Sean slapped his debit card across his palm, fluttered it between his fingers. He flicked a glance at his wristwatch and groaned internally. The woman ordering was laughing with the barista, leaning casually against the counter, specifying extra hot with a floating toss of long, honey-blond hair. She managed to make it inoffensive; she was self-depreciating and jolly and the barista wrote up the cup with quick, firm strokes.
Sean coughed into his shoulder. The woman gathered her purse and the line moved forward. He watched her out of the corner of his eye. The slope of her shoulders, the way she held her head just off-center like that…
“Welcome to Starbucks! What can I get for you today?”
“Uh – dark roast please. Yeah, Grande. Thanks.”
Sean punched in his pin and picked up his cup. Heading for the cream, he heard the name. “Devin?”
Devin Tanner! Of Course!
He watched her take the cup and saw the megawatt smile, complete with the little pucker at the corner of her mouth that had made his 15 year old heart race. He lingered at the cream counter.
She stepped beside him. “Excuse me,” she said, reaching across him for raw sugar. He didn’t turn toward her, just glanced casually sideways. “Devin Tanner?”
She turned her face to him, her fine flaxen hair floating softly like she’d just stepped out of a photoshoot. Her earthy green eyes stared, formulating, until – “Sean? Sean Mitchney? Oh my god!”
He turned toward her then, a strange heat in his chest, and she stepped in and hugged him, a fierce, tight clutch. Arms still tight around him, she said loud in his ear, “how are you?”
“I’m good! I’m good.” He eased himself away. “You?”
“Fine. Crazy. Up to my ears in the scene, as usual.” She laughed, a fluttering inconvenince. “What are you doing here?”
“Had to drop the car at the dealership, so came this way to work.”
“No, I mean in Calgary! Last I heard you were out in Montreal playing gigs.”
“Naw, dropped outta that game a few years back. Been back here a coupla months. In banking now.”
“Oh! I didn’t know. I don’t see you on Facebook.”
“Yeah, I can’t be bothered with that stuff.”
“You have time for a coffee?” She gestured at his paper cup and nodded toward a table in the corner.
“Well – “ Sean made a show of checking his watch. “Not really. Gotta head.”
“Well, let’s catch up.” She dug into her purse, handed him a card. “I mean it. We should catch up. Call me?”
Sean took the card mechanically. He looked at it just long enough to see swooping cursive type before tucking it into his back pocket. “Ya, sure.”
Devin eyed him coyly. “Actually…what are you doing tonight? Got plans?”
“Uhhhh…” Sean’s brain froze. “Nothing, I don’t think…”
“Perfect! Meet me at Teatro at 6? You know where it is?”
“Course I know Teatro. Don’t we need a reservation?”
“I’ve got one. My date canceled on my way here – she got tickets to Cirque. You can be my stand-in. My treat,” she said. Then she dropped her dazzle bomb smile and moved away to the corner table, leaving his path to the door clear.
He headed for it, dazed, trying to decide whether he’d actually agreed to go. By the time his feet hit the pavement outside, he realized that, whatever he’d said or hadn’t said, 6pm would find him down on 8th Ave.