Friday, October 20, 2017

"il caffé" in Helen: A Literary Magazine

Thank you to Helen: A Literary Magazine
for publishing my flash fiction in their Fall 2017 Issue. 

You can check that out > HERE.

il caffé

by Susan Marie

Her name was Juliana.

I met her in a coffeehouse ducking out of an icy New York rainfall. I didn’t notice her at first.  She is that type of woman, alone, in a dark corner, mysterious. I didn’t plan to stay long, wished to grab a cappuccino and get back to my apartment to relax.

I made the last payment on my Jeep and desperately needed to slip out of my work clothes. Credit card in hand, I walked over to Zeke, owner of the café, to inquire about a part-time job opening as a barista.

That was when Juliana noticed me.

All it took was a slight turn of my head, our eyes met, and I was blinded.  Everything around us faded into background. The only sound, my blood, pumping, sending oxygen to my cheeks, rising, ripe as apples in October.

She motioned to me and I nodded. I slung my leather backpack on one shoulder and held my books under the other arm trying to juggle my coffee.  She stood up to help me, smiling as she approached.  She had the softest brown eyes I ever saw.

I could stare into them forever.  That evening, I did.

She spoke, introducing herself.  I studied each strand of her mane, that of a thoroughbred, wild and shining.  It was just past shoulder length, straight and black, and she kept waving it away from her eyes.

She was painfully adorable.

Juliana asked if I had any plans for the evening. I shook my head no. She took my hand, in silence, leading me out of the café.

I opened the passenger door for her. She slid into the Jeep I now owned. I somehow knew a drive along Route 5 along Lake Erie would be a reprieve from the dankness of this day.

She popped a CD in the player and sang as I drove. Tilting my chin upward, I glanced towards her out of the corner of my eye.  Silence gathered in sultry air.  We both recognized that stare.  

In that moment, I was falling in love with a complete stranger. 

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