“One flat white for you, Ma’am,”
“It’s Lydia,” Lydia replied, biting her lip as she forced herself to look at the handsome barista, Chris.
“Lydia,” Chris replied. Her name on his voice sounded like a breath of fresh air.
“Thanks, Chris,” Lydia said, smiling at Chris, as she took her coffee and retreated to her normal corner of the café.
They played this routine every weekend. Every Saturday, Lydia would come in and order her flat white with a flapjack bar on the side, and every Saturday Chris would make sure it was he who served her. It wasn’t a thing, more like an almost thing, something that was just starting to develop into a thing.
Lydia nestled into the large armchair, sipping at her coffee. She pointedly looked out of the window, away from Chris, because if she stared any longer it might look weird.
Oh god I hope he doesn’t think I look weird, Lydia thought. She subconsciously tucked her hair back behind her ear, a nervous habit she had never broken.
To the normal person, Lydia would firmly place herself in the weird. It’s what defined her, how she defined herself. Her bright red hair was still stark in the coffee shop window despite the low autumn sunlight, and even her eyeliner, stark and think lines surrounding her eyes, were her way of stating to the world that she was weird.
When you got given a label, you had to embrace it. It’s what made the label less painful, after all, the bullies couldn’t hurt you if you had already accepted that part of yourself which they taunted you for.
Lydia wore her label on her face, in her clothes, in the music she listen to and the art that she drew. In some ways it was freeing.
In others, it was a mask to hide behind.
She sipped on her coffee, her fresh red lipstick coming off on the white mug. The warmth of the coffee mug was comforting, a steady feeling amidst the storm of emotions inside her.
A storm, she thought, looking up on the lightening sky as the sun began to break over the rooftops. It wasn’t like anything she had felt before, this wasn’t just a pure interest or a fuck it why not kind of feeling. It was a tug, a pull of the universe, telling her to look towards Chris just one more time.
Lydia put her coffee cup back on her tray, as she noticed the edge of the napkin had been turned over, and something scribbled on it. She flipped it over, heart beating fast as she tried to stop herself from dreaming the possibilities.
Fancy going for a drink somewhere else tomorrow? C x
Lydia looked up from her mug towards Chris, who gave her a small smile as he went back to serving the next customer.
Lydia couldn’t help smile.
Maybe it’s because someone might be able to accept me for who I am, she thought, tucking the napkin into her jacket pocket, weirdness and all.
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