Alex woke with a start to the sound of her phone playing her alarm song. With heavy eyes she rolled over to shut the alarm off, groaning as she saw that the display read 8:15 - an hour later than she had meant to get out of bed. That damn snooze button. Stuffing her feet into white fluffy slipper boots, Alex stood up, glancing at herself in the mirror beside the bed. A look of surprise flashed across her face as she realised she didn't look half bad, especially considering she had spent the previous night binge watching Netflix until she physically couldn't keep her eyes open. Grabbing a black hair band from her dresser, Alex pulled her shoulder-length black hair into a ponytail, scrunching the ends so they didn't look so limp. A shower was out of the question, as she would always choose the before-class Starbucks run over hygiene of course, so she threw on a white slogan tee and dark blue jeans, paired with a black leather jacket and ankle boots. There was no time for makeup, she was barely going to make it to her first lecture as it was. Picking up her bag on the way out of the door, Alex smirked as she saw the sky outside was grey. She always found that she had more inspiration when the weather matched her mood. The brief moment of happiness soon faded when Alex noticed that the queue outside the Starbucks branch across the street was so long it ended outside the door.
'Crap!' she hissed to nobody in particular, rolling her eyes at her lack of luck. She decided to walk the extra half a mile to the next Starbucks - she was already late so what harm could ten extra minutes do? When Alex arrived, she was grateful to see that there was no queue, punching the air in delight. It was only after doing this that she realised the barista was watching her and laughing.
'Oh wow, you must think I'm such a freak. Sorry.' Alex muttered awkwardly.
'No, it was cute' the barista smiled, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.
'Oh. Okay, well anyway, I'll have a mocha latte and a chocolate muffin to take out please’ Alex asked, while looking over the barista’s appearance. She had light brown hair, green eyes and freckles, and was wearing a black shirt with the standard green Starbucks apron, only this apron was covered in coffee stains. Alex smiled at this, looking more closely at the girl. She was actually very pretty, with the freckles spread out across her nose like a join-the-dots puzzle, and her eyes wide with long black lashes.
‘Excuse me?’ Alex snapped out of her trance as she realised the barista had been talking to her.
‘Oh sorry, I was off in my own dream land’ Alex explained, feeling a warm sensation spread across her cheeks. Aware that her face was now very red, she desperately prayed for the girl to just hurry up and give her the goods so she could just get out of there.
‘Don’t worry cutie, I was just asking for your name to write on the cup’ the barista explained, picking up a takeout cup and sharpie.
‘It’s Alex’ Alex replied, avoiding eye contact.
‘Like Vause?’ the barista chimed, her eyes eager for Alex to get her reference.
‘I’m sorry?’ Alex questioned, confused as to what the girl was talking about.
‘Alex Vause. From Orange Is The New Black?’
‘Nope, haven’t got a clue.’
‘Oh my gosh how have you not seen that? It’s the best show on Netflix! You have to watch it!’ the barista exclaimed, her tone making Alex wince - it was too early in the morning for that much enthusiasm.
‘Beats me. So…my latte?’ Alex replied, shutting down the conversation. She was already late, without talking to this girl for hours.
‘Oh right, yes. Coming right up!’ The barista was attempting to remain chirpy, but Alex could tell she was upset, which immediately made her feel bad. She didn’t usually give a damn if she offended people, but for some reason Alex really didn’t want to upset this girl.
‘Look I’m sorry I was sharp with you, I’m just running late for class, that’s all. Can I make it up to you?’ Alex asked, hoping that the barista would smile again. She looked so pretty when she smiled.
‘You can watch Orange Is The New Black’ the barista called over her shoulder, turning around with a wink as she handed the latte to Alex. Grabbing a paper bag, the barista took a muffin from the cabinet and placed it gently inside before twisting the top.
‘Here you go. Enjoy it, Alex’ she said, handing over the goods, a twinkle in her eye.
‘Thanks…Emily’ Alex smiled, reading the barista’s name badge. She turned to leave, before realising that she hadn’t paid. Placing the muffin and latte back on the counter, Alex reached into her bag to get her purse out. Feeling a hand touch her arm, Alex looked up to see Emily grinning at her.
‘My treat. Don’t worry about that.’ Electricity ran down Alex’s spine as she looked into Emily’s eyes and felt her heart flutter. Why was this girl being so nice to her? For a moment Alex considered the possibility that there was a connection between them, but she quickly shrugged the idea off. There was no way that a gorgeous girl like Emily could be interested in her shabby, disorganised mess of a life. She pulled her arm away hastily, eyes darting around.
‘That’s really nice of you. Thanks.’ Alex mumbled, before rushing out. She couldn’t bear to get her hopes up. Not after what happened last time.
Emily was left behind the counter, staring at the space where Alex had been standing. It was only when Alex had already whizzed out of the door that Emily noticed she hadn’t even picked up her latte or muffin. Sighing with disappointment, Emily picked up the latte and turned it around so the writing was facing her. Alex. She pulled off the lid and dumped the drink into the sink, the scent of coffee drifting through the air, just like the memory of Alex flitted through her mind.