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Missed Connections

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Franky had found Zen Coffee Shop by chance. She would usually study for her university courses outdoors in the quad, preferring the sound of nature as her background noise. The library was a viable second option, seeing as it was where she spent most of her time as a work-study student. The unfortunate downside of the library was that it was often overrun by undergrads.

The day before her final exams, the weather had other plans. Just as she scribbled her first line of notes, she saw a circular dot wet her notebook.

“Fucks sake, really?” Franky looked up at the sky above and saw the clouds quickly rolling in. She scrambled to gather up her belongings and shoved them into her backpack as the rain began to trickle from the sky. She walked briskly towards the library, but when she peeked her head inside, all of the available work spaces were taken. She muttered more curse words under her breath as she thought of Plan C.

Franky remembered the coffee shop near the edge of campus. She decided to give it a shot. She had to mad-dash as the rain began to fall harder. She shook off as much rain as she could before pushing her way inside, where she was immediately greeted with the quiet peace of the cozy space. She ordered herself a coffee and found a cozy corner to unpack her things again.

She settled into her usual rhythm. There was something about the space that made it so easy to dive into her textbooks and cram information into her brain. After a couple hours, she leaned back in her chair and sighed as she rubbed her face. As she did, she noticed a beautiful blonde working on her laptop. Franky tried her best to discreetly take her in, but the blonde must have felt eyes burning her skin because she glanced up from her screen and her blue eyes made contact with Franky’s. Franky lost her breath.

****

The building, where Bridget rented an office, had been under renovation for several weeks with no end in sight. Thankfully, a friend had graciously offered to lend her her space. It was fine for seeing clients, but it was in no way conducive for completing her mountain of reports. She missed the comfort and familiarity of her own space, especially her lime green chairs. She found the only way that she could get anything done was to tuck herself into her favorite coffee shop, which was conveniently close to home. Something about the comfortable buzz of the coffee grinder and the low chatter of patrons allowed her to work for hours without disruption. Not to mention, the coffee was incredible. It gave her enough fuel to power through the countless reports that she’d been putting off for weeks.

She had just settled into her comfortable rhythm when she felt eyes on her skin. Bridget tried to work past her discomfort, but she was overwhelmed by the penetrating gaze.

She glanced up to see who was watching her, and her eyes connected with a pair of emerald eyes from across the cafe. Her breath hitched in her throat briefly as she took in the young brunette sitting behind a wall of textbooks and notebooks.

Bridget’s lips curled up in a hint of a smile. She wasn’t prepared for the blinding grin that she was met with. Bridget was the first to break the glance. She turned back to her laptop and tried her best to refocus on her work. By the time she looked up from her work, the beautiful brunette was nowhere to be found and her table had been cleared. Bridget sighed and went back to work.

Bridget had returned to the café each day, putting off her presence to the backlog of work she had been neglecting. But if she was being honest, she was going out of her way to go there just so that she might have the opportunity to see the mysterious brunette again. Bridget had conjured fantasies about her potential career path. It had to be a hefty program due to the sheer amount of texts that had littered the woman’s table. Med, maybe? Law? Bridget shook her head, clearing her thoughts. What on earth would a beautiful young student want with someone like her? Bridget was settled into her career and had chosen to overlook love in favor of quickly advancing . While her work fulfilled her, sometimes it felt like there was something missing when she kicked off her heels after coming home from work. Realizing that she had lost her focus and was unlikely to regain it, she closed her laptop and left for the day.

****
After acing her exams, Franky’s life continued on at a fast pace. Work, school, study, sleep, the pattern continued on rinse and repeat. Work, school, study, sleep. The weather grew colder as the semester waned on, and Franky’s studying was driven back indoors, especially when the wind proved to be too much for her precious notebooks. She couldn’t fathom what she would do if one of them happened to blow away forever. With the endof her degree so close, her notebooks were even more precious to her than gold as she’d never been able to afford a laptop of her own. She had relied on the public computers at the library to type her papers and research. And in dire circumstances, she had begged her part-time friend with benefits, Kim, to use hers.

Franky trudged down the familiar sidewalk towards the cafe. Her backpack felt like it was getting heavier with each passing day. She dropped it into a chair as she headed to the counter to order a double espresso, hoping that it would keep her charged enough to power through the last few chapters of her course. As she waited impatiently near the counter, Franky couldn’t help but remember the blonde bombshell from the last time she had been there. She discreetly glanced over her shoulder at the table where she had originally seen her and smiled softly when she saw the back of her blonde hair. Franky shored up her confidence, and strode over to the woman’s table.

“Waiting for me, blondie?” Franky grinned cockily as she moved to stand in front of the woman. Her smile instantly dropped from her face as she found herself standing across from her law professor working intently on grading.

“Franky?” Professor Davidson’s brow creased in confusion as to why her student was suddenly hitting on her.

“Oh, Jesus fuck, Professor. I-I mean, oh god. I’m so sorry, I thought you were someone else.” Franky’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Before she could be reprimanded anymore, she scampered away with her tail between her legs. She quickly retrieved her espresso and made her way to the furthest possible table away to hide in shame. She hid her face in her hands as she slouched down at the table.

“That looked rather embarrassing,” a quiet voice came from beside her.

“You have no idea,” Franky groaned without lifting her head. “That’s my Law Professor. I just tried to pick up my law Professor.” The person beside her hummed her sympathy. “I thought she was someone else.” Franky still refused to uncover her face, willing the blush on her cheeks to quickly fade away.

“Someone else?”

“Yeah, I saw someone the last time I was here - she was a total bombshell and she looked like she had her shit together. Anyway, I had left before saying anything because let’s face it, she’d want nothing to do with this shit show.”

“Sounds like a lot of assumptions. Maybe this mysterious blonde felt the same way.”

“Well, I guess we’ll never find out because women like her don’t go for women like me.”

“You should never say never,” she chuckled.

Franky finally lifted her head and blinked her eyes back into focus on the very face she was just thinking of. Her jaw dropped.

“Hi,” the blonde smiled and extended her hand. “I’m Bridget,” she introduced herself.

“Franky,” the brunette replied shyly. Franky’s embarrassment had suddenly vanished, and all that remained was her broad grin, the same one that had swept Bridget away from the start.