The café was small. It was squashed between a clothing store selling wares that could only be described as 'dark' and an antiques shop run by an elderly couple whose name nobody could remember. It was situated in a way that you could only really see it if you were going to one of the other stores and happened to turn your head right or left, respectively.
Naturally, upon entering the café you would realize that this was the place you were going to spend your lunch breaks from now on. Four tables, a bar, and a black-and-white checkered floor. It was all you needed. You would sit at one of the tables (for, of course, one would always be open) and order your usual: a breakfast sandwich and your coffee. Your coffee had to be brewed in an extra special way in order for you to enjoy it.
They got it right first time. And every time after that.
Two waitresses worked at the café. They were complete opposites of each other. One was tall with dark skin and frizzy hair. She had an impish smile and winked at all the more attractive men that wandered into the café. Her name was May.
The other waitress was relatively short with brown, limp hair that hung around her thin glasses. She spoke rarely if you were a stranger and amiably if you were not. When not attending someone she could usually be found with her nose buried in a book. Her nametag declared her to be Wilhelmina. Everyone called her Will.
A small bell tinkled and a young man in a business suit strolled into the café. May's mouth twitched in a smile and she nudged Will. "Look," she said in a stage whisper. "It's him."
Will raised her head out of her book. She caught sight of the man and quickly ducked her head away, blushing. "May…" she whispered, chidingly.
"Go talk to him," May insisted.
"I… May… He's a customer…"
"Go take his order, then," May said, a smile creeping across her face.
Will shook her head at May and made her way across the tiled floor, paper and pencil in hand to take his order. Not that she needed them, of course; she already knew what he wanted.
"Good morning, Mr. Harris."
Mr. Harris raised his head, his face crinkling in a slight smile. He had glowing brown hair and rich, chocolate brown eyes. He had been coming into the café regularly for almost a month now and it was no secret Will had a major crush on him.
"What'll it be? Your usual?"
Mr. Harris pretended to look down at his menu. "Nah, going to go for something different today. I'll have the bacon breakfast sandwich and a small, decaf, nonfat coffee, no milk, no sugar."
Will smiled. This was their routine. And this was the part where she didn't remind him that that was what he ordered every day. "Your order will be with you shortly."
She returned to the counter and stuck the order where the cook would see it. May approached her.
"So, what's his name?"
"What do you mean, 'What's his name?' His name is Harris," replied Will, attempting to keep herself busy folding napkins instead of staring dreamily across the café to where the man in question sat, reading the paper.
"Not his last name. What's his first name?" May practically whined.
"How am I supposed to know?"
"God, Will, come on! You've been crushing on this guy for weeks! Everyone knows it, so why don't you get to know him a little bit?"
"May, I don't have time for anything, let alone a relationship. Besides, he's far too old for me."
"Will, you're twenty-four. He can't be more than thirty. I'm guessing twenty seven to twenty eight. He is absolutely your age."
"May, look at him. He's probably some successful business pro. What would he want to do with a waitress like me?"
"Will, look at me, honey." May grabbed Will's reluctant shoulders and turned her until they were facing each other. "You are a smart, attractive lady with a bright future. What man wouldn't want to go out with you?"
Will looked away and frowned. "I'm not sure about the attractive part," she said, eyeing her reflection on the countertop.
"Don't say things like that, Will," May said, touching her friend's arm, gently. "Look at me. Will, look at me."
Will raised her head to look at May. "That's right," said May. "Listen, one day you're going to have to talk to him. For real, I mean, not anything about sandwiches and coffee. And I really would like that day to be before we're all white-haired and senile."
Will couldn't help it. She chuckled. May smiled. "Now listen," she continued. "I'm really, really sorry about this, but Derek said he would take me to the theatre tonight. Are you okay taking the late shift?"
Will briefly thought over her schedule for the day. "Yeah, it's fine. I've got nothing going on today."
"Thank you, Will! It's going to be amazing. We're seeing The Phantom of the Opera. It's going to be so romantic!"
Will smiled and chatted with May for a few more minutes before returning to her book. Every now and then she would sneak a peek at Mr. Harris, before blushing and looking down again.
The day wore on. A small but consistent stream of customers passed through the café doors. The sun sank lower and the light dimmed. The café became so quiet that the only audible noise was the buzzing of the fluorescent lights over the tables.
Will sat at the bar, trying to keep her eyes open. She glanced at the clock. 11:00. She could go back to her apartment in two hours. Yawning, she tried to keep her attention on the book in front of her. A wind was picking up outside and it howled incessantly past the café. Hm. She would probably wait until the storm died down until she went home.
Suddenly the bell rang and the door slammed open. The wind whooshed into the café, ruffling the menus and causing a chill to run down Will's spine. She whirled around to face the person who had just entered.
At first his face was obscured by a black hoodie. The figure yanked the door closed and then lifted pale hands to pull the hood down. He twisted his head to look at Will. She gasped. He was a raven-haired young man with a haunted expression.
He had startling blue eyes.