The Lonely Girl – Chapter 4 – Jumba Joe’s

January 21, 2013

The streets are busier than usual Elise notes as she jostles through the crowd on their way to work. She gets swept along and dodges a flying hand – its owner gesturing wildly as he yells angrily on the phone.

“It’s too early to be that annoyed,” she thought to herself and hurried along. Looking down at her watch, Elise quickened her pace. She had just enough time to stop at the coffee cart for her usual cup of coffee before work.

Reaching Jumba Joe’s she joins the line of early morning coffee drinkers waiting to re-fuel for the day. Standing in line, she heard a familiar voice behind her.

“Good morning Elise!”

Turning around, she smiled and was about to respond with a chirpy “G’morning” of her own to Eddy when she noticed a tall brown-eyed figure join the line behind him.

Her “Good morning” tumbled out in an awkward squeak causing her to grimace in embarrassment.

Eddy didn’t seem to notice but continued on with his usual chatter.

“It’s a sunny morning isn’t it. What a change from the dreary grey days we’ve been having. If it keeps raining like this I’ll have to strut about town in a pair of wellies instead of my work shoes. They’re just about ruined!” Eddy complained.

“Yeah I know what you mean,” Elise responded. “But I sorta like the weather. The rainy season won’t last long though. Enjoy it while you can. Soon the hot season will be upon us and you’ll be begging for some rain,” she said with a chuckle.

As she stood in line talking, Elise’s eyes wondered over to the man behind Eddy. As if on cue the stranger looked up and caught her eyes. Their gaze held for a few seconds before Eddy nudged her saying, “Hey, your turn to order.”

“G’morning doll! I haven’t seen you in awhile,” Joe said beaming down at Elise.

The tall and sturdy Joe wasn’t all that bad looking with his wavy mess of hair framing his square stubble-lined jaw. Always with an easy grin on his face, it was no wonder that Jumba Joe’s was one of the most popular coffee spots on that street. More noticeably with a long line of ladies, queuing up for coffee.

Elise smiled up at Joe. “I was just here two days ago Joe!”

“Well long enough for me to miss you doll,” Joe responded with another grin and before Elise could respond he whipped around pressing the expresso beans into its holder and pulled its lever. Pouring milk into a steel jug, he turned on the steamer – its loud whisking sound filling the air. “The usual I assume Elise? One flat white coming right up!” Joe called over his shoulder.

Elise smiled at the familiarity of Joe. A complete stranger yet one capable of making her feel like an old friend with his witty banter and the occasional flirt. For the umpteenth time, Elsie thought to herself how geekily good looking Joe was. Even with the thick framed glasses, Joe managed to exude a hip yet classically old exterior; an old soul in a 30 year old body.

Paying for her coffee, Elise waved goodbye to Joe and Eddy as she walked towards her office building.

She made sure to avert her eyes from the brown-eyed stranger behind Eddy but she was sure he was looking at her. She felt his gaze follow her till she went through the glass doors and then she was swallowed by the early morning crowd as they rushed into the elevator.

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