You sit there, consumed in your thoughts. You always sit in that chair, the one closest to the window. It's like you want to be ready to escape at any moment. I always see you sitting there and I want to say something, but I never do. I’m scared that if I say something I’ll disrupt that perfect calm you’ve created and you'll fly out of that window.
Every day as I wait in line for my coffee I glance at you. I memorize the curve of your spine as you sit, hunched over whatever book you're reading, your hands pulling your hair back to keep your locs off of the precious pages.
I always keep a single black band around my wrist. Not for my hair, but for yours. I wonder why you never wear a headband; you just hold your hair back with your hands.
If I were you I wouldn't wear a headband either. I'd always want to feel that hair.
You are black. Your eyes and teeth are stars on a dark chocolate sky. I take a quick look at you, then let my eyes drop back down into my cup. I look deep into the dark liquid.
I’m trying to see if my coffee is the same color as you.
Each day before I walk out of the house I take one last look in my full length mirror and say:
"Today is the day." Today is the day when I'll say hello. Today is that day that I’ll offer you the rubber band around my wrist. Today is the day when I'll get close enough to you to see if you match my mocha cappuccino.
I walk into the coffee shop. There you are, right by the window, reclining in that same chair, eyes closed, locs spilling over your cheeks and down past your shoulders, headphones on, cassete player in hand, tapes spread all over your lap.
You are beautiful.
I look at my wrist, making sure the band is still there. It is. I walk up to the counter and order my usual. As I wait I twist the black band around my wrist. The cashier gives me my coffee and I turn to leave, head down, eyes drowning in my cup. I walk, trying to hurry and leave because I don't know what to say to you. I am mad at myself once again for not having the courage to speak. I’m almost at the door when
Everything is in slow motion. I hear tapes clatter onto the tile floor. I feel coffee spill on my coat. I see two pairs of brown hands, grabbing at tapes as they hit the floor. I hear voices, first emitting curses then frantically whispering apologies. I feel hands wiping my coat.
There is one more tape on the floor. I pick it up and place it in those brown hands. Then, I look up.
You look back at me. You open your mouth and words spill out like the coffee that stained my coat.
"I'mreallysorryforbumpingintoyou. I'm Siam by the way."
But I’m already out the door.
Part two comign soon.