This fucking Thursday!
Not that it was enough that Adriana's elegant pantsuit got stuck to her skin wet from the rain. No, she still had to sink her right foot and pump into the next brackish puddle. The day began like a picture book of messed up days, when you should turn around and pull the blanket over your ears again. So after she overslept, had to leave her coffee on the kitchen counter and also the trip with the metro once again a smell spotpourri of bodily fluids, wet dog and cold fast food of the night partygoers prepared for her, her working day went to all excess catastrophically. Early deadlines, shot-up Excel spreadsheets and superficial conversations in the coffee kitchen. After she left the office a good hour later than planned, without her umbrella, in the direction of the smelly metro and hurried home from there through the rain, she pulled her soaked shoe out of the puddle and looked around somewhat perplexed and now quite annoyed. She was only a few minutes away from her entrance, so she shook the wetness from her shoe in vain and hurried home shivering. Only one cross street away, as on every daily way home, the familiar and inviting smell of the small and alternative-looking café on the street corner kicked in her nose. Even though she passed the café more than once a day, she had never lost her inner self.
"Somehow not my thing," she always told herself, although the smell coming from it and the pleasantly warm light had a more than just inviting character.
Frozen as she was, she stood in the light of the windows and took the smell of rooibuschtee, fresh pastry, spices and vanilla. That was what she needed now! She opened the shop door and was greeted with light, wooden tones of a sound play that was attached to the door. She stepped into the warm sales room and now smelled clearly freshly roasted coffee. A strong middle-aged man stood at the barista vending machine and was just preparing a cup of coffee.
"To go or for here?" He was still busy making the coffee, but he turned her head slightly.
"Gladly for here, if there's an empty seat." She let her gaze wander through the place
"I think there's a vacancy at the window. I'll be right with you."
And indeed, there was a small table available right by the window. Adriana meandered past the other guests and settled down in her seat. To her delight, she noticed that a small but rather warm radiator was fixed between the window and the table. Without further ado, she wiped off her soaking wet heels and warmed her cold toes on the radiator. On the mahogany table in a stone vase stood a single flower. A star-shaped blossom with white leaves and a yellow colour gradient starting from the centre. Adriana bent curiously towards the blossom to smell it. She took on fruity-creamy notes that reminded a little of peach-yogurt. While she was still wondering which plant that might be, the strong guy from the barista vending machine was standing at her table.
"Smells great, doesn't it?! Are frangipanis." His mischievous smile was disarming
Adriana turned to him a little perplexed. On the one hand, she hadn't expected that such a stocky man knew his way around the world of delicate flowers, on the other hand she had probably guessed her thoughts.
"I'm Tom, by the way, and if I may be so bold, you look like you had a really bad day today."
"Can you read minds, or do I look so horrible?" Adriana asked amusedly
Tom only smiled mischievously
"What can I get you?" He made no effort to make a notepad out of his apron. Instead, he looked into her eyes with a penetrating but friendly, almost understanding look
"A large black coffee, please."
"Anything else?" Tom pulled his eyebrows up a tad expectantly
"Can you recommend anything?" Inwardly, she was annoyed that she hadn't looked at the menu or the pastry on the counter. Unfortunately, she was sitting too far away to look at the board above the counter
"I think I have something that might be good for you now." And with a wink, Tom disappeared towards the bar
Adriana was even more baffled than before. This definitely wasn't a regular coffee shop. While she was still thinking about Tom's very direct but warm and gentle manner, she let her eyes wander through the café. Warm, slightly dimmed lights, mahogany tables and matching chairs with soft leather covers. In one of the back corners stood a bulging bookshelf. From an incense stick, light wafts of incense and myrrh wafted through the café. On the counter piled up loaves of freshly baked bread and under glass bells were countless sweet pastries, biscuits and pieces of cake. The other guests had a muted, yet boisterous conversation.
Out of nowhere, Tom stood in front of her again. In his left hand he held a large, steaming cup of coffee and in his right hand a small, stone bowl, from which a light steam was rising as well. From her sitting position Adriana unfortunately could not see the contents of the mysterious bowl.
"I got some yellow luck for you here." Tom once again smiled disarmingly and put the cup and the bowl on the table in front of Adriana.
"We always had it with us in bad weather or against a cloudy mood, it's a special recipe from my grandma."
"Custard!" Adriana looked up from the steaming bowl into Tom's eyes
"I bet I haven't eaten this since I was a kid."
Tom smiled knowingly at her and put his hands behind his apron
"Enjoy your meal and if you need anything else, just let me know. I'll be right over at the bar
Adriana nodded and turned enthusiastically to her freshly brewed coffee and her bowl of yellow happiness. The pudding smelled of rich vanilla and sweetish milk. But there was another note she couldn't quite identify. Coriander? Or a touch of saffron? She took a spoon from the clay cup standing on the table and carefully lifted out a small amount of the pudding. She smelled it again, led the spoon to her mouth and closed her eyes very satisfied. Sweet luck is really very good, Tom! Adriana opened her eyes, took her coffee and leaned back. Outside it was already dark and where many raindrops gathered on the window pane, they ran down in fine trickles. Adriana sipped her hot coffee and as she watched the raindrops as they came down the writing, a warm feeling of bliss spread through the middle of her body. She smiled into her cup, for she would certainly not have thought that this day would take another turn like this a quarter of an hour ago.