The first time I saw him he ordered two venti coffees with room. It was simple enough, and not usually something that would be ingrained in my memory. A construction worker of sorts, his orange vest and hard hat said, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. Across his face was the warmest smile I’ve ever seen. One of those qualities that I’ve always been strongly attracted to is smile lines. I love when the corners of your eyes wrinkle with a grin. Adorable, and attractive.
He came in day after day, his scruff growing and shrinking. I found myself looking forward to his two coffees. Stephanie would say he reminded her of a kindergartener. His smile and happy face every morning. Ashleigh referred to him as the real cute guy that always got two coffees. And me, well I called him the Smile guy.
In a busy coffee shop you create bonds with all the people that come in every day. Smile guy, and all of us baristas had become friends.
One day we had been extremely busy, and the line was all the way to the tiled lobby. I was working on register while Jen and Ashleigh were on bar. I watched as Smile guy walked into the hotel and found his place in the line. On this day he had brought another construction worker with him. It must have been the second venti coffee. I struggled to make eye contact with his smile-wrinkled eyes.
Eye contact: it means that you can come down to the end of the bar and pick up your regular, and pay later. It means a lot when a barista likes you enough to let you off without paying, or tipping for that matter. I finally acquired the attention of his heart stuttering smile. I was hooked.
Today he came in at 7:30 and got his usual. It wasn’t something that I needed, but I just wanted to put a name to the face. It was like a piece to the puzzle of this adorable man.
“Did you want a receipt?” I asked with a smile across my lips. With a shake of his head I tossed the white paper in the garbage next to me. “Can I ask what your name is?” The question bubbled to my lips, and my heart raced. My cheeks felt warm and I listened.
“Brian.” He said, “My name is Brian.”
“Hi Brian,” I said with a little spice, “I’m Kelly. It’s nice to officially meet you.” Heart throb.
As is normal I smiled and made myself scarce while he added all his sugars, and creams to the coffee, but today as he left I caught his eyes. With the wrinkles around both, he smiled and said—“Bye Kelly, I’ll see you later.”
It was nothing special to anyone else, but Kelly is my name, and he said it. Tonight I look forward to tomorrow ready to meet Brian again.