Written On the Sky
“Don’t do it.”
Ella looked up from the crumpled cash she was placing on the counter. She blinked at the guy snapping a lid onto her coffee cup. Small silver hoops winked against his dark ears. She tilted her head in surprise at the sky-blue of his eyes. How had she missed those before? He flashed a grin and handed over her cup.
“Uh,” she said, distracted from her morbid thoughts by an unexpected dimple. “Don’t do what?”
He shrugged. “Whatever it was you were thinking just then. Don’t do it.”
“Oh right.” She flushed and lifted her cup as she turned. “Thanks for the joe.”
“Hang on,” he said when Ella’s hand pressed the door to leave. She paused. “Ester, cover me for a sec?”
A couple customers huddled at their tables around the small shop, reading or sipping silently. Slow evening. The woman drying mugs at the counter lifted her chin, glanced up and down Ella once, then returned to her drying.
The guy stepped around the register and met Ella at the door. When he pushed it open a bell dinged. Outside he took off his green apron and folded it on the curb of the tiny parking lot.
Ella frowned and shook her head, unsure what to do. He gestured for her to sit, then sat on the cement. He pulled a pod with earbuds out of his back pocket and scrolled to a song as Ella sat cross-legged. When the music started, she couldn’t help but close her eyes to listen.
Not what she’d expected.
It finished much too soon.
When she opened her eyes again she was immediately distracted by that dimple. She looked away as she quickly handed the buds back and fiddled with the top of her cup.
“So?” he asked.
He chuckled soft. “Here,” he said as he took the cup from her hands and leaned slightly. She held her breath, again not knowing what to do. He pulled a Sharpie out of his back pocket and hunched over the cup.
“Do you have a Mary Poppin's pocket back there or something?”
He didn’t look up, but smiled. “Is it sad that I get that reference?”
When he handed the cup back a line of black digits scrawled under the word ‘Chase’ in typical guy scribble.
Ella quirked one brow. “Is that your name or a suggestion?”
“You’ll have to call the number to find out.”
“You should do that,” he said.
He paused, something indistinguishable written on the sky of his eyes.“Whatever it was you were thinking just then. Do that instead.”