The lights of the cafe are bright compared to the dingy scene surrounding it. Lily approaches the store, hood over her head and tears fresh in her eyes. Honestly, she doesn’t know why, out of all places, that she chose here to escape to. She’s not in the brightest of moods, to say lightly, but she thinks that if maybe she goes somewhere opposite of her dreary mood, that she’ll at least feel something and not be completely numb. Her feelings are null at the moment, and all she feels is definitely the hot tears streaming down her face.
She stops for a moment in front of the shop, to collect herself. Lily takes out her iPod from her pocket and places the cool metal on her cheek, a small effort to make herself look (and feel) calm and collected. Taking a deep breath, she puts on the most realistic smile she can manage and opens the door to the cafe.
It’s a tiny place, two tables, a three seat counter, and a very small cake display. There’s a tall worker there, male and navy-haired. He’s smiling a calm, distant smile. The worker looks no older than 17 and is wearing a loose-fitting shirt and tight jeans. He has kind eyes and his dimples show as he greets Lily.
"Hello there, what would you like to order?" the worker (Junhong, his nameplate reads) asks Lily cheerily. "It’s quite late in the night, a hot drink and cake would be a great pairing," he adds while still smiling.
Lily takes a look at the cake display case, “I would like… ah.. a white sponge fruit cake.” she says while pointing at the petite slice of cake in the display. “Oh, and cinnamon tea.”
"Of course! That will be a grand total of five dollars and twenty cents. If you’d like to take a seat, I’ll gladly bring it to you shortly." Junhong smiles another comforting smile and rushes to boil water after Lily pays.
Lily sits down at the table near the large window and looks out at the dark, outer world. She props her head onto her hand and blankly looks out. Junhong lets out an audible sigh and Lily thinks, “People have troubles in their life too, no matter how much they smile.” A few minutes later, the tall kid brings out a small, pale, blue plastic tray that holds a white mug and clean white plate with a slice of fruit cake.
"Thanks." Lily says, trying to smile and make eye contact as she looks up at Junhong.
"No problem!" the younger (she thinks) says as he continues, "Anything else I could get you?"
"Nah, I think I’m good." Lily replies. Lost in thought, she slowly takes bites of the cake and sips her tea. After what she thinks is a good 7 minutes, her cake is gone and she’s left with a still comfortable warm cup of cinnamon tea. The guitar riffs of the background music in the cafe rings in Lily’s ears, she smiles because she thinks the lonely sounding music fits the very mellow atmosphere. She sees a man walking. Lily notices that it’s raining outside because the man walking toward the cafe has his hood up. He opens the door to the cafe.
Oddly enough, he stands next to Lily, looking down at her and smiling a very warm and gummy smile.
"Hey, this might sound weird, but I just had to tell you that your aura really just… speaks to me." He tells Lily, pulling out a chair for himself next to her and sitting down.
"I… what?" She questions, half still dazed from being disrupted from her train of though, half genuinely confused.
The man laughs and deep, rumbling laughter and puts a hand on Lily’s shoulder, “Is anything on your mind? Anything you want to talk about? I-uh-it’s sort of hard to tell you this but I feel like I needed to talk to you. As if I had something that could help you, and maybe I could be wrong, but if there’s anything I could help you with, here I am.”
Lily is just dumbfounded. She doesn’t know what to say, but (again, oddly enough) she feels like this guy is the person she needs right now too. Tears form at her eyes and her next words are a blur, “I… I don’t know what to say. I mean I feel like we needed to talk too, know I don’t know you either but yeah this feels so right. I’ve been having such tough times and my friends are so comforting and wonderful but they don’t cut it for me. I just have been feeling so down that I don’t know what to do anymore. I just want to leave sometimes and fall of the face of the Earth but, at the same times, I don’t want to do that either. And past memories haunt me and I… I…. I don’t know.”
"Well," the man begins while taking a deep breath and smoothing down his hoodie front, "let’s introduce ourselves." He wipes tears that Lily didn’t even realize she shed away from her cheeks.
"That’s a beautiful name." the man smiles again, it’s a smile that warms Lily’s soul and breathes emotion right into her chest.