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Brief Chance Interaction
A young woman watches the snow fall outside the window, wondering if her day could get any worse. Her Mondays are always like this. Her hair is a mess because her alarm didn’t go off this morning, making her late for work. There is a small tear in the arm of her shirt because it got caught on one of the machines. Her pale skin has red, blotchy spots where coffee has been spilled on her. A chocolate syrup stain is prevalent on the right corner of her apron. She glances at the clock and sighs, realizing she has only been here for an hour.
The bitter chill of winter creeps through the door as a new patron steps into the Starbucks. He shakes snow off his brown leather shoes, taking care not to track water across the floor as the snow melts. He unravels a beige scarf as he crosses the shop and heads to the counter. His entry is unremarkable, yet the way he composes himself commands the attention of everyone in the store.
He does not lean on the counter, nor shift weight from one leg to the other as he calmly orders his beverage. A gloved hand reaches into the pocket of his ironed khakis, removing an earth-toned billfold. The server smiles kindly as she takes the credit card from his hand, swiping the magnetic strip through their machine. She meets his gaze as she reaches to hand it back, but her grip is imperfect and the card clatters on the counter. Her pale complexion turns crimson as she mumbles an apology, eyes cast at her feet, but the gentle response of the gentleman brings confidence back under her command.
They both reach for the card, hands grazing unintentionally. Their eyes lock momentarily, and he smiles before placing his card back in his billfold. He steps around the counter to wait for his drink, aloofly watching the girl as she helps the next person in line. Her face is alive and serene, as though his gentle interaction has granted her an angelic fluidity and grace. The gentleman takes his steaming coffee and shares one final smile with the young woman before braving the cold outside. The young woman hums a tune to herself as she works, her day brightened by a brief chance interaction.