grande chai tea latte

one half whole milk

one half chai concentrate

steam to 145

half an inch of foam

Edward Cullen walked into my life without a care in the world

(I assumed.)

He was wealthy

(I assumed.)


(I assumed.)


(I knew.)


Because I could tell by the way that he moved

Pure, aching tenderness

Pure, aching charisma

Eat your heart out


He comes here every Sunday

I mean, so do I, but it's different

Hell, I work here.

I'm here every god damn mother fucking second of my life

(Except Tuesday and Thursday)

(Except my sporadic classes at South Seattle CC)


Got a problem?


He comes at the same time, too

It's a common time

It's not strange or anything

He comes at noon

People are lazy on Sundays

They get up late, come in late, need espresso to make it through the afternoon


Like Sandra

She has two kids, Sandra. And a dog.

Sometimes she leaves her dog outside, tied up to the bike racks

I don't know

Her kids are always crazy I mean, they pull at her hair, her earrings

They're the type that hang people's legs

I mean, the type that accidentally change to the legs of a stranger while still thinking they're on Sandra's

I feel bad for the stranger

It's always the same reaction

There's a strange kid on my leg.

Fucking now what?

Nothing. You have to deal. Sucks.


Sandra comes in right before Edward

I don't even see Sandra anymore I just hear the alarm

Edward's next, Edward's next, Edward's next


I'm getting ahead of myself, though

I mean, I didn't know his name when I first met him

I mean, he didn't even introduce himself to me

I mean, I overheard his name being called out by one of his friends



He comes in like the beautiful people do

Smiling, little crease dimples

Lips slightly chapped

Biting cold

He shivers and it's still beautiful

Takes off his jacket

Takes off his athletic bag (It's slung over his shoulder when he walks in. It's always slung over his shoulder when he walks in)

Today there's an umbrella

He shakes off the rain, creating a mini puddle by the door

I'll be cleaning that later



"Hello," he says

And like a moth to a flame

I'm dead.


I smile

It's fake

I'm still dead

"What can I get for you?"


"Grande chai tea latte?"


I don't know if he's insecure or whatever, but everything he orders sounds like a question

Now, normally, that would put me off

Make up your damn mind

It's your damn order


But instead I just smile and nod

"Of course."


And I take his credit card

And bam, bam, bam

Just like that

It's over


I stand by the espresso machine

The douche is playing on the radio

Sorry, I mean John Mayer is playing on the radio

I've memorized the words

I only hear it every day


And I'm free, free fallin'

And I'm free, free fallin'


I'm not free

Or falling

Thanks anyway


I hand him his drink

I don't know his name (at this point, anyway)

Right now he's just red


Red lips

Red hair

Red eyes

Red ears

Red cheeks

Just red


He nods a thanks

I mean, he ducks his head just a bit.

He does the same when walking out the door

He doesn't make eye contact with most people

He doesn't make eye contact with me

I mean, it's not like I'm anything special

It's not like he saw me one day and had an epiphany

It's not like he was all,

"Oh, Bella Swan, you're so beautiful, you're so lovely, you're so clumsy (err, scratch that last part), you're so innocent, you have such small hands. I love you. Marry me?"

Because, three things


I dub this the Bella Swan triad:


I am undoubtedly average


I live my life unnoticed


I don't have small hands

Small hands are weird

You can't, like, hold things


That night, I close down the cafe

Outside, the stars are glowing faintly

The city lights are omnipresent



Like we can't stand too much natural beauty so we have to push it out, away

Replace it with ideals

Replace it when the ideals change

Knock it down, build it up.


I wipe off the tables



I call my apartment "Alice"

I mean, I didn't name my apartment

That would be weird

Alice just lives there

And it looks like she's the only one that lives there

Because I've yet to make a mark on anything


With anyone

She's out with her boyfriend when I come home

She usually is, anyway

It's not like this is surprising

It's kind of nice, actually

Splitting the rent with someone who doesn't even live here, I mean

Alice attends some classes with me at SSCS

Her boyfriend goes to UW

He lives in a frat

So, naturally, I changed his name from Jasper to Brosper

He's nice enough

He's not around much either


I think they love each other too much for anything else to matter

Is that healthy?


I fall asleep on the couch

When I wake up, it's like I've only blinked


Mondays are slow

I sit with my chin resting in my palm, my eyes drooping, my soul tired

The little bell above the door rings, but I don't hear it

I do, eventually, hear the

"Hello? Excuse me?"

I startle awake


"Sorry. Hi."


Well, hello, Red.


Seeing him without Sandra's preemptive presence throws me off

I mean, it isn't even a Sunday

Can't anyone be at least a little predictable anymore?


"What can I get for you?"


My thoughts are garbled, jumbled, broken

I'm surprised my words aren't the same


"Two grande chai lattes"

-he hesitates-





I ring him up.

He starts pulling money from his pocket.

It is crinkled.

Usually he uses a card, but not today.

He's 50 cents short

I tell him

He stares at me dumbly

His eyes open

Really open


They're green



I tell him again

"I need 50 more cents"

He digs his hands deep into his pockets

His face is endless

His face is something else, though, too

It's desperate


The bell chimes again

"Edward, is something wrong?"

This is the first time I've heard his name

It's monumental


The girl walking through the doorway has hair pulled back so tightly it looks painful

It's in a bun

Her skin is starched



She has on make up, an oversized coat, and ballet shoes dangling from curled fingers

She looks flustered, but happy


I want to breathe like her

Fill my lungs and taste the air


Edward turns around

"I'm 50 cents short"

She pulls change from her pocket


He blushes


He's a mumbler

I watch them walk out together, Edward's athletic bag slung over his shoulder


In their absence, nothing has changed

Except the knowledge that now I know his name.

i dont even know.

title's from the Shins song