You Found Me The sunlight glinted off of her face as she knelt down to open her bag.

Her vintage camera safely nestled in her hands. The store was just closing, with only the few regulars who stayed until asked to go, and I was wiping off the coffee counter. I looked up, careful not to be noticed and watched her pull the zipper, the way her eyes lit up told me that she was happy with my gift. She didn't know it was from me. Carefully, she set the camera in her bag and picked the rose out of her bag, gazing at it as if it were a foreign thing. Being cautious of the thorns, she held it between her fingers, sniffing it and smiling. A smile that I had but a moment to catch before it disappeared, as always, leaving me with a sense of longing, a tease. Still holding the rose, she zipped up her bag and swung it onto her shoulder before walking out the door, the bell ringing, signaling that her presence was no longer near me, until the next day. And as always, I would be left to go home alone, until tomorrow when I could return here and see her another day, watching the tiny smile light up the room for only a second. "Ya still chasin' after that girl?" Marigold came up behind me, her heavy southern accent giving away her identity. "Ofcourse," I grinned, turning around to face her. Her peppered hair was put up with two chopsticks and she was still wearing her apron over the old skirt she always wore, a broom in her hand. She smirked and walked around to sit on the barstool in front of me, leaning the broom beside her, she placed her elbows on the counter and set her head atop her folded hands. "Why you wastin' ya time with that girl anyways, boy?" "Because, she's worth it," I looked over at the door, hoping that maybe she would come walking back through that door, and discover that it was me. "But how do ya know? All you know bout her is that her name's Rose. Blue, I don't want ya gettin' ya hopes up..." Marigold was always like a Mom to me, she would give me advice, invite me over for dinner sometimes and every week, she would go with me to visit my actual mom in the hospital. My Mom has been in the hospital for about 2 months now, in a coma. She was fine but one day, she was hit by a car, she was lucky enough to survive but she went into a comatose state, leaving me alone to care for myself since my Dad had left when she had me. Eventually, I got a job here, at Java Hutt, where I met Marigold, Rose, and almost all of my friends. So, now, all I can do is hope that one day, she'll wake up. "I just do,Marigold. Have you ever met someone that makes your heart skip a beat AND beat faster at the same time? Its...magical.." I sighed, picking up the styrofoam coffee cups off the counter and tossing it into the trash, since some

people didn't know how to throw their trash away. Maybe, just maybe, one day, Rose will come running in here, and leap into my arms, then, I would know that everything was perfect, but, until then,it would just be our little game of Cat and Mouse... After we got everybody out and the coffeehouse cleaned up, Marigold and I headed out to her car. She drove me to work and back because I didn't have enough money for a car yet so I just paid the gas for her instead. "Blue, I gotta talk to you.." She turned suddenly, leaning against the car door. Surprised, it stopped in my footsteps and squinted, trying to make out her face in the dark with only the moon as a light, so I could tell what was wrong. "What is it?" I ask, concerned. "Well, I just don't wanna see you hurt..I don't think you should keep chasing after that Rose girl.." she said slowly.. I didn't know what to think, she knew how I felt about Rose, yet she's saying THIS!? "Marigold, I can't..she's one of the only things that keep me going," I replied, trying to hide the hurt that was seeping into me. She placed a hand gently on my shoulder. "Blue, I know you like this girl, but she's not good for you, she doesn't even give you a second glance yet you keep after her. I know girls like this, they'll break your heart in a second, without a second thought!" Her voice gradually grew louder as she spoke with her hands. Before I could even reply, she pulled open the car door, climbed in, and slammed the door behind her. I had to run out of the way to avoid being hit by her bumper as her old car sputtered awake. I didn't know what to think, I've never seen Marigold like this before. I mean, I've seen her annoyed or mad at rude customers, or pained and sad when we visited my mom, but this was different. She was...disappointed..in me of all people. I wasn't sure why she was disappointed but I was hoping this feeling of hers wouldn't last, she couldn't possibly think that I could be able to stop loving Rose, could she?

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It was around seven when she finally entered, the bell dinging as she rushed in the door, her bag barely on her shoulder and her hoodie tight around her head. That's different, I thought to myself as she appeared at the counter. I could barely see her eyes through her slanted black bangs, the amber color of them

was so beautiful, I didn't understand why she chose to hide them. "Um..coffee..black.." she finally said, her quiet voice interuppting my thoughts. Her voice sounded shaky, like she was scared of something..or someone.. "Are you okay?" I lowered my voice enough so that she would be the only one who heard it. She looked up at me, her amber eyes looking straight into my eyes, like she was looking for something. "Um...yeh, can I have my coffee..please?" Getting the hint, I hurried and picked up the filled coffee cup that I had pre-made for her and removed it from the heating area. As soon as I set it on the counter, she looked surprised that it came out that fast and starting fumbling around in her pockets, searching for enough change to pay for the drink. "Its ok..its on the house," I smiled my crooked smile, sliding the cup towards her. Both of her hands firmly gripped the cup, as if it might escape as she thanked me and walked over to her usual table and set down her stuff. Her table was tall andright in front of the big window at the back of the door. There were two chairs at the table, both bar stools were different colors;one a faded pink and one a chipped lime green. Almost everyday, when Marigold was out of the room, I would open the window right before Rose arrived, for two reasons;one, she liked to take pictures of the beach, so I didn't want the dusty/dirty window to mess with the pictures and two was because I could catch her smiling once in awhile when the ocean breeze came through the window, blowing her hair around her face and the smell of the ocean would surround her. It was things like that gave me hope, that helped me believe that maye, just maybe she might give in to my offerings and actually talk to me about something other than what size coffee she wanted. When I looked over to see what she was doing, I saw her fiddling with her camera, making sure that the zoom was just right and taking the lens cap off, she had taken off her hood and had her hair tied in a tight ponytail. Her camera was the vintage polaroid, meaning that when she took a picture, the picture would come out and she would wait for the picture to appear. It was then that I saw what she had tried to hide beneath the hood of her jacket, a new cut covered her right cheek. I could tell it was new and untreated because it was swollen and red, not even covered by a band-aid. This was my chance, I could get some medical supplies and help her. Rushing into the back closet, I grabbed the first-aid kit and walked over to her. "Hi, um..you want me to take care of that for you?" I offered, gesturing towards her cheek. "Oh...no its alright," she replied, not even looking at me. "You need to have it looked like, it might already be infected..." I reached up to

touch it and she flinched as if I were going to hurt her. I gently brushed the pieces of hair away from the cut, leaving my hand by her face, I used my free hand to reach down and grab an alcoholic wipe from the kit. "This might sting..." I said, carefully wiping the infected area like it said on the instructions and making sure there was no dirt around or in it. She winced and set down her camera. As I looked at the cut I realized I couldn't fix it myself, it was way too deep. "Um..How'd you get this cut?" I asked, she suddenly looked at me, a look of fear in her amber eyes. "I...fell..." she said quickly, telling me that wasn't the exact truth.

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