Hot coffee. Please.

Etiksen abiturientti Ida Salo kirjoitti englannin Brush up Your Writing Skills -kurssilla romaanin alun, jonka opettaja Marjut Sadeharju kehotti lähettämään kaikkien iloksi Etanaan.

Hot coffee. Please.

PROLOGUE

I sat on a park bench in Central Park. I sipped my coffee that I had gotten from Starbucks only a few minutes earlier. The smooth hot white chocolate coffee touched my tongue and my taste buds were thanking me. I let out a sigh and smiled, while an adorable old couple passed me. They were holding hands and flashed a smile back at me.

Suddenly my eyes were covered from behind. They were warm, soft and familiar. I heard a deep voice that asked “guess who?”. I turned 180 degrees and saw Luke’s deep blue eyes staring straight into mine. We were so close that I could feel his breath whisk a stranded hair near my ear. I shivered as goose bumps appeared in my arms. Luke pulled back, brushed the strand of hair behind my ear and asked, whether I was cold. I was hardly able to shake my head. He went around the bench and sat next to me.

We had been friends with Luke since we were children, yet I still couldn’t find the courage to admit to him that I loved him in every meaning of the word. I had stood by him when he had had cancer and he had been there for me through all of my break-ups. We were as tight as friends get. I simply had this dream that one day we wouldn’t be friends anymore. I wished for something more.

Luke sat very close. He put his arm around me to warm me up and casually said that I was a poor liar. I knew that this was true. In the end, I still hadn’t told him about my feelings. I leaned into him and took a deep breath taking in his scent, which was a mixture of musk and lavender. It was a perfume I had bought him. I took in another breath and could smell his own scent. It reminded me of a night I had fallen asleep next to him, while we had been watching Sleepless in Seattle. In the morning we had woken up completely intertwined. After that my shirt smelled like him. I didn’t wash it until the scent had faded away.

We sat so close to each other that I could hear his heartbeat, which was racing faster than it normally did. I looked up and noticed that he was looking right at me with our lips not more than an inch away from each other. It would of took me no effort to reach out to him for a kiss. But I just couldn’t get myself to move. He smiled, shifted his eyes from my eyes to my parted lips. I knew this was a sign. He wanted to kiss me as badly as I wanted to kiss him.

 

 

CHAPTER 1

In a few seconds, the moment had passed. He turned his face away from mine and looked elsewhere. I had missed my chance. I laid my cheek back on his chest; his heartbeat was normal again. He struck my hair. He dug his fingertips lightly to the roots of my hair and twirled them in a tiny circle giving it a small tug. It felt ethereal.

Although the moment had passed once again, I was pleased to be under his arm feeling safe and comfortable. And well, let’s face it, how many teenage girls can say that they spend every day in the arms of a man, especially one who’s not their boyfriend. But I have to admit that the latter I would want to change.

I pushed myself from Luke and got up, as I had been basically lying on the bench with my head on his chest. I realised that I had completely forgotten to give him his coffee. I passed him his hazelnut-belgian chocolate frappuccino with no foam. Luke hated whipped cream. I got to know this about him when we began the tradition to buy each other coffee in turns. The first time he bought me coffee, he bought a white chocolate coffee with extra whipped cream. He nailed it, that’s what I love about him. But when it was my turn to buy the delight, I bought him a caramel mocha macchiato with extra foam. He hated everything in it, especially the whipped cream. In the end, I had to drink it. This story continues to amuse us even today.

When I gave him the coffee, I also gave him his half of a triple chocolate cookie. According to our tradition we buy one to be split into two. Luke always insists on me having the bigger half. So, once again we were sharing a picnic as best friends (and lovers) tend to do. Both of us were quiet while we nibbled on the dark brown delicacy. He was done first, as usual, and began to talk.

“So, I met this girl, or well actually, I bumped into this girl today”, he began excitedly. I became anxious. “She’s new at our school and, well, you know I don’t talk to you a lot about girls or anything, right?” he continued and you could hear the hesitation in his voice. I mumbled a short “Mmmmhh”. It seemed as if he was a bit uncertain whether to continue or not, so I encouraged him by giving him a one-sided smile and a short nod. He cleared his throat and swallowed. He was clearly nervous, and now so was I. He went on with a timid smile “Well I’m kind of intrigued with her personality. I mean she seems like an introvert when you look at her at first, yet when I briefly changed a couple of words with her, she was so talkative”. Luke was incredibly excited. One could see it in his eyes. “So I was wondering if you have any tips about how I could approach her again and ask her for a coffee?”

Coffee. Coffee? Coffee. Coffee had always been our thing. How could he now go for a coffee with someone else. He was just going to throw our traditions away. I went completely mute. I said nothing and just stared forward, where there were some guys playing friendly football. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I took a sip of my coffee. It had turned cold.

 

 

CHAPTER 2

Oh, I just realised that none of you readers know anything about me nor Luke. You’ve only heard about our coffee preferences. I mean, they are also something about us, but not really the essential things about us. Or I mean, they are a part of our daily life but, uh, well you know what I mean.

So anyway, first something about me. So my name is Jasmin Thornton, but everybody calls me Jazz. I’m 17 years old, turning 18 in a couple of months. I live together with my dad and little brother. My mother left us when I was 6. I know what you’re thinking. What a sad childhood living with just one parent, but seriously I got over it and so should you. Anyway, we’re doing just fine. Oh and we live in Manhattan, New York in a huge apartment. Luke lives only a five minute walk away from us. We see each other almost every day for coffee and we go to the same school together.

Which brings us to Luke, my mysterious best friend, who I have a huge crush on, as you all know already.

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