You shuffled down the street, hands in pockets, trying to find a way to relieve the gnawing sorrow that had taken up residence in your very soul. What a pain. You hated dealing with this…dare you say depression. It consumed your thoughts and feelings, pushed away those closest to you, leaving only itself.
How you hated it. You wanted friends, you wanted to be happy, but in your little world, happiness doesn’t exist. Anger doesn’t exist. Feelings don’t exist. There is just the depression. Just the sadness, the self-loathing, and the pain that they bring.
Your feet carried you to a quaint, ordinary café, a few steps from the bustling city streets, but yet the noise and the stress that came with the constant motion seemed to be nonexistent, and this place seemed like the perfect place to rest your feet before you continued on your journey.
A bell jangled as you hesitantly opened the door, peeking around the wooden frame. A handsome young man was behind the counter, cleaning mugs, his green eyes shining with a foreign emotion, perfectly tanned skin showcasing a lean but still muscular body. His brown hair was messy, as if he had just gotten out of bed, but somehow the style seemed to suit him.
Glancing up, the barista’s face broke into a huge grin. “Hola senorita!” he called, waving to you. “Bienvenida! Welcome! Come on in, have a seat!” The man looked so energetic, you found it hard to refuse his offer, and you hesitantly entered the building and took a seat on a stool in front of the bar.
“My name is Antonio! And what can I get for una mujer bonita like yourself?” he asked, leaning against the counter and gracing you with another smile.
“D-Do you have any hot chocolate?” you hesitantly asked, unsure of what exactly the café served.
“Un Chocolate caliente! One moment seniorita!” he said, and he moved to make it, but it wasn’t like any hot chocolate you had seen before. First off, he used heated milk instead of water, and he melted actual chocolate into the steaming liquid rather than instant power. And with the snap of his wrist, the whipped cream container was sent spiraling into the air, and you watched in wonder as he caught it right side up and coated the drink with a thick layer of the dairy product.
“Tada!” he cried, presenting you with the drink. You clapped before taking a sip of the hot chocolate, and you swore up and down that it was the best drink you had ever tasted. In fact, you liked it so much that you offered a hesitant smile of your own, and Antonio leaned back, still smiling.
“You should smile more. It makes you muy bonita,” he said approvingly. Your gaze became glued to your mug as you carefully stirred the hot chocolate, watching the whipped cream swirl.
“I wish it was that easy…” you sighed.
“Oh? Why don’t you tell me about it?” he replied, looking genuinely concerned, and you told him everything. About losing your job. About your boyfriend dumping you. About the death of your beloved childhood pet. Every little thing was released, all while Antonio silently refilled your mug until your story was finished.
“Dios Mio, you have been through a lot…” he said mournfully, and you nodded your agreement. “However, things can only look up! You can start working here Monday, and soon we’ll have you flashing that pretty little smile more often!”
“Really? You mean it?” you asked, not even daring to get your hopes up.
“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it chica! Now, what is your name?”
“______ ______” you said, offering your hand for him to shake. Instead, he leaned across the counter and drew you into a tight hug, which you gladly reciprocated.
“Un placer, _______, a pleasure to meet you.”