I started writing this story about a month ago. It was an idea at first that turned my long writing hiatus into a love again. My love of story telling and writing. At first, I wrote just a couple chapters a day... which then turned into eight chapters by the end of the month. I find that when I write without the pressures of releasing anything, life is SO much better. I can write when I'm in the mood, or not, and it's perfectly OK. I haven't decided yet if I will release this on any other platform besides on here (of course) and my social media pages. I guess it all depends on the feedback. If I do, I will definitely let you guys know. So make sure you sign up for my newsletter. Until then, I hope you guys enjoy the story.
** Changes may be made at any time as this story has not yet been through proper edits **
It’s late and I can’t sleep. Again, I toss and turn constantly, trying to find the perfect position to lie on but it’s just no use so I give up and get out of bed. I grab my plush robe laying across the chair in front of my vanity and slip into it, searching for comfort. At this point, any comfort would be great. I quietly open my bedroom door, careful not to make much noise. Mia is a very light sleeper so waking her up at this hour because I can’t sleep again would not be ideal. I search the right side of the wall for the light switch and flip it on as I walk down the hallway to the kitchen. I walk over to the refrigerator and grab a bottle of water careful not to let the door slam shut. I make my way back to the island counter and pull out a stool chair. Before I get a chance to sit down, I hear a door creak open. Craning my neck back to see where the noise was coming from, I catch sight of my precious little girl standing inside her door, yawning as she stretches one arm above her head while holding a stuffed frog in the other. “Sweetheart, what are you doing awake?” I ask, as I walk over to her. I engulf her tiny body as I pick her up and walk us back into the kitchen, setting her on top of the counter.
“Mommy, are you having bad dreams again?” And just like that, she bypasses the question. “You didn’t answer my question, Mia. It’s late. You should be asleep baby girl.”
“But… Mommy, I want to stay up with you. Please.” She whines.
“Maybe tomorrow when you don’t have school in the morning, ok?” I try to reason. My girl. She’s so much like me when I was her age, only far smarter.
She rests her head against my chest and wraps her little arms around my waist. “Fine, but can we stop for donuts before school? It’s going to take a lot of sugar to get me through the day.” I look down at my mini me and chuckle.
“Mommy has to be at work extra early in the morning, so Nana is coming by to take you to school, but I’m pretty sure she won’t mind swinging by Just Glazed before dropping you off, but only if you go back to bed right this second.”
“Deal!” She jumps up and runs back to her room while dragging her poor frog behind her. I grab my bottle of water and head back to my room but stopping at Mia's door to double check that our agreement was being met.
When I peak inside her very pink room, my eyes land on the most perfect angel God could ever bless me with tucked deep inside her comforter. She meets my eyes and smiles at me as I blow her a kiss. No amount of money could ever make me as happy as that little girl has. Turning the hallway light off as I return to my room, I slip my robe off and throw it back on the chair before climbing into bed. I send a quick prayer to the man upstairs and hope to catch a few hours before my alarm goes off.
I wake up to a pounding knock on my front door and it doesn’t register to me that I must have overslept until I hear my mom’s voice. My mom’s voice!
“Isa! It’s Mom.” I jolt out of bed and run over to Mia’s room but she’s not in there. I check the bathroom, and still no Mia. Where did that child go? Before internally asking myself more questions, I make it to the kitchen just in time to see Mia, who’s completely dressed; open the door for her Nana. “Nana!” She squeals. My girl loves her Nana something fierce. It also may have something to do with the fact that her Nana never tells her no.
“Oh my God, I must have overslept. What time is it?” I ask my Mom. “It’s almost six thirty, Isa. Are you feeling ok? It’s not like you to over sleep.” She states.
“I’m fine. Just a long night.” I reply.
She gives me a questioning once over before bending down to let Mia know to grab her things. “Are you sure you’re ok, Isa?” She asks again. “Yes, Mom. I’m just experiencing a little insomnia right now, but I’ll get some melatonin on the way home from work tonight.” I say to appease her. It must be enough because she leaves it alone and heads out with Mia in tow. “Bye, Mommy! Remember, I get to stay up late with you tonight!” And just like that, she runs ahead, not even waiting for her Nana. I lock the door behind them and grab my cell from my purse. I need to call into work to let them know I’m running late. Thank goodness this is the week my boss is in Seattle attending a conference. Me being late shouldn’t be a huge deal, considering I’m the next in charge. Still, it doesn’t look good so I never make it a habit.
I quickly strip out of my pjs, shower and dress with enough time to spare on some concealer for the dark circles forming under my eyes. Awesome. I make it to work in record time because thank goodness I caught every green light on the way here. I give myself a mental high five as I walk into the shop and head straight back into the office to get my apron and cap off the wall of hangers. After I get my uniform on, I head up to the front register to help Betty out. There’s still a morning rush coming in, so we stay busy until it dies down around ten. Once I see the customers trickle in instead of a mad dash of people, I excuse myself to the back, so I can get started on the inventory. I ask Betty to stay at the register and to let me know when Josh, our other barista wants a break.
“You got it, Boss.”
“Betty, I’m not your boss. I’m your equal.” I smile. “Whatever you say, Boss.” She adds with a giggle. I work in a high-volume store, so inventory needs to be done twice a week. It usually keeps me quite busy until lunch time, but I manage to finish early so I give Josh an early lunch while I cover for him at the station. There’s a slow but steady stream of customers coming through who we’ve dubbed the Frapp crew. They are regulars who work in the office buildings that surround our shop. They come in every afternoon like clockwork for their pick-me up and they always get the same thing… Frappuccinos. I almost roll my eyes, because I couldn’t imagine spending this much on coffee every single day, some even twice a day and I work here. “Hey, Betty, did you want to go ahead and take your break? It’s pretty dead right now.”
“Nah, I’m good. I’m gonna go restock the supplies, so holla if you need me, Boss.” Again, I roll my eyes. I am so not her boss, I laugh to myself. Just then, I hear someone clearing their throat behind me which prompts me to turn around. “Oh! I’m so sorry. I didn’t even hear you come in. What can I get for you today?” I ask while wiping my hands down my apron. He stares at me for a long moment before replying in a stern voice, “I’ll have a tall Americano with a splash of half & half, no sugar.” He reaches into his suit jacket and pulls out his wallet, his eyes never leaving mine. I ring up his order and give him his change while desperately looking everywhere else but at him. His intense stare is giving my skin goose bumps, sending a shiver down my back. I quickly get to work on his order while he backs away from the counter and takes a call on his cell phone. I can’t help but notice how broad his shoulders are. How long and lean his body looks in that fitted black suit that outlines him just right. His dark hair is buzzed short on the sides but longer on the top… enough for me to run my hands through it. “Isabelle.” Betty calls.
The moment I come out of my delusional day dream, I see Betty pointing at the espresso waiting in the shot glasses. Right! Ugh, get your head back to reality, Isa. A man like that wouldn’t give you two seconds of his time, much less be interested in a coffee shop employee. I snap back to real life and finish his drink order, quickly placing it on the counter top. Still on his phone, he watches me intently as he slowly grabs his cup and turns to leave. I’ve never seen him around here before, that much I know because I know all the regulars, I think to myself. Then again, this could’ve just been a quick stop to some place better. The fact is, I shouldn’t have allowed myself to daydream about some strange intense connection I felt to a random guy that I will absolutely never see again unless he’s employed nearby, to which I highly doubt by the suit he had on and the missing badge necklace everyone else seems to have on around here. No, he looks way too important to be bunched in with the Frapp crew.
Facts are facts.