The Barista

A joyfully caffeinated season.

About a year ago, I was at the lowest point of my life. This month marks that anniversary of my first “heart break”. It’s hilarious to me now, but nevertheless I am extravagantly grateful for the experience. During my perpetual depression, I tried to dismiss it and put off my feelings by hanging out with friends and keeping my mind busy- this method failed horribly. One night in particular, I went to go see a movie with some close friends on a chilly Friday evening. I remember having the time of my life with them- cheap humor, rambunctious laughs, rhetorical conversations, and faded memories. After the movie had finished, we got some Starbucks. We sipped on our hot chocolates, and held it close to our chests for warmth. The night was slowly coming to a close, and conversations gradually became more conclusive rather than indefinite. One by one- they got picked up, some drove, and some walked- until all that was left was me, my almost empty hot chocolate, and… my thoughts. As necessitated, my grieving, nostalgia, feelings, and sentimentality came rushing back with full force- bombarding me down to a slouch on a chair, at a table inside the coffee shop. As I sat there in my sorrow, dwelling on my own thoughts and reminiscing what I had lost- I felt desolately alone in company of the barren coffee shop. I scantily look up and see a barista wiping down some tables- blonde, short hair, blue eyes, and a light smirk. She looks up from a distance and sees me in my sorrow- then she did what I’ll never forget, and what became the beginning of something wonderful. She walked over to me and asked if I was 18. It was past curfew and the coffee shop was abandoned. I passively told her that I was only 15 but my parents were coming to get me soon. She said that was fine then politely asked me to leave the building and wait outside because they had to lock up. As I was leaving she asked me in the most caring, soft voice, “Are you doing okay?” I turned around and locked eyes with her. I looked out the window in intimidation of her alluring look then answered back, “No… I’m not actually.” I told her that I had just gone through a break up and was still getting over it. She gave me simple advice that could be easily dismissed in any other situation, but in this case, it meant the world to me. She gave me an awkward hug then I left the establishment feeling utterly grateful and touched- I’ll never forget the amount of reassurance I felt because of her extraordinary act of kindness.


Several months passed and I hadn’t gone to Starbucks since that night until early May of this year. A lot can happen in 6 months, and October seemed like it was an eternity in the past. I walk into the same Starbucks I had that amazing experience several months before, and see her working behind the counter. I got so excited I decided to buy a passion tea lemonade just so that I can talk to her again. We talk for a little, catch up on very little, and conclude on a big factor of closure that we were both doing well. I came to Starbucks almost every week after that during this past summer and saw her with frequency- we had developed a somewhat acquaintance-based relationship that was founded on care for each other that only presented itself vividly when we saw one another. Every few weeks we would get a glimpse into each other’s lives and that was it- a respectively ambiguous account of each other’s personal triumphs and issues. It has been that way up until this day, and I find it to be fascinating and gratifying to know that there is such thing as a relationship like that- where there is no solitary confinement to each other, nor is there an obligation to each other, but there is only an authenticity of fate that brings us back together every few weeks or months just so we can know how we’re doing. She is the barista, and she is one of the best people I know- one who cares generously and one who appreciates and aggravates for a complete stranger.

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