It All Began With 'Hello'.

It All Began With 'Hello'....

She sat alone, and watched him from that same spot in the coffee shop. He always ordered a vanilla milkshake. She'd secretly peer over the pages of her book and sneak a glance. Then one day he caught her looking. Then one day he said hello. It all began with 'hello'.

...And It Ended With 'Goodbye'.

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1. There Is A Boy In Caffe Nero

 

 

There is a boy in Caffe Nero. I repeat, there is a boy in Caffe Nero.

I think he's a foreign. You don't get a tan like that in the north of England, you just don't.

I wonder what's wrong with him. I mean, only the nutters come here. The old, the senile, the geeks. Not fit boys who look as if they've just jumped off the cover of Vogue. Which by the way, this guy probably has. That face looks photoshopped to perfection, and you know what? The amazing thing is, he's real. He's real, and ordering a vanilla milkshake. Coincidentally, that happens to be my favourite drink. Well, from now on anyway. His fingertips run along the counter, sliding a two pound coin to the woman behind the till, who's also staring him up. And she's like fifty. That's how fit he is. I swear, if mum didn't have a boyfriend, she would so go cougar on him. Okay, so maybe he looks a tad too old for me. So what? He looks yummier than a walking caramel fudge stick. I gulp down my frappucino to tame some sqeuals errupting at the back of my throat as he swipes the vanilla milkshake from the counter and saunters over to a leather chair by the opposite window. He hasn't seen me yet. I play with the edge of a page in my book, my wrists going all tickely. This is pretty big. Where I live, there are just no fit guys. Just retarded little things that haven't quite made it through puberty. But this? Oh, this is different. In fact, I have to tell Steph about this. Like, now.

I pull my phone from under my copy of The Fault In Our Stars, which I'm reading for the second time, and quickly glance up at the boy. Dark messy curls. Cute little turn-up nose. I can't tell what colour his eyes are from here, but they practically reflect the whole room. Try not to die, I remind myself gently.

"Do you want another one of those?" A voice says, pulling me back to this place called Earth. I look up to see a young looking waitress scooping my napkin and empty glass onto a tray, dusting crumbs off the table. She's talking about my frappucino. I shake my head. "A vanilla milkshake actually, please."

I kinda hoped that Mr Perfecto would look up when I ordered the same thing as he got, but he didn't even hear me, so I just make myself busy with explaining this whole thing to Steph. I tell her about how there's an angel sitting in Caffe Nero, and how I'm barely breathing. Not even a second later, my phone bursts into song, playing the start of Terrible Things, Mayday Parade. My cheeks flame up. I hate attention. Even if it's just a couple of old grannies, they're all staring. "Sorry, just a text," I tell them. I only just manage to catch his eyes for a millisecond. But he was looking.

He was looking.

Oh. Em. Gee.

He was looking.

I rub the bridge of my nose hard with my forefinger. Stupid! What the hell Katie? You're a dick, you know that? I turn my phone on silent. He must think I'm the defenition of stupid right now. Calm down. I'm over reacting.

I read the text anyhow.

Steph: I'm on my way.

I roll my eyes. Typical. Steph is like, the biggest flirt ever. And she's pretty hot too, if you like that kind of thing. Short, blonde, thin and orange. I swear, there is a new race breaking out in this world. White people, black people, and tangerine people. Brilliant.

I shove my book into my bag. If Steph catches me reading, she'd kill me. It's like my secret thing. And I can rely on Nero's to keep it secret, seeing as I'm pretty sure no one from my school would ever come here. Unless they were the kind who go to chess club and chat up grannys and stuff. Yeah, you know the type.

I know it sounds selfish and slutty, but I kind of really don't want Steph to  come. Like I just want this guy to be my thing, you know? There's some things in life you just can't share. And this is one of them. I feel bad doing it but  I flip out my phone amd hit her with a message.

Too late, he's gone now. I'm just leaving now anyway. C u some other time:)x

Maybe I should leave. It's quarter to four and seeing as the bus takes like twenty minutes to get to my house, I won't be home till 4:05, and mum said to be home at 4pm sharp. As you can see, I'm a real rebel.

It takes everything I've got, but I leave the boy in the cafe to head down to the bus stop. I have to practically drag myself from the window. Well, he's certainly attracting customers. Young, pretty customers. Who are all suddenly interested in vanilla milkshakes. Yeah, I have no chance.

But hey. What's life without a challenge?

 

***

When I get home, it smells like someone's baking, which, when you have a mum like mine, is never good.

The bread machine's whirring away, vegetables and healthy stuff scattered across the cooking counter. Mum wipes stray curls off her forehead with the back of her hand, careful not to get dough in her hair.

"Had fun?" She says, stretching to give me an air kiss.

I love my mum. Sometimes. She's so down to earth and cool. But still, she's an embarrassment to the world.

"Yep, page one-hundred-and-fourty-six." I pour myself some lemonade, popping a slice of chopped pepper in my mouth.

"Sixty-eight pages more than last time," she gives me a wink. I nod.

"What's cooking then?" I would happily settle for her plainly just saying a "disaster", so I'm taken aback when she says pizza.

"Pepperoni and vegetable, you're favourite."

I don't tell her I'm trying to go vegetarian, because honestly, I can't be bothered with that stuff. Flesh is just so damn good. In fact, I should go cannibal, nevermind veggo.

"Oh yeah, you got a letter," Mum says, nodding to a clump of white envelopes scattered across the dining table. A letter? That's a first. I mean, before my facebook days, I wouldn't have been surprised, as that was my only form of contact, but when I'm sixteen? Strange. It's on top of the pile, the address hand-written, which makes it even more interesting. When I was little, I used to play Guess The Writer with my mum, and we had to guess who the letter was from by their handwriting before we opened it. I always won. Just pointing that out. I tear open the envelope, a little card slipped inside. When I take it out, I realise there's a picture of me when I was little on the front. Inside, it reads "Katie. How are you? Haven't seen you in a while, hope you're doing well. I've attatched some money for you to share with Freddie. Hope to hear from you soon, gran X"

Oh. Gran. Is it bad that I feel slightly disappointed?

"Who is it?" Mum calls above the groaning of the bread maker. She seriously needs to buy a new one, that one is prehistoric.

"Just gran," I call back. "She gave me a tenner." Yeah, I'm not planning on telling her it's to share. Freddie'll just spend it on Pokemon cards and stuff. I'm funding for college. I have my reasons.

"Oh," Mum says. "That's nice."

"Yeah."

And then I retreat to my bed, writing down everything I can remember about the Coffee Shop Boy between the covers of my diary. I want to remember him in case I never see him again. I'm not obsessed. I promise. Maybe.

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