Suddenly a bit self-conscious, Emma Lee touched the back of her hair to make sure her ponytail did not appear disheveled. However, what she did not realize was that Colton was enamored at the way she appeared with her hair up. For Colton, it reminded him of the girls back home, and it ignited something inside him he had not sensed in a long time—an emotion that flickered deep down in his soul.
As they both stood there in line, it was apparent that each of them found the other attractive. However, it was also obvious neither of them was comfortable starting a conversation—that was, until Colton’s impatience boiled up to the surface.
“Wow, this line is taking so long. You’d think they’re milking the cows back there or something,” he exclaimed with a half-smile on his face.
Believing she might respond with some clever line herself, Colton paused and waited for a reply. Only Emma Lee was not impatient about having to wait in line.
“Well, you know what they say: patience is a virtue,” she said, smiling.
“Yeah, well, I don’t have time for patience right now,” Colton muttered. “I have a deadline to meet.”
Taken aback, Emma Lee wondered what deadline was so crucial that this handsome young man could not wait in line for a few minutes for a cup of coffee.
“Oh yeah, what type of deadline?” she asked politely.
“I’m a journalist for the Sunset Gazette, and I have an important article I need to finish.”
“Oh, interesting.” Emma Lee nodded as she paused for a moment. “I’ve never read the Sunset Gazette.”
Colton raised his eyebrows, bewildered at the idea she had never read paper. He could not fathom how she had never read the Gazette, especially since it was one of the greatest reporting outlets in all of LA, at least in his opinion.
“Well, if you do, you should definitely read one of my articles.” Colton smiled and paused a moment. “Oh, I’m sorry.
My name is Colton Dust, by the way,” he added before extending his hand.
“Hi, Colton. It’s nice to meet you. My name is Emma Lee,” she replied, shaking his hand.
“I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for one of your articles next time I get a chance to read the Sunset Gazette.”
A bit embarrassed about how his hands had started to sweat, Colton tried to shift the attention back to the extended wait time.
“I’ve never seen this place so busy. And I’ve certainly never had to wait this long for a cup of coffee here before.”
“Have you ever heard the saying that even the most prolific writer writes only one word at a time?” Emma Lee said with a smile.
A bit confused and even a little perplexed, Colton raised one eyebrow while Emma Lee smirked. Even though the Brew Cup Café was a little busier than normal on this day, for Emma Lee, it appeared the sweet young barista girl behind the counter was working hard to help each customer as swiftly as possible. Not sure what else to say, Colton stared at his phone once again, and when the customer in front of him eventually stepped away, Emma Lee noticed he was still gazing at his phone.
She smiled. “Looks like you’re finally up.”
Colton smiled back before turning toward the counter to place his order. The nice young barista girl behind the counter offered a warm, friendly smile.
“Good morning, Mr. Dust. Would you like your usual today?”
“Yes, that would be fantastic,” he replied.
Emma Lee found herself intrigued at the fact this young lady behind the counter knew Colton by name. She wondered if he was perhaps an important writer whom she herself had never heard of before.
While Colton waited for his coffee, Emma Lee pondered the idea that maybe she should read the Sunset Gazette when she got home and thought to herself, Maybe I should see what Mr. Colton Dust’s articles are all about.
When the barista handed Colton his espresso, he turned to walk away, but after taking a swig he realized something was not right. He stopped in his tracks, turned around, and leaned back over the counter.
“Hey, uh, excuse me, but my espresso is not right. It’s supposed to be a double shot. This is not a double shot!”
Appearing frantic, the barista gasped. “Oh no. I’m so sorry, Mr. Dust. Please let me fix that for you right away.”
The barista glanced over at Emma Lee with a bit of trepidation in her eyes and smiled. “Please, excuse me for a minute. I’ll be right back to take your order.”
“Can you please speed it up? I’m in a hurry,” Colton interrupted.
Frazzled, the barista grabbed his cup off the counter. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Mr. Dust. I’ll be right back with that for you.”
“I don’t have time for your apologies. Just fix my espresso.”
Bewildered by what was transpiring in front of her eyes, Emma Lee glared over at him.
“You know, you don’t have to be so hard on her.” Emma Lee shook her head. “She appears to be doing the best she can. I’m sure it doesn’t help that they are busy. And they seem to be short-staffed this morning.”
“Well, if she wants to be good at her job, maybe she should learn how to get the orders right the first time,” Colton grumbled.
Stunned by what she heard, Emma Lee thought, Wow, this handsome-looking journalist, who moments ago appeared to have caught my eye, clearly has little understanding for others.
“Perhaps you might try a little empathy and forgiveness,” Emma Lee remarked.
“I don’t believe in forgiving someone for something that shouldn’t be that hard to get right in the first place,” Colton muttered back.
“Wait, what?” remarked Emma Lee, perplexed by what she had just heard. “You don’t believe in forgiveness?”