“They say chivalry is dead, but what if it isn’t. I believe being respectful, kind and helpful is was and always will be the best way to be. It might even prove rewarding?”
It was fast approaching closing time at the Demitasse coffee shop. Marvin always had the closing shift — something he never minded. The others all refused it but he gladly did it every day of the week. Sure, it was more work but it was worth it to see the visual delight that was Rachel coming for her coffee each day.
Marvin looked from cleaning the counters to see her approaching the brown-framed glass doors. An ominous black cloud loomed behind her as she entered the coffee shop. Today as always, she had on eye-catching denim short-pants embroidered with delicate flowers. His eyes rose over her trim belly, taking in her choice, white-and-bluebell patterned crop-top. Her hair flowed like liquid bronze, shining as it tumbled majestically over her lacy cardigan. It was only professionalism and a modicum of fear which stopped him leaping the counter and doing all he could to take her out on a date. Those actions would scare her off and probably get him fired too.
“Hey, Marvy. Are you having a good day?” she asked as she approached the counter.
‘I am now!’ Marvin thought. “It’s been quite pleasant thank you, Miss Rachel. Café au Lait and a slice of gingerbread?”
“You know me so well, Marvy.” Rachel awarded him a warm smile as she took her purse from her bag.
Marvin hid a heavy sigh as he began French-pressing the café’s choice mix of Arabica and Barako coffee. “Only enough to give you great service.”
“I bet you give all the ladies great service.”
Marvin grinned as he scalded milk. “Not so much.” He finished her coffee and set it on a saucer. Then added the largest piece of gingerbread he had on a tea plate beside it. “There you are, six-fifty please.”
“It’s worth way more than that just for your service. But still, here you go.” Rachel paid using her cards contactless method.
With the transaction complete, Marvin added the receipt to her tray and carried it to her usual table close to the window. “Let me know if I can do anything else for you.” ‘Take you to the movies, the beach, the bedroom —’ His mind wandered as he flipped the closed sign on the door.
“Thank you, Marvy.” Rachel yawned, “It’s been a lo — “
A flash of lightning cut through the static air; so robust it caused the café’s lights to flicker.
“Yeesh, I think the weather’s about to get a little evil!” Marvin said as he returned to cleaning down his counters.
“No kidding!” Rachel sipped her coffee. “Just look at the rain coming down in sheets.”
Marvin couldn’t just see the heavy downpour; he could hear it thundering against the glass. “That’s crazy loud. I …” A deep burbling, like a giant bowling ball hammering down an alley rumbled from the dark clouds. “… Haven’t seen a storm this violent in a while.”
“Me either —Marvy, you aren’t in any hurry to go home are you? Only I don’t have a raincoat you see.”
Behind the counter, Marvin had begun boxing up the remains of the days’ cakes. Some were destined for the bin. Others with longer shelf-life would go in the fridge for tomorrow. Through the glass of the display fridge, he caught Rachel’s beseeching look. “Don’t you worry, Miss Rachel. If I have to wait here all night to ensure you stay warm, dry, and happy, consider it done.”
“Aww, you’re a sweetheart.” Rachel flinched and squealed in the face of another flash of lightning. The resulting thunder was so close it vibrated through the building.
“Bloody hell!” Marvin shook some impure thoughts involving Rachel and the counter from his mind. “You should come away from the window,” he advised.
“Good idea,” Rachel rose and chose a seat closer to the back of the café.
The storm was still battering the city by the time Marvin had finished his closing down routine. “How do you get home?” he asked.
“I always have to catch the bus,” Rachel told him with a fearful look at the hammering rain.
“You’ll get drowned doing that. I’m all done here. Will you allow me to drive you home?”
Rachel adopted a coy grin, “Oh, divine coffee maker and private chauffeur. You do have your uses, don’t you, Marvy?”
“I do my best.” Marvin picked up his coat and keys. “Shall we?”
“There will be great, thank you,” Rachel agreed.
Marvin led her through the back of the café. At the back door’s he placed his coat around her shoulders before setting the alarm. He ran outside and opened his car doors.
Rachel dashed into the passenger seat as he locked the café and then they were away. She was a good navigator and soon had Marvin parked outside her house. “You’re a good man, Marvy. Thank you for driving so I didn’t get all wet?”
“It was my pleasure. You have a wonderful evening now, Miss Rachel,” Marvin jumped out and held her door for her. Mercifully the storm had ebbed away leaving golden sunlight dappling the pools of water.
Rachel alighted and adjusted her short-pants for a moment.
Marvin’s heart fluttered as he watched with an adoring gaze. He felt she seemed nervous just then. Who was he kidding, his heart thrummed faster than a hummingbird when their eyes met. Her sparkling smoky-brown gaze leaving his legs like jelly.
Rachel shut the door, took his hand and led him through her garden to the front door.
“Erm, where am I going?” Marvin asked with a glance at his car.
“Relax, Marvy. I wanted to thank you for looking after me.” Rachel led him inside and locked the door behind them.
Marvin had many wild fantasies about moments like this. Never did he expect any to come true. His night with Rachel was incredible. It only got better from there. She revealed, she only came for coffee each afternoon to spend time with him. From then on, he would always take her home.
Have a great day!