The mall, well more specifically, THIS! mall was what a consumerist like myself would call HEAVEN!!! The shiny ornamental lights and floral decor lining up the center of the building, from ground floor to fifth floor of the perfumed, glitz and glamour structure was everything my little shopper heart could hope for. Still, when the hard kneading hands crept up the small of my back to the back of my neck, gently massaging, gently caressing, I snapped out of my shoppers coma awestruck at the beauty that were the designer shops and the perfumery and what appeared to be an overly decorated organic health foods store to glance at the man holding all my shopping bags. A knowing feeling of love and dread simultaneously rushing down through the center of my being to the tip of my toes as we got onto the escalator going up. “Uncomplicate this! Uncomplicate this!” I mutter to myself, disguising my mumbling behind a heavy sigh. “Do you need to get anything else?” he asks, but I am already distracted by the handsome man on the other escalator going down. We make eye contact and we hold it for longer than what is presumably polite. He smiles a half grin like he knows what I am thinking and that I am thinking particular thoughts about him. I smile back knowing that he thinks I am thinking those things which I am actually not. A kiss meets my left shoulder and I glance at the man beside me. “Handsome right?” he says. A statement but somewhat a question. “He is. Looks like a baby though,” I add softening the impact any partner creates by complimenting those of the opposite sex in front of them. “Hmm…” he replies. “Should we look around or head back?” he asks. I look at his face. Both a feeling of deep caring and partial fright course through my chest. How does one person bring forward such contradicting emotions I wonder.
The sound of the piano concerto beginning over the department store microphone startles me. I realize I am jumpy and distracted. As we walk around the last time on the 2nd floor to find a coffee shop I notice the handsome young man from the escalator walking towards us. I look up at the man holding my hands and see that he is distracted by the need to locate a “Damn coffee shop!” as he puts it. We walk closer, that other man and us and for a second my imagination runs wild as I imagine what his story might be. Every person you cross has a story, and sometimes I wonder what it might be like to walk in their shoes. He is probably a cocky bastard living off his parents money I judge shamelessly. We walk closer, he holds eye contact, raises his eyebrows and passes us. I hold myself back from turning around to look at him. I half wonder if he glanced back at me.
We find the coffee shop “Do you want something to drink as well?” I am asked. Five minutes later, dead silence, two cups of steaming hot Americanos between us. I look up at him and we make eye contact. I could swim in his doting looks. He keeps staring and I blush. I remember why a part of me will never be able to deny him. I remember the first time we held hands some eleven years ago and just how nervous he used to make me. I remember handwritten letters and bad grammar when we were international students at an American boarding school together. And just as quickly as the unsure feelings I have of him comes, out it goes to be replaced by my fondness and familiarity of his otherwise kind heart. I pick up my coffee and take a sip maintaining eye contact, I smile at him and he smiles back a knowing smile. I blush at the fact that can be so finicky with my feelings. That I will always be so flighty about everything in life, especially romance. I set my cup of coffee down and feel a little bad. It seems I will always be, a silly flighty person. Every single coffee had between us will always be coffee with a flibbertigibbet.