“Tall nonfat chai.”
She gets up from her table, leaving behind her light blue hoodie with the millions of folds that remember the shape of her seated body. She takes the drink from the counter with both hands, raises it to her lips and sips, returns, comfortably lowering into the hug that her hoodie kept waiting. She picks up her book, Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy, gently removes the Belle and Sebastian bookmark that held her spot for her, and begins reading. Her flip-flops drop to the floor one at a time as she playfully dangles her feet in the air. A cool breeze hits them as the door opens.
He puts down his brown messenger bag and walks to the counter. A moment later he returns, hikes up his pants a little, and sits, opening the bag. He pulls out a worn copy of Perks of Being a Wallflower, wrinkled almost as much as her hoodie moments earlier. The bright green cover has so many folds that it looks coated in white stripes.
Someone yells, “Tall chai!” and he gets up, leaving behind his belongings and a lonely brown hoodie similarly crinkled. He returns with the drink and a napkin. As he picks up his book to read, a bookmark falls out.
It gently floats around and lands by the girl’s bare foot. She feels the current of air, ever placid, against her foot and looks down. She picks it up, recognizing the Mario Brothers theme and the many worn lines of age and use.
She looks up and he’s standing at her table, waiting…
“It’s really old.”
She hands him the obvious treasure from his childhood.
He waits for a second then goes back to his table.
I love the simplicity of this.