2 December 2012

of him, and her, and coffee-stained napkins // by jessica

  it was a pleasant sunday afternoon, on which shafts of light shone brightly in through the front window of the coffee shop, illuminating particles of dancing dust. the sounds of mocha-machines hissing and jazz records playing mingled softly in the background. like every sunday, he sat in a booth at the very back of the cafe, writing the contents of his soul out on a coffee-stained napkin. like every sunday, she served fresh coffee to customers at the counter with a black apron tied around her waist, her dark hair twisted into a slightly messed bun, and a smile on her lips. there was nothing new about the ink on his hands, nor the question she asked each customer: "one shot or two?" nothing new about the way he sipped his coffee quietly, wiping clean his upper lip on his sleeve so as not to further soil the precious words on the napkin before him. nothing new about the way she would tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear before refilling a customer's mug, the steam lingering in the air between them like words unsaid.

  if any onlookers had paid note to the couple's actions, they would have witnessed the only thing which made this sunday different from all the others -- a glance. such a simple, innocent gesture, yet it changed the fate of them both. it was only a short moment in which something unseen prodded him to look up from his writing and notice the way her lashes cast shadows across her slightly flushed cheeks as she poured someone a fresh cup of coffee, the way that the sunlight brought out the red in her auburn hair, framing her angelic face in flames that didn't burn... yet for the first time in too long, something deep inside him stirred. as she moved away from his line of vision, he grabbed a new napkin and began writing again. he began to write her story -- a story far less melancholy than any other he had ever written, and the most hopeful piece of fiction he'd ever produced, for it included himself. he wrote of her, all that he knew of her, and all that he wanted to know. he wrote of her, and him, and the possibility of them. he wrote of what had been, and what could be. then, with all of the courage he could muster, he paid his tab, left a tip just barely tucked under the napkin in question, and walked out of the coffee shop, into the light of the fading sun.

  later, sitting on a bus riding homeward, he stared out the window to his right and wondered what her reaction would be when she found it. he pictured her frowning with disdain, the space between her brows puckering with disgust as she crumpled up the scrap of paper that bore his heart's yearning, and threw it away. over and over again, this picture played through his mind. and then, with a sinking disappointment, he wondered whether or not she would find it at all. perhaps someone else would clear the table, and without a second glance, toss his most-difficult confession into the garbage. 

  the next day, it was with a melancholy demeanor that he entered the cafe, and turned to walk towards his usual table. half a step he'd taken when he stopped, his heart in his throat. there, at his table, sat the waitress. today, her hair fell in cascades of fire around her shoulders, rather than being pinned up in a messy bun. today, her eyes were anything but downcast, taking him in like a curious bird, yet with an underlying shyness that took his breath away. today, she carried no pot of steaming, fresh coffee, and her lips had no words for the patrons seated around them. she held only a coffee-stained napkin, which contained enough words to last them both for the rest of the afternoon, while her lips silently curled into a friendly smile.
© Jessica Smith, 2012
About the author:
Hi there, I'm Jessica, a nineteen-year-old daughter of the King of Kings. I was born and raised in the beautiful of Phoenix, Arizona. I love to read, write, sing, and take lots of pictures. Never leave a plate of cookies withing ten feet of me, unless you don't intend to ever see them again. Folk and indie music inspire me to no end, and I adore a good monsoon. If you wanna know more about me, (and maybe become my best friend) follow me on my blogtumblr, or twitter.
Hope to meet you soon! xo

And to close, a message from the authoress of the blog:
Hey guys! Hope you enjoyed this lovely lady’s post. Go and check out her blog, coz she’s minty biscuits. I hope you’re all living it up at the moment. Wish you guys could be here -- I miss my little blogging space! If you want to know what I’m up to while I’m not blogging and in New Zealand, I’ll be tweeting. In the meantime, keep enjoying these lovely blog kidnappers. They rock. Be good, kids!


  1. Jess(haha, there are two of you!) THIS IS INCREDSKI.


  2. Wow...what a lovely story, Jess! You should definitely write a book about it sometime. ;) I'll be one of those people in line to buy it!

    Take care,

  3. ohmygosh, GIRL! I've been trying to remember to me more authentic with my comments, and not just gush about how it love it so much, but THIS. gah!! I seriously can't describe it's loveliness. you are so talented at writing! he wrote of her, and him, and the possibility of them. that is my favorite line. this belongs in a book, Jess!

  4. your writing captured me.
    the way you painted the people and there feelings was truly awe inspiring.
    i felt like I was there, smelling the coffee and watching as this touching scene played out.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. aww that is so sweet! great writing Jessica(:

    xx Riley

  7. oh mah wordyness. okay, so I can be fussy about writing, but your writing? serrisly, girl, your writing is stunning. I absolutely love it. can I read the rest of the story? pleeeeaaasse? thanks for kidnapping!

  8. ALDFKJ ASDOIH YEWOIAHFLSDJFA Jessica what are you doing to me turning my heart into a puddle of feels golly gosh you are crazy talented. Seriously, I love this, and you, and it's perfect, and there are two Jess's at the same time. 0_0

  9. THIIIS. I want to read it all over again; it's just so beautiful and makes me go "awwh!". Such a talented writer, you are. xx

  10. My wordyness. This was simply stunning, Jessica! I loved every word. You are a wonderful writer. I could literally see everything you described. I smelled that coffee and admired her hair. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  11. Wow, this was amazing, Jessica! I loved this so much...you have such a way of capturing a story and holding a readers' interest until the end...! :)

  12. oh my goodness jessica. this is absolutely marvellous!! you really do have a way with words. i could just picture everything as if it was happening before my eyes, and i imagined myself as another customer; a girl with long, straight golden-blonde hair and hipster glasses like the ones in my profile picture <--- ; sitting at a table off to the left, with a canon rebel t3i resting on the table, and a steaming peppermint mocha warming her hands. (changing tenses;) the moment i see the lovely barista, and the simple customer lock eyes on that crisp, early monday morning; my mocha is slowly planted on the chestnut table, and my hands delicately pop the lense-cap of my canon. i draw it towards my right eye to capture the priceless moment as the sun reflects off her hair, and bokeh dances in the background.

    i am now officially inspired. :)

    xoxo doll ♥

  13. this was captivating, Jess! By the time I reached the end I was wishing there was much more. I love the story idea of love happening in a coffee shop. Something exciting and so sweet about it. :)


    p.s. Jess, I miss your posts, but you picked some lovely kidnappers!! :)