Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino.
Marrissa looked out the coffee shop window, stirring the now lukewarm drink with the little plastic straw. Her date had just left her and was now walking across the parking lot to his car, his face glued to his phone. He said it was an emergency; she knew it was just an excuse. She would have cried if this was the first time a guy walked out on her during a date, but it wasn’t the first time she had bored, or perhaps scared, a boy away since moving to the city.
Guys must have assumed Marissa was an easy girl with her platinum blond hair, thin frame, and elegant curves. Her quiet nature hid her geeky personality while guys chatted her up to get a date. Once the first date came and went she never heard from the guy again. Really, that wasn’t what bothered her as much as their listening skills did.
She didn’t like Pumpkin Spice Cappuccinos.
Somehow, every date involved a similar conversation:
‘What would you like?’ the guy asked, ‘Pumpkin Spice?’ they would assume, it being a popular drink.
‘No,’ Marrissa would say and she would tell him she didn’t like Pumpkin Spice and would say what she did like.
Yet, she always ended up with Pumpkin Spice or strawberry ice cream. Asks for a burger and gets a salad.
She slipped her wallet out of her purse and pulled out a dollar. She would leave this coffee shop just like the rest. With her barely touched drink left cold on the table with a dollar tip sticking out from underneath it; an apology.
“Excuse me, miss?”
Marrissa startled. “Ah?! Y-yes?”
She looked up at the equally startled barista. The teen girl held an ice cream in her hand.
“This guy bought this for you,” she turned her head to point to said guy, but no one was there. “Uh, I dunno where he went. Here.”
Marrissa took the ice cream. “Thank you.”
A vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a waffle cone.
Wide eyes blinked. She must have stared at the cone for a long while as a drip of white started to slide down the cone.
Who would have gotten her this? Who would have known that she loved vanilla ice cream, she loved the sprinkles, and the waffle cone? What guy in the past three years she had been living in the city would have actually remembered what her favorite ice cream was?
She pondered this as she licked the ice cream. The sweet, subtle flavor accented by the sugary crunch of the sprinkles made her heart flutter or maybe it was the thought of the guy who would think about such a seemingly small gesture as an ice cream.
The waffle cone was the best part. Once the ice cream was licked down to the cone she took a mischievous bite off the bottom. She attempted to suck the ice cream through the cone. Instead, some dripped onto her skirt. She wiped it off with a napkin.
Todd was the only one who had actually listened to her during a date; though it had still ended with him running off because of an ‘emergency’. He rented a house down on Main Street, not far from the coffee shop. He was the only one Marrissa thought would remember the waffle cone.
It was later that evening after she had gone home and changed, that Marrissa strolled up Main Street in her high heels to Todd’s home. The flashing of light from a t.v. could be seen through the window curtains. He was home.
She bounded up the step to the door and didn’t hesitate to ring the doorbell. The chime interrupted the muffled noise from the t.v. that was then paused. Her presence was known.
Marissa quickly flattened her skirt. She put on a smile and brushed her hair behind her ears, revealing her new silver hoops.
The doorknob turned, and there stood the six-foot tall college student with wispy brown hair and a faint smell of cologne. His brown eyes sat under furrowed eyebrows.
Marissa’s heart skipped a beat. Her smile melted. “I-uh. Uh.”
With a quick twist that caused her skirt to twirl she bolted away from that door and down the road. The figure of a girl behind Todd was the last she saw as she scurried away.
Even if Todd remembered a waffle cone, he didn’t remember who it would have been for.
The heel of her shoe had snapped half way through her flee home and a run ruined her pantyhose. Exhaustion took over as she reached the porch of the two family home and instead of taking the stairs up to her unit, she flopped onto a plastic lawn chair and sobbed.
She tried not to stab her leg with the broken heel as she pounded her thighs. She threw the heel out towards the driveway.
“Woah! Hello to you, too.” A familiar voice came up the driveway. “Wasn’t expecting to get something thrown at me.”
Marrissa’s head shot up from her lap. She wiped the tears away, smudging the already ruined makeup, as she tried to make out the face in the dark.
Broad shoulders in a blue hoodie bounded up the porch steps into the light. Black hair was slicked back. His playful smirk quickly turned wide-eyeded concern as he saw her face.
“Hey, Mariss…uh. You got something on your face.”
An old friend from her hometown. They hadn’t seen each other since high school graduation when she moved to the city and he went to college out of state.
She sniffled, trying to keep her nose from leaking. “No, really? Steven, what are you doing here?”
“Man, if I was expecting tears I would have hoped they were tears of joy. Doesn’t look it, though. What happened?” He must have missed what she said.
“It’s…a long story. Why are you here?”
“To see you, of course.” He dug in his pocket, pulling out his phone. “Didn’t you get my message?”
“Oh,” his face reddened, “I never hit the send button. Guess that would make the ice cream thing kinda weird now.”
Ping. Marrissa took out her phone, seeing the late sent message:
‘I’m in the city. If I find you before I stop by tonight I’ll get you a waffle cone.’
“Oh! It was you!” She flung herself, hugging him tight. “Thank you!”
“Uh, you’re welcome.” He hugged back.
A vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a waffle cone. Neither would have expected such a simple treat to spark the first date that created a second and happily ever after.
Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino.