I pulled up to the cafe in my truck, and went inside. Where was Hattie? I looked around, but couldn't find her. It wasn't like she would have been hard to spot, either, with her red hair. I walked up to the register and asked the cashier about her. "Has a girl with red hair come in here? Her name's Hattie." The girl nodded and said, "Yeah, she's been here for ten minutes. She's sitting at a table outside. I'm pretty sure she thinks you've stood her up." "What? I wouldn't do that! She told me to come at noon, but she came early." The cashier shrugged and pointed to the back door. "She's out that way."
I walked outside, and sure enough, there she was. "Hey Hattie." She turned around, revealing a half gone smoothie in her hand. "Hi Cedric. You can sit down." She patted the seat next to her. I smiled and sat down. "Why would you think I stood you up?" I asked. She laughed, "Oh I'm sorry. The cashier, right? When I got here, she was really emotional about some guy. So I made something up so she wouldn't feel stupid. Sorry if it ruins your 'image' or something." I shook my head, "Nah, it's not like I have much of an image anyways. So what are you drinking?"
"A green apple smoothie. I got you a coffee." Hattie pushed a porcelain cup towards me, and I took a sip. "Mmm, how'd you know how I like my coffee?" She smiled, "It's a gift. I can always tell how people like their coffee when I meet them. Or if they don't drink it." "What? How?" I laughed. She leaned in towards me and whispered, "It's a secret." Then she sat back in her chair and took another sip of her smoothie.
Hattie was a little out there, but not much more than I was. Maybe that's why I liked her. I don't really know.
Well, one thing led to another, and after a couple hours at the cafe, Hattie asked me something. "Can we go back to your apartment?" I almost spit my coffee out in surprise. Was she implying that she wanted.. "it"? "Um, sure.." I mumbled, fishing for my keys in my pocket.
We got in my truck and drove to my apartment. Hattie walked in, looking around at my home. "Not much of a decorator, huh? More of a.. pizza on the wall type of guy?" She pointed to a sauce stain on the white paint. "Oh crap." I said, scrubbing it off with a washcloth. "How about we go outside?" She asked, but it was more like an order, because she had already walked out on the deck. I pulled another lawn chair next to her and sat down.
We sat and talked for hours. By the time it was finally silent, the stars were shining. "I've always loved the stars." I blurted. I was embarrassed, but Hattie didn't make fun. "I've always loved them, too. See that star?" She pointed to the brightest star in the sky. "That's our star."
I looked at her in confusion. "What do you mean, 'that's our star'?" "Well, it's not our star yet, I suppose. But it will be. You can buy stars, you know." Hattie said, staring up at it. "So when we buy that star, we can always look up at it to remember eachother. I know that seems a little straightforward, but I don't have a phone and I'm not easy to get ahold of, as you know. So that way we can still talk to eachother, even though we're not together." Hattie said.
I smiled. Hattie was, by far, the most wonderful person I had ever met.