A/N: This is a little short ficlet that has been bouncing around in my head for a while now. It will be 9 chapters long and they will all be pretty short. So updates should come quickly.
Big hugs and thanks to my beta Krismom.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; they belong to Stephenie Meyer.
The first time I met her…
The coffee shop was located just off campus. I had spotted it on the drive in with my mother. So after we had everything settled in my room and said our emotional goodbye's, I walked the short distance. Since I was in no particular hurry, I moved at a leisurely pace enjoying the gentle breeze that swirled through the elms and oak trees towering above me.
Though the campus was a bustling crowd of people, with all the new arrivals moving to their respective homes for the next three years, and parents kissing and wishing their children luck. The shop was relatively empty. I was immediately refreshed by the change of pace. Time stood still… for the moment at least.
An elderly couple sitting out on the patio, eating scones and sipping tea smiled at me as I opened the door. A few other tables were occupied by single bodies hovering over laptops, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi that was advertised by the sticker on the window, but that was it.
The ting-ting of metal against metal sounded my arrival, but I was assaulted by the heavenly aroma that enveloped the tiny store. Coffee and tea, pastries and cookies, cinnamon and spices evaded my nose, and I inhaled it greedily. It was a food junkies wet dream all wrapped in one tiny room, beating the drums to my stomach through my nostrils. Delicious.
I took my time looking over the menu since there wasn't anyone behind the counter. And truthfully, I had no clue what half of it was. I lived in a small town and wasn't privy to the new age coffee fad that had swept the nation via Starbucks.
There wasn't anything advertised on the over-sized chalkboard that read black coffee or even one lump or two. What the heck was a café au lait? It was all a guess to me at that point, and I struggled to find something in the coded wording that resembled Folgers or Maxwell House.
So, when she came around the corner I was quite certain she caught the dumbfounded look on my face. It didn't matter, not really. Because the way her hair fell in soft, dark curls over her shoulders, down her back, and around her flawless face, I was soon gaping at her and blinking like a raver in a room full of strobe lights. Beautiful.
Her eyes caught mine, and they were literally the color of citrine. I didn't even know what that was exactly. They're brown right? I just knew that they were beautiful, and I was lost in them and their sparkly depths. I shut my mouth and squared my shoulders, refusing to drool like a kid in a candy shop and act like the gentleman mother had risen.
She smiled and asked me what I wanted, and I pointed to something on the middle board down towards the bottom without taking my eyes off her. She made the drink, mechanically, expertly, and I was transfixed by her every move. She looked like an angel. Ethereal.
If the aromas of the shop were what heaven smelled like, then she was what it looked like.
Everything about her was beautiful. From her soft, feminine shoulders to her petite but sturdy frame, she was the personification of, what could only be described as, a fair maiden. Even when she wiped her hands on the green apron she was wearing, which mother would have had a fit about.
You want to take a picture, she had asked me while handing me the cup wrapped in cardboard. I stumbled through a few words like no and sorry and ma'am, though not necessarily in that order, before running a hand over my face and smiling widely at her. She had quite literally struck me stupid, and I had no words.
The words that could possibly match the feelings she had awakened in me hadn't been invented yet.
She asked my name, and I said Edward Cullen offering her my hand in greeting. When I asked for her name in return she laughed and the sound was delightful, like wind chimes on a hot summer day or the ting, ting, ting of rain against your window at night. Magnificent.
I stared at her confused, wondering why she thought it would be funny that I asked her name, even though I could listen to the sound of her laughter and never grow tired of it. Silly, she called me before chastising me for ogling her instead of listening when she introduced herself before even asking for my name. I hung my head in shame, tearing my eyes away from her for the first time since she had walked into the room.
When her hand rested on my shoulder my eyes searched for hers eagerly. You're cute, Edward Cullen she said with a laugh and moved to tend to her next customer. Bella, I heard the gentle, gray-haired woman say as I floated through the door. Her name couldn't have been more perfectly suited.
The first time I met her was the first day of the rest of my life.