The bell clanged as I walked into the coffee shop to escape from the ice-cold wind outside. I didn’t look at anyone as I moved through the tables towards the spare seat by the window, sitting down and taking off my gloves. This winter had been very cold, not the coldest I had known but still enough to cut through my layers of clothes to my skin.
The waitress sauntered up to me, her hips swinging as she looked me up and down. ‘Can I get you anything?’ She asked, smiling sweetly at me and batting her eyelashes.
‘I’ll get an espresso,’ I said quietly.
‘Are you sure that’s everything?’ She said, disappointed I wasn’t picking up on the vibes she was sending out to me, saying she liked what she saw. I thought she was pretty in an obvious way, hair artificially coloured and a spray tan to make her skin appear tanned, but she wasn’t my type.
‘Yes, thank you,’ I said firmly but politely, looking out the window to emphasise the fact I wanted to be left alone. I heard her sigh as she walked away, her heels clicking on the wooden floor.
I found the idea of coffee shops a fascinating one, even though they had been around for a few hundred years. Of course that was one of the more interesting aspects of my condition, I saw places evolve over time, saw technology improve and cultures develop. But the fact that I don’t seem to age anymore, something most people would jump at the chance to experience, isn’t as great as it seems. Staying the same when everything around you is changing can make you feel old and tired, you don’t feel like you are going anywhere or achieving anything.
‘Thank you,’ I said as the waitress put a steaming cup of coffee in front of me. She didn’t respond this time, clearly slighted by my lack of interest in her, and walked off quickly. Her coldness didn’t bother me. I was used to people treating me differently. Even if they didn’t know the truth, they could sense something about me wasn’t quite right.
I sipped my coffee, staring out the window at the people passing by. But there was only one figure I cared about. A girl, about sixteen years old, standing on the opposite side of the street. She was standing, waiting for someone, rubbing her hands together and blowing on them to keep them from getting too cold. It always surprised me how familiar she looked, like she was the same person I had met all those years ago.
Her hair was always a soft black colour, even though the styles had changed over the years from being pinned tightly back into a bun during the 1800’s, to a bob cut in the 1960’s. This time it was long and hung loose to her hip, a fringe sweeping across one side of her face so when she bent her head to look down it covered her icy blue eyes, hiding them from view. Her skin was naturally tanned, but only so much as to give her a healthy looking glow, not obviously fake like the waitress who had served me. She stood confidently, as though she felt comfortable in her athletic body.