The coffee shop wasn’t busy. There were a few students typing about on their laptops, some couples holding hands while they spoke to each other in whispers, and a small group of friends catching up with each other, their occasional loud giggles causing other customers to give them dirty looks.
The shop was peaceful, serene. And I was anything but. My foot tapped tapped on the hardwood floor and I was picking on the edge of the shirt. I jumped whenever I heard the bell that rang when a customer came inside and my heart stopped when I looked at who entered.
hey i’m in town maybe we can catch up? it’s been a while
I got that text 3 days ago and it’s been the only thing on my mind since.
Or that’s what I was trying to convince myself I didn’t do.
Of course I didn’t nearly have a panic attack at the sight of his name. No, I didn’t purposefully take longer to get ready today. How dare you think that I tried to perfect the dressed-up-but-not-really-trying look with this outfit.
I wasn’t freaking out.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’m practically shitting myself. My palms felt clammy so I wiped them down on my pants. There were two coffee mugs in front of me. One for myself and the other for him . Shaking my head, I pulled out my phone and tried to distract myself but when it opened it showed our text chain.
sure! meet at the usual cafe?
Now I regret ever sending that message. I should never have agreed to meeting with him. I should just go now and tell him that something came up. But before I could make my quick escape, the bell rang again. Like the other times, I looked up at the door and saw him.
He scanned the room until his eyes met mine. He smiled and I felt butterflies erupt in my stomach. Tom was still as handsome as ever. He sauntered over to my table.
“Hey.” Tom took the seat in front of me.
A silence came over us as we took each other in. His hair was shorter and his shoulders more broad. His once boyish features had grown more mature. It had been about 3 years since we last saw each other. We’d broken up on good terms. His work was getting so much busier and we’d decided it would be better for the both of us to just break up.
“Is this for me?” Tom pointed at the steaming mug.
“Oh, yeah. I got here a bit early so I decided to order for the both of us. I don’t know if you still like your coffee the same way but…” I trailed off. Tom picked the mug up and took a small sip.
He made exaggerated faces as he tasted the coffee. I giggled as he kept on his serious facade. “Just how I like it. You used to order this for me every time we’d go here.” Tom mused.
“Old habits, I guess.” I ran my finger across the rim of the cup, trying to keep my hands from shaking. Why was I so nervous? Oh my god.
“Yeah… so how have you been?” Tom leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees.
“I’ve been good. Uh, I got a job at a marketing firm.”
“That’s great! Still going after your dream of owning one of your own?”
“You remember that?” I was taken aback by that. That was just one of my stupid dreams that I mentioned to him in passing while we were cuddling after we…
“Y-yeah, you used to talk about it a lot.” Tom took a longer sip of his coffee. I never mentioned it except for that one time.
“Right.” Just let it go. “Congrats on your movie, by the way. It was great.”
“You saw it?” Tom’s eyes went wide.
“Of course I did.” Not like I went on opening weekend, nope.
“Oh, thanks. It means a lot coming from you.” Tom wiped his palms on his jeans.
“Really? Why?” I scrunched my eyebrows together.
“Well, you weren’t exactly shy about sharing your opinions on my movies before. So, if you liked this one I must’ve done something right.” The corners of his lips twitched upwards.
“Can’t have your head getting too big, superstar.” I smirked and just like that we were chatting and joking around like we used to. Hanging out with Tom felt so normal. It’s like we never spent 3 years apart. Like nothing ever changed between us. You’re not together anymore, don’t forget that. We’d talked for hours that we didn’t even notice that it had gotten dark outside.
“Damn, is it that late already?” Tom peered out the windows.
“I guess so. Time flies when you’re having a good time right?”
“I know.” He chuckled. The both of us stayed where we were, not bothering to move.
“If you want, we could go back to my apartment. Have some tea, chat some more.” I offered.
“Is this your way of trying to get me in bed? I remember you being more creative than that.” Tom raised an eyebrow. My face flushed and I rolled my eyes.
“In your dreams, Holland.” I collected my thing and stood up. Walking past him, I felt his eyes follow my form. I glanced back. “You coming?”
I walked to the door and didn’t need to look back around to know that he had followed me. The loud sound of the chair moving back against the wood and quick shuffling told me that. As I pushed the door open, the cool breeze hit my face and a flustered Tom Holland scrambled to my side.
“Eager?” I laughed. He chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Just excited to be around you again.” Tom sent a boyish smile my way.
There goes the butterflies again. I cleared my throat and looked away from him. “Shall we?”
We walked together in comfortable silence. The occasional conversation would start but eventually we’d fall into that silence. My apartment wasn’t that far from the cafe we were in so it wasn’t long before we reached the brick face of the apartment building. We entered the elevator where Tom and I stood on either side of the elevator as if we were afraid to be close to each other.
Once the doors opened, I led us to my apartment and unlocked the door. I cringed at the sight of all my things scattered across the room. Tom whistled.
“You still can’t keep your room clean can you, darling?” Tom pushed forward into my living room.
“I didn’t really plan on bringing someone home today.” I called out to him as I entered my kitchen. The tea bags were up in the back of the cupboard and I turned around so that Tom wouldn’t see the red tinge that formed on my cheeks when he called me ‘darling’. I began heating up the water in my kettle.
“Hey,” Tom called out to me. I looked over at him and saw that he was holding my small music box. My breath caught in my throat. “I gave you this.”
He looked back at me with an unreadable expression. Tom turned the small crank and a soft melody filled the room. La vie en rose. I used to sing this a lot when we were together. When the melody ended, a different kind of silence filled the room. Far from the comfortable silence we were in when were walking home. Tom opened his mouth as if to say something but he was cut off by the whistle of the kettle.
I thanked whoever was up there for cutting the tension in the room. The kettle was letting out some steam and I turned it off. I poured the water into two mugs. The silence in the room was adding to the growing tension between us so I played music to alleviate some of it. Once I finished up the tea, I joined Tom back in the living room.
“Here.” I pushed the mug towards him.
“Thanks.” He took the mug in his hands but didn’t drink from it. I, on the other hand, took a big gulp just so that I could do something.
“Do you remember the time we went stargazing on your roof?” Tom started. “Your parents basically kicked me out for staying too late but I climbed up to your window anyways.”
“You told me to grab all my blankets and pillows. I could barely get up on the roof and you pulled me up. But you pulled me too hard, even without your superhero muscles,” I nudged his arm with my elbow. He chuckled. “And I crashed onto the roof and I made the loudest sound that basically echoed throughout the whole street.”
“I’m still surprised no one woke up to check on us.”
“I know, right?” I laughed at the memory.
“Then we sat there for hours just watching the stars.” Tom said in a far away tone.
“Yeah. That was a good day. No jobs to worry about, no rent to pay.” I leaned back against the soft plush of the couch.
“No paparazzi following your every move, no crazy fans.” Tom leaned back as well. I saw him turn his head to face me. I turned as well and met his gaze. The butterflies in my stomach went haywire again.
“The simple days.” I whispered. “I miss them.”
“I miss you.”
It took a while for Tom’s words to sink in. Did he just…
“I miss you.” Tom repeated. “I… I always miss you.”
“Sometimes, I find myself thinking of you and how we used to be and I’d start stalking you on Instagram and I see how happy you are and then I start feeling creepy cause now I know you went to Paris last year for your birthday and we haven’t talked in 3 years and now you’re looking at me like I grew a third head and maybe I should just go.” Tom rambled quickly that I could barely catch up with what he was saying, His cheeks were red and he stood up quickly, basically running towards the door.
“Tom!” I scrambled off the couch and grabbed hold of his wrist. I pulled him to face me and I was met with sad eyes. Almost… longing. “Did you mean it?”
“I-” Tom’s voice was shaking. “I’m not over you. I don’t think I ever got over you.”
I took in a shaky breath. Wasn’t this what I’ve wanted to hear since we broke up? “B-but weren’t you with that girl last year? It was all over social media.”
“She was just a friend. I… I haven’t been with anyone since you.”
My heart was racing. I could hear my pulse beating in my ears. My grip on Tom’s wrist loosened and I let my hand drop. He… I could feel tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Why am I crying? My head was spinning. He’s not over me.
Tom sighed and ran a hand down his face. “Oh god and now I made you cry. I’ll let myself out. I-It was nice seeing you again.” He turned around to go to the door and I finally snapped out of my daze. I’m not losing him again. I ran to him and stood in front of him. Tom had tears in his eyes. “Please, just let me go.”
“No. Tom… I’m not over you too.”
“You’re not?” I shook my head. A few tears came down my face and Tom wrapped his arms around me tightly. I buried my face in his chest and sobbed. He still smelled the same. He rubbed his hand comfortingly up and down my back. “It’s okay, love. I’m here. We’re gonna be okay.” I felt wet droplets hit my head and I looked up to see Tom crying as well.
I cupped his cheeks in my hands and wiped the tears away. He instantly leaned into my touch and placed a gentle kiss on my palm. His own hand came up to my cheek and pulled me close to him. Tom kissed my forehead and leaned his own against mine. I closed my eyes and relished in the feeling of being in Tom’s arms again.
Peeling my forehead away from his, I looked into his eyes. The same eyes I had fallen in love with before. The same eyes I still probably loved. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
Tom’s eyes flickered down to my lips and I felt my breath hitch. I, too, looked down at his lips and remembered how good it felt to have someone be that intimate with. We felt ourselves leaning into each other then… Fireworks . The fire that had once been with us hadn’t died down as our lips moved together in a frenzy of emotions. Tom’s arms wrapped even tighter around my waist and I ran my fingers through his hair.
Eventually we had to come up for air and we reluctantly parted. Tom continued to place kisses all over my face which made me giggle. I wrapped my arms around his neck and nuzzled myself into his warm embrace. I pressed my lips against his neck to which Tom let out a low moan.
“Darling,” Tom whispered, his thumb making circles on my waist. “I missed you so much.”
“I missed you too, Tommy. Please don’t leave me again.” I mumbled.
“I won’t, love, as long as you don’t leave me too.” Tom couldn’t possibly have me closer to him with the way he was holding me now.
“I would never.” Tom pulled me up to give me one more kiss.
“Now,” Tom mumbled against my lips. “I think 3 years is way too long to be apart from each other now don’t you.”
“Hmm, I think so too.” I smiled. Our lips crashing against each other’s messily.
“We have some catching up to do, love.” Tom hitched me up onto his waist and I braced myself on his shoulders. I pulled away from his lips and looked at him. He smiled and pecked my lips again. “Which way to your room?”
“Down the hall to the right.” I attached myself to his lips once again. I felt him start walking and hit a wall. My giggles and a door slamming was all that was heard throughout my apartment. Well at least not for another half hour…