The dark has always, surprisingly, revealed more than light. In the dark we are naked in front of ourselves, because no one can see all the scars on our skin. When a new morning rises, we dress again in our painted faces again that we have made. He was thinking about that as he counted the stains on the wall next to his bed. Behind his back, there she was, breathing. She was sleeping. Her body slowly went up and down, as her red hair fell over her shoulder. The young man sighed and turned to hug the young woman. He hoped that in the morning, they might have some coffee together and that he would find out her name. And that he would give her his name. He looked through the window and realized that dawn approached. Still, he felt like he could sleep a bit more.
When he woke up again, it was late morning, nearly noon. The young woman was not in the bed. Instead of her, the pillow was left with a piece of paper with her handwriting on it. It was a short note in which she explained that she had to go to work. There was no phone number. But, there was a line about a coffee shop in the centre of the city, with noon as the time of meeting under the name of the coffee shop. He smiled, but then he saw that he was already late for the meeting. He quickly put his clothes on and stormed out of his apartment.
Luckily, it did not take him long to reach the coffee shop. He hoped that she would still be there. When he entered, he felt the inviting warmth. The aromas of perfume, coffee and cigarettes were mixing in the air. He went to the bar, to check if she was there, when she showed up at the small kitchen. She was wearing a uniform, as the rest of the waiters and waitresses. It was then when he noticed how young and lively she was. The night before, under dim light of the club and the influence of alcohol, he could not fully process all of her qualities. He waved to her, and she saw him.
“I’m just about to finish my shift,” she said and stood in front of him.
“Alright,” he replied.
“Sit over there, at that table next to the wall. I’ll join you in a minute. Do you want something?” she asked.
“Coffee would be nice, with just a bit of milk,” he nodded and she disappeared into the kitchen. When she came back, her uniform was replaced with a green, wool sweater and jeans. Her hair was up, and she was carrying two cups, with steam rising from each. She put the one with tea in it in front of herself, and gave the one with coffee to him.
“Here,” she said and sat across the table from him. She pulled a cigarette from the pack that had already been on the table. She lit the cigarette and looked at him.
“Thank you,” he said. She let the smoke rest in her mouth for a second and then blew it out to the side.
“Don’t mention it. Did you just wake up?” she asked.
“Yes, I did. I’m sorry. I would have been here earlier,” he replied. He did not like that she smoked. He was trying to remember if she had been smoking the night before, when they met at the night club. She probably had been. Yet, the fact that he did not like her habit had no impact on her. She took a small sip of her tea.
“It’s alright. If I didn’t have to leave for work, I would have stayed,” she said. He looked down, and then back at her.
“Yes… I’m sorry, don’t get me the wrong way, but I have to ask you something…” he hesitated.
“Don’t be embarrassed. I can’t remember your name either. Nor I can remember if you said it last night,” she said, chuckling. He was relieved. It seemed as if they had a chance to have a fresh start and make it right this time. She was honest and he was happy about it. He drank his coffee.
“What are you planning to do in the next couple of hours? Your shift is over,” he said. The young woman raised her eyebrows and tilted her head. He pulled back in his seat. Was he too direct? Perhaps he should have taken it slowly at first, to ask about her favourite colour or something.
“What is that supposed to mean?” she asked. That was the chance he needed.
“It’s a simple question. I would like to get to know you better, but I don’t even know what’s your favourite colour,” he tried to be subtle. She laughed and took some more of her tea.
“I don’t have a favourite colour. I used to like red,” she replied and looked at him significantly.
“Used to? So you don’t like it anymore? Why?” he asked with true curiosity.
“Red reminded me of passion, of fire. Then, one time, when I was younger, I ate too much beet root and started throwing it up so hard that I thought my heart would stop. And so ever since that happened, red reminded me of beet root and made me nauseous every time I would see that colour,” she explained. It was an answer he did not expect. That is why he, completely astonished, burst out laughing loudly. A few people at the tables next to theirs turned around to look at him and then went back to their drinks.
“It’s so bizarre. But, it makes sense, I guess,” he said. He thought about the colours and what each of them meant for him. Yellow was lemon and light. Green was cabbage and meadows. Blue was sky and salt on his skin. It made sense for him.
“So, there, now you know something about me,” she said. He nodded. They were both thinking in the same direction at this point. It was obvious that what happened between them the night before was just a result of alcohol and expected judgements in those sorts of situations. But, that spark had burned out. The good side of it was that the sex was out of the way. Any kind of tension was completely deflated at that moment. Now, maybe, they could become friends, or close acquaintances at least.
“And I’m glad about it,” he said and smiled.
“But, to go back to your original question, I didn’t make any plans for after the work,” she said.
“Good, I don’t have anything to do today, either,” he replied.
“We could watch a movie, then. Do you want to go to the cinema?” she asked. It was clear to her that he withdrew a little bit, so she was the one who had to suggest their next move.
“Of course, that would be great. Do you have any particular film in mind?” he replied.
“No, I don’t. Let’s just go on a cinema adventure and watch whatever is showing now,” she said.
“You’re a real rebel, aren’t you?” he said.
“I live fast, and I watch random movies. If that’s too dangerous of a lifestyle for you, save yourself while you still have time,” she replied and smiled.
“I’ll take my chances,” he said and pulled out his wallet.
“This one’s on me. You’ll just have to wait, I need to get my jacket,” she said and went behind the bar. He got up and stood next to the door to wait for her. She got her jacket and before she joined him, she gently kissed a waitress on the cheek, who giggled and then pushed her away.
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