It’s been almost a year since you last saw each other. It was a different time back then.
Her hair was shorter, her voice was smaller, her skin was tanner—but when you saw her again across the coffee shop you visited for the first time, she looked different. Her hair was longer, her voice was thicker, her skin was fairer; everything changed about her except maybe her smile, her eyes, the way she bites her lips when she’s thrilled—except maybe nothing changed at all except that her hair was longer and that… yeah, that.
You didn’t know what pushed you to visit that coffee shop for a change. It was like a sudden decision: you, needing something for a change in routine. It was so unlike you to just change coffee shop choices in a matter of millisecond but something really pulled you out of the trail that morning.
You always hated deciding between a special house blend and a black café Americano but the moment she turned to you asking whether you liked to try their special house blend, you only nod because the moment she smiled back at you, you were taken back to the day you first realized you were kind of crushing on her.
It’s that stupid E.E. Cummings piece in your literary class, way back in college; way back when she was the reason you looked forward to literary class.
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
You figured she takes E.E. Cummings seriously and when she reads poetry, she reads it the way you always see her when she walks, talks, reads, eats—effortlessly, yet flawless in all sorts of angles and motion.
She’s like a frozen piece of art to you; like a version of Audrey Hepburn live in a kaleidoscope view.
You didn’t realize the amount of time you had been staring until she calls your name and you die a little inside because she says your name the way she looks at you—it makes you think you can believe in yourself the way she always believed in the greatest of poets.
You don’t remember when you started thinking about what she meant to you all this time you had known her and when you figure it out in just a split second, you suddenly tell yourself for the first time in your life, that you are a stupid person.
And when she asks you if you wanted to add anything to your order, you ask a million of questions in your head. You don’t remember much of it all but the one that struck you the most is the question about the price of a second chance.
She calls your name for the first time (and you noticed that you never told her your name but she just knew), telling you that the fucking house blend you wished for was ready and you slap yourself for saying it was a to-go, and you wondered if they offered something to-stay because you wanted to stay right there in front of her and just watch her brows furrow at the sight of your catatonia.
You wave goodbye to her and it is the saddest wave of all the saddest waves because at the back of your mind, you ask yourself how come you only realized everything now? She’s lovely; and you know that everybody will love her—perhaps, somebody already does. You know just how lovely she is because you love her. Ever since that stupid E.E. Cumming piece she read in class, you loved how good she is at the things she does.
But you just wave at her because well, how could you be so attached to a person you just met again for the first time, after a year or so. It’s entirely baffling and at the same time comforting—and you wonder if that’s ever possible. How could you be so possessive of something you never had?
And you just wave at her because perhaps, what never happened, never had happy endings.
But as you cross the street, you remember the stupid E.E. Cummings piece. And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart).
So you run back to the coffee shop you only visited for the first time and you look at her and she looks back at you with those eyes that never really changed. She asks you what made you come back. You should’ve thought she was asking you about the coffee or some other coffee they serve but you took the question differently.
What made you come back?
Her eyes, you think.
Her smile, you think.
Her hands, you think.
You think a bunch of other answers but when she asks you, “what do you want?”—you only say one thing.