A/N- Hi, just a little one-shot I had the idea for while working on my other fics which I hope to start posting soon. I had this idea after hearing the song 'Beach Baby' by Bon Iver especially the lyric "only hold till your coffee warms."
The wind swept past as I moved lightly from foot to foot trying to keep my toes from going numb and falling off in this cold winter weather. I had a scarf and gloves and a coat it seemed disproportionate that the lower half of my body has nothing but a pair of worn out jeans, old socks and the bad foot ware choice of converse in such cold weather but I refuse to wear those furry boot things everyone else seems to have. I pulled back my sleeve revealing the slowly ticking watch but I think this is what I deserve for being up at six in the morning on a Monday…well almost six if it were six the stupid coffee shop would be open and I wouldn't be waiting outside like an idiot.
I huddled closer to the shop leaning in and pressing my shoulder against the large window. The lights were on inside but no one was there yet the whole street seemed eerily quiet it was something I rather liked about this time in the morning getting to see the world wake up.
I heard her before I saw her, the clacking of her heels against the pavement made an unmistakable sound that echoed down the passing alleyways. She drew my eyes like a flame her beauty was unreal her face was white like snow but has glimmers of red most likely from the cold. She had her hands deep in the pockets of a green pea coat the first few buttons were undone in a fashionable way. I realised I had been staring as she approached and I averted my gaze to the ground expecting her to pass by as she stopped and looked inside the coffee place lightly trying the door only to have it clack ceremoniously against the lock. She let it go with a small huff and an annoyed stare much like I had done ten minutes ago. It was silent again as she stood at the other side of the door leaning just like me. She gave me a quick look and a one sided smile probably glad not to be the only one out here at this time. We both stared out into the empty street our heavy breathes seemed to fill the air and she seemed to shuffle as I seemed to look without even realising it as she took a small green book one I recognised instantly.
This stranger not only a stranger but a beautiful one to be exact that gets coffee before six am and carries around a tattered old copy of Walt Whitman's 'leaves of grass'. The smoke of my breath seemed to give away my amazement as I covered it with a small cough. She appeared immersed in the written word her mossy green eyes slowly moving over as her lips seemed to almost ghost the words. She was a curious little stranger as I found myself peeking at her under the guise of looking up the street. Her un-gloved fingers caressed the page before swiftly turning it over.
In my attraction I missed be boy as he passed right in front of me keys jingling as he opened the door throwing a sorry smile over his shoulder.
"Sorry for the wait, you guys can take a seat and I'll get your orders but it takes a few minutes for the machines to start up."
He didn't look even twenty yet as his baby face smiled and he held open the door. I shrugged I wasn't one to argue or make a scene it would take the time it took. The boy disappeared and it was nice to get out of the cold thou it wasn't much warmer inside. The coffee shop was small I knew this from the small amount of times I had been here. There were only three tables and I sat at the middle table in front of the window as she took the far away table directly facing me. She placed her book on the table before taking a seat and the boy reappeared wearing an apron and carrying a note pad.
I placed my order and gave him the money as he moved over to her and I watched as she smiled up at him almost grinning her pearly white teeth shining in the dim morning light. I don't know what it was about her that seemed to draw me in I only realised I hadn't stopped thinking about her. I wonder if she noticed me…
Our tables were so close I could easily say hi and introduce myself but then what else do I say? I never did this kind of thing…but I had never seen anyone like her before either.
"Stranger, if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" I whispered the words and as soon as they had left my lips my brain seemed to scream, 'what are you doing? She's going to think you're nuts.'
Her head peeked up from the book the spiky tuffs of hair bouncing on her head at the sudden movement. "You know Walt Whitman." She asked a curious smile playing on her lips that seemed to move along to me without my knowledge.
"Know him, he lived in my fridge for two months." I laughed at the memory as she chuckled slightly, "It's a long story." I continued.
"Would you like to sit with me?" She asked her gaze moving to the table like she was embarrassed, "I don't much like sitting alone."
I was truly glad she didn't think I was crazy and she wanted me to sit with her maybe this wasn't a bad moment after all. I got up and moved the short distance taking the seat across from her. "Bella Swan…I apparently quote poems to strangers," I laughed nervously extending my hand.
She took it lightly and her hand was delicate and freezing cold as I wrapped mine around it protectively.
"Alice Cullen…I like to carry around poetry books that no one ever seems to know…well until you that is."
We exchanged nervous looks and coy smiles that seemed to make the blood rush around my body just that little bit faster. She seemed to look at me but see through me as if I were made of glass and it frightened me to have someone look at me in such a way but as much as I wanted it to stop I wanted it to continue.
Alice pushed the book across the table to my side as I looked down at the weathering cover. "What's your favorite?" She asked in complete serenity.
I picked up the book letting it fall open to the middle looking for the page number I knew so well. The book was old as the pages were yellowing and frail as I moved them lightly. I held the book open as I passed it back but before it reached her she stopped it with her hand pushing it back into my chest.
"Poetry should be heard…read it to me."
I knew she was completely serious as she looked at me and my gazed moved from the page to her and back again. She couldn't be serious? I spun my head scanning the small coffee shop my mind knew it was empty but my eyes had to see for themselves.
"Okay…" I stuttered gripping the sides of the pages keeping my head down. "Passing stranger, you do not know. How longingly I look upon you. You must be he I was seeking Or she I was seeking (It comes to me as a dream) I have somewhere surely Lived a life of joy with you, All is recall'd as we flit by each other, Fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, Were a boy with me or a girl with me, I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh as we pass, You take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night, alone I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again I am to see to it that I do not lose you." I took a much-needed breath as I finished and I could feel the heat of a blush creeping onto my cheeks.
"Do you think that's true? That you can belong to someone else…a stranger no less."
I hadn't given it much thought but I guess it was true sitting here talking to a complete stranger. What if this is all we get and we are never to meet again? What if this is the play of her life and I'm just a verse? "Maybe we all belong to each other."
"It's a nice thought." She smiled and it dropped into silence.
"Which is your favorite?" I asked pushing the book back.
She didn't take notice, as her eyes seemed to glaze for just a moment as she looked up at nothing in particular.
"Only themselves understand themselves, and the like of themselves. As souls only understand Souls."
"So you believe in soul mates?" I assumed
"I didn't say that," She smirked, "But yes I do in a sense but that's why I like Walt Whitman. I liked that he loved strangers, I mean he may have loved them for an hour or a second just a passing glance didn't mean he wasn't in love with them for that moment that he didn't love them with all he had."
"I agree with you." I replied thinking over her words not only was she beautiful she was smart and well read; I wonder where she had been all my life. "Love has become like a science find someone date for an acceptable amount of time and then be scared of who admits it first."
"So your usually the one to wait, to not take the risk and say it first."
"Love is holding a gun to someone's head hoping they won't pull the trigger." I stated.
"Don't quote sponge bob to me, do you say it first or don't you?" She laughed as I just gapped in amazement that she knew the quote.
I bit my lip as the answer seemed to get caught in my throat I was slightly ashamed to tell her this I didn't know why. I just didn't want to tell her. "I'm the one that waits okay I'm the coward." I admitted with a throaty laugh.
"It's okay." She reached her hand across the table and lightly placed it over mine. The atmosphere seemed to change like the flick of a switch and the air was heavy between us. Her touch was gentle and comforting but still cold.
"The first step is admitting you have a problem."
I laughed at her somber expression, "I thought that was A.A"
"It's still good advice," she shrugged.
"Well I promise you, I'll try to work on it," I smiled.
She withdrew her hand and I instantly missed her touch it seemed everything in me wanted to jerk forward just to be closer to her but I just fidgeted slightly in my seat. It felt odd to be talking about these things at this time in this place with this person but it felt right as well.
It only felt like seconds but before I knew it two cups of coffee were placed at the table and I took mine quickly placing it in my cold hands feeling the warmth radiating through the paper cup. My fingers seemed to relax and I noticed Alice doing the same. I put my hand back in my pocket feeling for the pen I had there, working in an office I always seemed to have random things in my pockets at the end of the day. I scribbled something on a napkin clicking the pen and putting it away.
We both got up and I checked the time realizing wondering how much had passed. I held the door open for Alice, as we both seemed to linger coffee cups once hot now starting to linger into comforting warmth.
I held out the napkin as she took it with a smile, "Don't read it till you leave."
She nodded as I took a step to the right and her to the left,
"Goodbye…" I waved as I continued in the direction of my truck.
I wanted to stay rooted in this spot but as she left I had to do the same I turned taking a few strides before I opened the white napkin. In a blue messy handwriting it read…'For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.'
I couldn't help the childlike grin that appeared on my face from such heartfelt words.
I turned to the sound of my name as Bella had yelled down the street. My heart seemed to get a kick of adrenalin from hearing her speak my name and it buzzed all the way to my fingertips, I never knew such a simple thing could have such an impact, but maybe it was just her.
"What?" I yelled back getting a disturbing look from a passing paperboy.
"I love you!" She chuckled hitting herself in the head with the palm of her hand.
I chuckled lightly, "I love you too."
A/N Thank you for reading:] I hope you enjoyed it and every review is a lovely surprise:]