Songs for this chapter are:
Rockbottom- Hailee Steinfeld
Is There Somewhere- Halsey
When I push through the doors at Grind, the place is packed.
A long line is snaked around the shop, from the pastry display case, to the pick up area. Women and men dressed in casual business clothing are scattered around the room, chattering and sipping on caffeine. As I scan the line, there are a few irritated faces toward the back. I immediately walk through the crowd and go behind the counter. I don't even bother to grab an apron. Aiden is taking orders, his fingers quickly navigate the familiar register and his pale face is bright red. His neck too. His back is sweaty. Well, shit. He's not going to be very happy with me.
He hands the customer, a black haired woman in a red pantsuit. The woman is irritated, her hands move around angrily in the space between them, and I come up behind him.
"Hey, I'm here. Sorry, man. My phone died and my alarm-"
"Save it," Aiden glares at me. "Just help me get this line down," he says quietly.
I wish I could call on Hermoine to turn him into a ferret.
I nod, sort of understanding his frustration. This line is no joke and sometimes people are just crappy.
Draco, I mean, Aiden shouts an order at me. "Macchiato. Extra foam!" he says, and I grab a small cup and get to work.
As I steam the milk, I look back at Aiden. He's filthy, black coffee grounds stain the front of his shirt and he has a wet spot on his chest. It would be much more amusing if it wasn't my fault. We would have been busy and overwhelmed, but it would have been much easier with two people instead of one.
I pour the frothed milk over the dark espresso. Aiden gives me another order. We continue like this until the line shrinks down to three people. Aiden is calmer now, he's back to smiling and being friendly with customers. This is good news for me.
It's helping keep my mind off of Nora showing up to my apartment, and the fact that I'm an idiot for not bringing my phone to text Tessa to make sure everything's all right.
Every table is still full and there are still at least twenty people standing up, coffee in hand. I notice that they're all wearing lanyards and assume that it's the usual business conference. It's a much bigger crowd than we usually get at one time, but it's good for business. That's another cool thing about New York City, there's always something going on.
I start to reload the beans and wipe down the grinders while Aiden tackles the condiment station, refilling the creamers and restocking the seven different types of sugar we offer. Before I moved the city, I've never seen a person put a lump of sugar pressed into the shape of a cube, into their coffee.
Back in Saginaw, every once in a while, I would hear a customer ordering a non-fat something or other, but that was about as complicated as it got in small town Michigan. Dakota and I would sit there for hours.
We would move tables when we got tired of the view. We would get a sugar high and walk home, holding hands and dreaming under the stars.
My mind moves down that familiar memory lane and I remember when Dakota and I got in a fight in Starbucks. I remember that her hair smelled like coconut and her new lip gloss was sticky. I chased her down the street and she sprinted, reminding me that she could run faster than anyone I knew. The track coach at our high school knew it too. Dakota wasn't interested in sports though. She would humor me and watch the games with me and ask a million questions every time a whistle blew.
YOU ARE READING
Book 1 of 2 featuring After worldwide fan-favorite Landon Gibson as he leaves Washington to navigate love and life in New York City. At the end of the After Ever Happy, Landon got married-but readers everywhere have been wondering who will get to ca...