The walk to the Perk it Up coffee shop the next day was bitter cold as always. The brisk air nipped at the back of her neck. Her large maroon sweater wasn’t nearly enough for the nearly artic temperatures during winter in England. She could see her breath flow from between her parted lips. As she walked she recounted the bus ride back to her dorm. She had talked to Leo for the majority of the ride. Many topics crossed their paths; however, looking back on their conversation, she realized he hadn’t talked much about himself. Most of the conversation had been about her; How many siblings she had, where she went to Uni, her favorite books. The only thing she had gotten out of him was that he attended a Uni not too far from hers, hence them both taking the same bus back to their dorms, and his favorite book was Great Gatsby.
The sign for the coffee shop swung lazily in the winter breeze. The chipped wood of the sign was weathered and showed just how rough the English weather could be. The paint on the sign had begun to fade, the once bright letters were now a opaque grey. In some spots the letters were no longer legible so the sign read “Per t Up”. She walked in the cozy coffee shop, dropped her bag on the floor next to a vacant table, and sat down in the wooden chair. A lazy grin appeared on her face as she recounted their time together. She was proud of herself for finally plucking up the courage and talking to him. Her leg bounced repeatedly as she waited for him to burst through the door. She lowered her gaze to the watch on her wrist. 7:45 AM. Usually he is here by now. Her teeth pulled on her lower lip as she worriedly picked at her sweater.
A cold gust of air billowed through the coffee shop and her head shot up. There he was, as mysterious as ever. He had a gray beanie pulled over his luscious curls. He had a pair of glasses perched atop his nose, and his green eyes were intensely focused on the ground. There was an abnormal shadow under one of his eyes, but she just assumed it was from the glasses he wore. He was once again dressed in a loose sweater and tight jeans, and his worn out brown boots. In his tanned hands was his journal. The brown leather was wrinkled and worn, its cover a now a dull tan. She could tell the yellowed pages were written on by the way they fanned out beneath the cover, giving it the impression of an accordion. After closer inspection she notice a small tattoo inked on his hand. She did not know he had a tattoo, or maybe even tattoos. She had never really found tattoos attractive, but on Leo, she couldn’t take her eyes off the small cross inked on the space between his thumb and index finger.
He strode lazily to the counter were the barista stood, obviously checking him out. A rush of jealousy flowed through her, extending to the tips of her slender fingers, which were now balled into fists. But why was she jealous. She had no claim over him. He was just a person after all, born with free will. Still, she couldn’t help but narrow her eyes at the perky blonde behind the counter. As Leo stated his order the barista keep batting her blue eyes at him. She laughed to herself. The girl made it look like she had some sort of disorder with all the blinking she was doing. A smirk contorted her rosy lips as she noticed Leo had no interest whatsoever in the girl. In fact, he seemed quite annoyed with her. After handing her his money and receiving change, he proceeded to a table not too far from mine.
She stared at him as he sat and began to write. Her eyes focused on the way his large hand traveled heatedly across the page. He had done this every day since he first time she saw him. She wondered how many journals he had filled, and more importantly, what he filled them with. If she leaned over a little further, she could almost make out what the words said. Just a little further, she kept telling herself. By now, she probably looked like some sort of giraffe. Her neck as craned so she could see over his shoulder. Finally, she could make out what some of the words were.
January 18, 2014
“Jasmine, we’ve talked about this.” A deep voice said in a bored tone.
“Harry!” She yelped, taken by surprise.
She looked up to see him staring at her with an annoyed look on his face.
“Not only is it rude to stare, but it’s also rude to read over a person’s shoulder. Especially when said person is writing something they do not want prying eyes reading.” He slammed his journal closed and walked away from her. She heard the chiming bells signify the coffee shop’s door opening and closing. A frustrated sigh left her lips as she brushed a piece of hair away from her face. She didn’t know why he reacted in such a way, but what she did know was that he was definitely angry with her. For the rest of the morning she sat in the small shop, studying for her Psychology exam and drinking far too many cups of hot chocolate.
That evening she laid on her bed, her auburn hair splayed across the pillow, and allowed her mind to wander. She wondered why he had gotten so mad at her. She was just curious. ‘But it is often said, curiosity killed the cat.’ She frowned at that thought. Anyways, what was so infuriating about her seeing that date? After all it was just a combination of letters and numbers, a day once past. She wondered about the day’s significance. Maybe it was something important, like a birthday, or maybe the opposite, the day someone dear to him died. Or something less important, like the last time he talked to a friend or a day he had homework that was due. She still couldn’t understand why he got so angry when he caught her looking over his shoulder. It was just a date, not his credit card number, or some deep dark secret he has only told one living being. She groaned. A migraine pulsed through her temples as she rolled over onto her side. Out her window, the dancing stars glittered in the sky. She was mesmerized by their beauty. Her brown eyes stared tiredly at the twinkling starts before slowly fluttering shut.