Jesus, you really hate change. Even if it was something as simple as your usual coffee shop closing down and a new one opening up in its place, which was currently the case.
You glare up at the new sign through your shades, the glowing letters of "Harley's Hangout" bearing down on you like a... Well, like a neon sign. You check your watch and sigh- no time to find somewhere else. Hiking your laptop bag up farther on your shoulder, you make your way inside.
The first thing you notice is green. The walls have been repainted a mellow forest-y color, the old tables and booths have been switched out for furniture a shade darker than the walls, but green nonetheless. At least the tile is still gray, you think as you make your way up to the counter.
Thankfully, the place isn't crowded at all, so you can get in and out in a snap. After a brief wait behind a couple of people, you're at the front and oh my God, this guy is gorgeous.The boy standing in front of you is definitely not the sour, grumpy barista that you were used to. He, for lack of a more manly word, was beautiful. Blue eyes like those summer skies in Texas you remember, black and mussy hair that went this way and that but still seemed to fall in all of the most perfect places, and the cutest little overbite you've ever seen.
"Um, can I help you, sir?" The boy asks, not impatient, but a little worried and curious. Fuck, even his voice was godsent.
"Oh, uh." You finally realize you'd been sort of just staring at the poor guy. "Just a tall cappuccino." You finally manage to say.
The boy (John, his nametag says) smiles and nods, then punches some buttons on the register. "That'll be 2.49."
You hand him the five that you fish from your pocket. When he gives you your two dollars and fifty-one cents back, you immediately stick it in the empty tip jar. John's eyes light up. "Wow, uh, thanks! Come again soon."
You nod, hoping he doesn't notice the flush in your cheeks, then take the drink he hands you and turn to leave. When you get outside, you just sort of stand there for a moment thinking. God, Strider, you couldn't have been any less cool. What would Bro say if he'd seen that fine act of dumbassery?
Shaking off your embarrassment, you start down the sidewalk for work, making a promise to yourself that you would play things cool if you returned to the coffee shop.
For some reason you return the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and every day after that before work. However, you'd managed to keep calm and collected after your first encounter with John. You'd found that the boy was there more days than not, and after your third visit he would wave to you and say hello, even when he was waiting tables instead of working the counter.
Finally, a couple weeks after your first visit, you'd decided that you were going to visit on a Saturday morning and sit in, so maybe you could actually get to know the guy. He was working the counter that day- damn. So you'd tried again the next Saturday, but he wasn't there. On your third, and what you decided would be your last, Saturday visit, John was there waiting tables.
Your heart skipped a beat, when you took your seat at a lone table and he walked up to you notepad in hand. "Oh, hey! It's sunglasses dude."
Ouch, that's what he calls you? You decide to change that. "My name's Dave." You say with a smile.
John smiles back and your heart does a funny little jump. "Nice to finally meet you, Dave. What can I get you? Same as always?"
You nod. "You know me so well."
The other boy giggles. "I'll be right out with that."
When he turns to leave you bring your arm up to sit on the table so you can rest your palm in your hand. You ponder just asking the guy out already, but that would be way too fucking forward and what if he said no and he probably wasn't even into guys an-
"Here you go, one plain ole' cappuccino."
You look up as John sets your drink in front of you. "Thanks." You pick it up and go to take a sip when you notice John is still standing there, and he has a drink of his own in hand. You turn to look at him over the edge of your coffee.
He flushes bright red. "Can I, uh, join you? It's my break."
Your eyes widen for a second but you quickly regain your composure despite your heart's quickened pace. "Oh, sure."
John beams as he takes a seat across from you. "So tell me about yourself. You come here all the time and I don't know anything about you." He laughs nervously, then takes a sip of his drink to cover it up.
"Okay, uh, my name is Dave Strider, for one. I work over at my bro's record shop managing money and accounts and shit like that. Nothing too interesting." You nod your head John's way. "Tell me something about you."
"My name is John Egbert and I, haha, well, I work here!" He blushes and giggles a little. It's the sweetest sound you've ever heard. "My cousin Jade owns this place and gave me a job here."
"That's cool." You look over towards the counter and notice a girl similar to a girl John with green eyes glancing over your way. "That her?" You ask, motioning subtly with your cup.
John glances over and then buries his head in his hands. "God, why is she watching me like a kid? It's like I can't have a date with anyone!"
You hide your side behind your cup but raise an eyebrow. "This is a date?"
John lifts his head and his blue eyes go wide. "I, um, no- not if you- oh, fuck, I'm sorry." He looks down at the table. "No, I guess not."
You force back a chuckle and a happy grin as you set your cup down to pull a pen out of your pocket and pull over a napkin. You scrawl down your number and pass it over to John. "Here, call me if you want to go on a real date. Like one where you're not at work."
John picks up the napkin and stares at the number for a minute, then he looks up at you. "Are you serious? You want to go on a date with me?"
"Why would I give you my number if I didn't?"
"Oh, I-" John looks back down at the napkin and starts to grin. He looks at you again and nods. "Okay, awesome. I'll- I'll call you tonight."
You can't help but give a little grin of your own. "Please do. I'd be really fuckin' grateful if I could see you without all of this damn green blinding me."
"John, break's over." The girl, Jade, calls from the counter.
"I gotta go." John says with a smile. "I will. Call you tonight, I mean. Bye, Dave." He says as he stands with a little wave.
You wave back, watching him go as a little blossom of happiness blooms in your chest. You're finally going on a real date with him. A real date.
Something tells you his eyes are going to look even more amazing when the color isn't obstructed by all of this green.