A Spittle of Charm
by Emmoretta P. Jones
Sitting in my favorite coffee house, I sipped on a mocha mint special. I had bought a large because with all my paperwork, I knew I would be there for awhile. After about an hour or so, she entered the café, and we immediately recognized each other from our workplace.
"Hey girl!" She waved as she walked towards me.
I smiled, "What brings you here?"
Though I believe we are probably around the same age, I admired her. She was pretty and smart, always with her head in a book.
"They told me at the last minute that the speaker isn’t coming," she spoke while setting up her laptop. "So now I gotta put together something really quick to present at tomorrow’s meeting." Frustrated, she rolled her eyes and plugged in the charger.
"You’ll do just fine. Go ‘head! Knock’em dead girl." Humored by my attempt to soothe her dismay over the short notice, she flashed a radiant smile. Obviously I succeeded. Perfectly shaped lips lightly coated with a flattering color framed by straight, white teeth – like the ones you see on toothpaste commercials.
Staring at me with beautiful, hazel eyes, she asked, "You come here a lot?" "Yes, this is my hangout. I tend to get more done when I come here—Too many interruptions at home."
She nodded her head in agreement.
"I’ve been coming to this cafe for as long as we’ve been working together, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen you here," I inquired.
"I live around here, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been here," she observed the familiar surroundings as she replied. "I used to come here a lot though. Actually, this is where my husband proposed to me."
"Wow! Tell me about it."
"Girl, back then I thought it was so romantic," she reminisced. "But when I think back to it… I was so silly."
"Well I think that’s very sweet."
She swatted her hand at me like I was a silly little fly, and then rose from her seat.
"I’m gonna get me a hot cup of coffee. I need something to get me through this."
The slender, graceful woman walked up to the coffee bar. I observed her momentarily. She seemed to have it all: looks—intelligence—career—an adoring husband (with that big rock on her finger). She had so much charm and class. Yes, I envied her, and I had to snap out of it before she turned around and saw me: a green-eyed monster with a head full of rattle-snakes and a mouth with long fangs dripping jealousy venom.
She returned, and after placing her medium-sized coffee on the table, she sat down. Her beverage was nice and hot with steamy smoke emitting from the frothy top. My drink was halfway gone and very cold by this time. It was a long since I had last taken a sip.
I went back to reading, and she began working on her laptop. For about a half hour, we were intense into our own creative worlds. My concentration was broken when she reached for the coffee cup. I looked up to see her taking a sip from the coffee cup—real classy, just as I expected. But what I didn’t expect was, in a split second, for her to spit the coffee out…in my direction! It appeared to go in slow motion as she tried to divert the saliva/java mist by slightly turning her head, just missing my face. She did, however, wet the cuffs of my sleeve and some of my hand before the rest landed on the floor.
"What’s wrong?! Did they make your coffee bad?" I grabbed a napkin and wiped my drizzled hand.
"No," shaking her head from side to side.
She had accidently reached for and drank from my cup!
"I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to…," she dabbed at her mouth and tongue with a bunch of napkins.
This chance meeting was completely altered by this mishap. I didn’t know which one of us felt more embarrassed – her, for picking up the wrong cup in the first place or me, for the idea that she was so grossed out by drinking after me. But when you think of the science behind the issue, if the tables were turned, I probably would’ve reacted in the same way.
"It’s okay. I understand how you feel," I reassured her.
One thing’s for sure, this was not one of her most charming moments. There wasn’t really much either of us could say after this exchange. She continued to wipe her mouth, and I, my hand. Then finally, a voice announcement came over the store speakers.
"Attention customers, our café will be closing shortly…"
Thank God the café would be closing in another twenty minutes. In silence we gathered our belongings and on the way out the door we exchanged our good-byes.
"See you back at the office."
The next day would be back-to-business as usual, however on that particular evening, we had had an extremely unforgettable café encounter.