The rain plinked down on the windows and the awning. Laughing voices were scattered throughout the dimly lit homely cafe. Soft hands prepared a caramel mocha behind the marble countertops, and the impatient rapping of a man's dress shoe put the poor barista on edge.
Romelle focused on the drink in-progress. She started working here two weeks ago, the day after her eighteenth birthday, and the day she became the owner of the Juniberry Coffee Co. After her parents and older brother died when she was seventeen. Hunk, bless his soul, had the graciousness to keep the shop under his management until Romelle came of age.
Now that she was of age, she wasn't exactly sure she was fit to run a coffee shop, so she let Hunk keep managing it while she trained.
"Isn't that goddamn coffee ready yet?" the businessman fiddled with the crisp cut of his cuffs.
"Sorry for the wait, sir."
Romelle set down the caramel mocha onto the lace placeholder. The cafe was decorated in a quaint 1920s style, with antique pillows adorning the warm brown window seats, where she noticed a particular customer caught her eye. The man handed over $6.95 for his large coffee. Romelle was still distracted when the man sauntered out the door.
The stranger's long hair was a soft starlight color, with a dark brown peeking out the top. Her skin was a rich, shining bronze, and it looked like she used some great quality skincare products. Romelle was so enamored with her hands, she didn't notice the stranger's nebula eyes peeking out of her hair.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer."
Romelle blushed and quickly looked away. The stranger laughed.
"Don't worry about it, you're not so bad looking yourself. My name is Allura."
"I'm Romelle," she stuttered. "Did you want some coffee?"
Then Romelle noticed the 3 cups of coffee that Allura already bought, plus one she was drinking.
"Sure," Allura quirked.
"Sorry, I didn't notice. How about a pastry?" Romelle mused. "We have danishes, croissants, strudel, cinnamon rolls, cornish pasties-"
Allura propped her head on her hand. "I'll take a croissant. It's suitable, since I am doing my French homework right now," she joked.
Romelle's face brightened. Growing up in France, and taking a lot of trips there definitely made her fit to help her.
"I could help, I actually grew up in Lyon, France," Romelle beamed.
"Oh, that would be amazing! Thank you! It shouldn't be too hard, it's just basic French."
Romelle grabbed a pencil and stepped in front of the counter with Allura's croissant. She gazed over the paper. Allura's arm brushed against hers and they both blushed.
"Erm- so- Well, it looks mostly correct, but you've got the order wrong on this part."
Romelle pointed her pencil at question 22.
"See, the adjective usually follows the noun, and not the other way around like in English. It's a common mistake, don't worry about it,"
Romelle glanced up at Allura. They blushed again after making eye contact.
"O-oh! I see. Thank you," Allura smiled.
"Is anyone gonna help me over here?"
A short, brown-haired girl leaned on the counter.
"Sorry! I'll be with you in a moment." Romelle squeaked. "I can help anytime, here's my number."
She wrote down her number on Allura's vocabulary sheet. "Call anytime!"
Romelle rushed back behind the counter.
It was a rainy day, but not all bad. The clouds were gray, the sun was out, but two girls beamed like the Earth's new star on that day. Allura spent two more hours at the cafe before she had to leave to her next class. Romelle couldn't wait until she came back.