caramel complexion, and sandy brown curly shoulder-length hair. She is petite and pretty, her face bright and rosy, creased with laughter. Even so, I still don’t know anything about this enchantress,

“What’s her name? Where is she from?”

I start wondering about every little detail of her life. Sometimes I start having a conversation with her in my head, but how do I flirt with a girl who is paid to be nice to me?

“For God’s sake, she’s at work,” I tell myself, “I bet that plenty of other guys almost think they’re in a relationship with her,” I shake my head.

I focus on my original task, which is to study for my GRE exam spending the entire day engrossed in my books. Time passes, unaware that I am the only client left, the sun has set. The barista walks straight to my table, and asks,

“Will you be staying long?”

“Is there a problem?” I ask.

“The shop is empty, so I figured I could close early today,” she says while smiling.

“Yeah, sure, of course,” I say packing my books. I then garner enough courage to say, “I come here almost every day, and I see you working quite often. You are the one that always gives me extra caramel. Today, I would like to know the name of the person that lavishly gives me extra caramel,” I smile timidly, waiting for a response.

“My name is Amhara,” she replies.

“Am-ha-ra, right?” I ask.

“Correct,” she says smiling.

“What a beautiful name. What does it mean?” I enquire.

“It’s Ethiopian. I am from Ethiopia. It means one who is beautiful,” she answers, blushing, and avoiding eye contact.




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Author of 'Greener on the Other Side' - his fiction has also appeared in 'Pear Drop Journal'. He is at work on a novel that delves into the intricacies, and conundrums of the meaning of manhood in today's world.

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