Margaret lead Denise to the comfy seats by the window. SWV Right Here played through the café.
"This place missed you so much." Margaret sipped her grande decaf Tiramisu latte.
Denise looked around, "I miss this place too. My life was simple when I worked here."
"The new store manager is okay, she's not as beautiful as you, though."
Denise rubbed her hands over the gift bag from John and the gift from her baristas.
Margaret, "are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just getting used to all the different changes in my life."
"Don't worry. Everything will work out Denise. When is the last time you prayed?"
Denise stumbled, "you always know what to say. I haven't prayed in a while. I don't know why I stopped."
"Don't lose faith. If its meant to be, it'll be."
"Mrs. Margaret, he chose someone else. I wasn't good enough." Denise said as she scratched her fingers.
"He wasn't ready for you. Stop holding it against your heart."
Skyler, a barista, walked over, "here Denise, one of your favorites."
Denise grinned as she put the cookie straw in her strawberry smores Frappucino. Denise switched the conversation when Skyler walked away.
Margaret chuckled, "we can change the subject."
Denise agreed. Ten minutes of a deep conversation, a bus load of people walked in. Skyler interrupted and ask Denise if she could help them with the rush. Denise put on an apron and a visor. She change her shoes and jumped on her espresso bar. She started to produced drinks and help knock down the line. She heard a man's voice.
"May I have a orange mango smoothie with one pump of peach?"
She looked up to match eyes with John. He was sweaty from his workout. John turned his head. She started to make his smoothie as Margaret walked up to John and hugged him.
Denise called out, "I have a Grande Orange Mango Smoothie with 1 pump peach and an extra scoop of protein and whey."
John smiled, "I always forgot to say that." She smirked.
He grabbed the drink from her. The silence became thick.
Margaret interrupted, "say something. Please talk to each other."
John put his straw in his smoothie, "Happy Birthday."
Denise responded, "thank you. I thought you would forget."
John nervously chuckled, "I would never forget your birthday."
Denise hesitated, "well thank you for my card and gift bag. I haven't had the chance to look at it. But I am thankful for the thought behind it."
John hesitated, "thank you for remembering me this time." Referring to when they were at KOP mall and Denise pretended not to know him.
Denise looked down, "I didn't mean to be rude."
John chuckled, "no, it's okay. I get it."
Denise smiled, "you remembering my birthday meant a lot. Thank you. "
"You mean a lot."
"Are you happy?"
"I'm much better now."