Subtle Smiles & Hungry Eyes

“Order up”

Bellows the manager.

With a thunderous slam the tray is placed down, the coffee nearly spilt and the customer ushered away.

“Next please…”

The barista mutters with a sultry tone.

She looks so depressed. I can feel myself being drawn in by it and no amount of friendly smiles from any customer seems to change the look on her face, she refused to make any form of eye contact. I guess the wind must have changed at the wrong time.

Through all of the noise, rushing people and rowdy children I spot the pair who have been sent out into the war zone to clear the tables.

They both rush in different directions to make space as fast at they can, all while the beady eyes of unimpressed seniors glare at them. The way they move is so hypnotic, it is as if they are dancing with the cups and trays in hand, around and around they go, missing everything and everyone; it was then I saw it….

As they brush past one another their eyes meet for but a mere moment, the pressure that emanated from them was overwhelming. Their smiles were subtle but as I looked deeper I could see their eyes were filled with lust, passion and love.

Less than a second passes, their contact is broken and their dances continued.

Though my sight is fixed on the two, my ears catch the manager once again barking orders.

“You’ve got a face like a smacked ass girl! Go and help Kevin wash the dishes”

The miserable girl behind the till suddenly left.

“Kerry! Back behind the till please.”

Kerry, so that was her name. She didn’t look like a Kerry, I thought she was more of a Rachel, but I guess I was wrong.

Kerry scuttles across the floor and through the staff door, she was in such a hurry the trays and cups she carried almost went flying.

The young man still gliding across the shop floor smiles at all of the customers, it’s like he is walking on air after that brief glance at the apple of his eye. Minutes pass and eventually everything is cleared, then he too returns to the till.

I look across to see their playful flirting and it makes me smile.

It’s a much nicer sight than the washed out look of the previous girl. She was so lifeless, so miserable, so pathetic.

“Luke, you can go”

Luke eh… Luke and Kerry, what a nice couple they made.

As he disappears from my sight I feel a dark cloud appear to my left. It was the morbid one herself, with heavy steps and careless awareness she bumps into me.

‘Stupid girl’ I thought.



She lacked the energy and grace of Luke and Kerry, but it was at that exact second she made eye contact with me, what I saw and came to realise will never leave me.

She wasn’t depressed, she was hurt. Their were tears in her eyes and a stare that cried out for help.

‘Why could she be so sad?’

A voice reaches over my shoulder to grab her attention.

“Ok babe, lets go then.”

A tall and slender man passes me and puts his arm around her. She responds by looking up and saying;

“Ok….”
“I love you Luke”

His response, while looking over his shoulder towards the till at Kerry.

“uh huh. Come on.”

Suddenly, it all became painfully clear.

The dance I witnessed between the two I thought was one of passion and love was nothing more than a sordid affair, but worst of all, they did it right in front of her eyes…

I can only imagine how much it hurts to see the one you love loving someone else.

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