A very brief story of love at Christmas time
|Everyday I saw her, her eyes sparkling like stars twinkling in the moonlit sky, her smile radiant as a noon day sun. Everyday I would pass the cup and saucer with the cafe au lait she asked for, but with little recognition from her. Smiling, as I watched her every step to the table that she would frequent, by the window under the fan heater. Everyday, I would turn it on for her, keeping her warm, as she would lift the coffee to her cherry red lips. I noticed her eyes wider still as each day a piece of paper would spring from under her raised cup. I wondered what thoughts would cross her mind as she read each note carefully, then secreted it into her coat pocket. Surely some day she would realise, but she never glanced my way, never mentioned anything as she left my café beaming and crossed the snow covered streets to her workplace again. Everyday she would leave the imprint of her precious lips circling my cup. I thought to myself, as I washed the cup lovingly, I would have to do something more if I was to make her understand my true feelings…..
Christmas eve, my last chance before the holidays to make an impact on her. The café was quieter than usual as most people were rushing for last minute presents. The snow fell silently, gracefully outside and I watched, as the faceless bodies huddled against a chill wind, scurried past the window, like mice hurrying to find a hole for shelter.
I checked my watch, 10 past midday. I peered through the misty window, and saw her elegant frame floating across the road towards her lunchtime haven.
“Café au….” Before she had finished her request, her beverage was there before her. “Oh!” she exclaimed softly in surprise at my efficiency, the sweetest of smiles playing across her lips.
“Today, its on the house Miss” I smiled back at her. “Compliments of the season”
“Oh, thanks” She replied with a gentle pause. She drifted serenely to her favourite table.
I watched intently as she lifted the cup slowly to her lips in anticipation. Then, she paused and looked quizzically at the underneath of her cup. There was no note.
She checked again, then around the surface of the table, still nothing there. She stopped, put her cup back in the saucer and looked under the table, even briefly under the chair, but still no note was found. I watched her for a few more moments as she sank back into her seat, finally resigned to the fact that, today, there was no note under the cup. Her face became a picture of sadness.
I could not contain myself a moment longer, and turned to the remote switch for the fan heater. I clicked it on, but, today, there would be no heat cascading down over her dark flowing hair. Instead, there were tiny pieces of notepaper, carefully concealed just for this very instant. They fluttered down as if imitating the snowflakes outside. Every note bore a different message just for her.
Her eyes became sparkling again, her smile broadened, the sadness disappeared into joy as the realisation dawned on her. She glanced at me behind the counter, her smile wider than ever before. Our eyes locked on each other for the first time. This was a Christmas eve that would live long in both our memories….