It’s been a year since she ordered my own coffee recipe for the first time. It was a foggy day on June that the sun seemed so shy. I saw her passed through that entrance gate by scanning the commuting trip-card, then she just walked to my café straightly.
“Morning Yvonne, what’s your today’s coffee?” That was my every morning question upon her, since she would ordered any kind of coffee depended on her mood, or simply her needs. “Well, I need a quite strong coffee, Pras. I’ll have a long day meeting my clients. Huh..” she was not grumbling after all. I knew she didn’t, because she smiled, even she had her every morning in such that rush. Oh yes, we knew each others’ names. She was a rare kind of person, of woman. Which customer, especially woman, would greet the shopman by his name?
January was my first month at work in this bloody-busy station. As a barista, I had to put my attention in every drop of my served coffee. I used to think that running a coffee shop like this in commuter train station wasn’t the best decision ever made. People merely want to sip high-qualified-and-expensive-coffee while sitting to the window, enjoying time with the music around, something that would never happen in a busy station like this. So I wonder, what the hell on my boss head when he decided to have his business here?
As the days went by, I found the answer. People were coming again and again, waiting for their next turn to get their cups. They enjoyed seeing me shaking or brewing their coffees, and served it right on their face. The show ended with the curves on my customers’ face: a satisfied smile. Yeah, I have that curve on my face of course. It’s not that I am the shopman. It’s because I’m glad to see my customers pleasure on my coffee.
Then a woman came and got confuse on what coffee to order. So I asked her what taste she wants, the strong one, the creamy one, or the light one. “Well then I want the light one, Pras.” I was surprised she addressed me my name. Oh sure, there was a name tag pinned on my polo shirt. I glanced at the binder she held. “Ok. Your coffe will be served in a minute, Miss Dira.” I saw her confused eyes. Then she realized and showed me the binder. “It’s my client’s name. My name is right here.” She pointed at the end of the letter in her binder with her autograph: Yvonne L., Property Consultant. Then she smiled, and I did too.
“Ok Miss Yvonne, it’s your coffee.” she gave me some money while saying, “Thank’s, Pras.”
“You’re very welcome, Miss Yvonne.”
“Just call me Yvonne.”
I just replied her with smile, and she left, huddling into the throng until I lost her from my sight.
“I suggest you to try our Espresso Macchiato. I’m sure it will keep you up along day.” I said it with a doubtless nod. “No, Pras. I need the stronger one. That coffee didn’t work on me last week.” Then she checked her watch as if the time was ready to catch her up.
“Well, the only stonger coffee than Espresso Macchiato is my own coffee”
She raised her head up and said, “I thought you make the coffee your own.”
“I do. But they’re not my recipes.”
“Ok, let me try yours.”
“You know, my boss would simply fire me if he knows me doing this. But I will treat you as my guest this time, not my customer.”
“Is it an ‘OK’?”
I just replied her with smile, as usual.
That was the last day I met her. I haven’t known if my coffee work on her or not. But at least, I treated her even just a cup. At least, she tried my own recipe even just once. I never know whether she’s out of town or just took another vehicle instead of commuter-line. That I no longer saw her, it hurt. I even had no idea why it hurt.
I ran my own coffee shop the following months. It’s merely a little café in a quiet alley near the downtown. And if you notice, Yvonne, I drew you on my café wall just if you see it by chance, you’ll find me.
And I’ll find you.
Photo taken on Jalan Braga, Bandung.