Laura finished typing the last part of her report, sat back and looked around the office. Snow covered the pavements, and with Christmas being just around the corner, most of the people in her department had already left for the day. She would be here for a little while yet, Daniel her boyfriend worked nights as a ground technician for Air Canada. She preferred to let him sleep, rather than, by her arrival home wake him early. Staying late also enable her to start that bit later so she had a brief time with him in the morning at the end of his shift.
Her thoughts of Daniel were interrupted by the phone ringing. She picked it up, wondering who would be calling her at this time.
“Hey, girlfriend,” came the voice of her friend Patti, “Merry Christmas.”
“Same to you Patti.”
Patti always managed to bring a smile to Laura’s face, something she felt in need of at the moment.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”
“Oh you know me, dashing here and there all the time, and right now I’m there. Well not quite, but will be soon.”
“What are you talking about girl?”
“I’m on my way downtown, and wondered if you’d like to stop for a coffee with me before you head home?”
Sure sounds good to me.” Laura answered; glad to have a something to do before she headed home.
“I hear the coffee shop near you is doing a special coffee and snow or something. I think they are calling it “Christmas Coffee. Whatever I’m sure it’ll be worth a try.”
“Sounds interesting, I’ll meet you in what, twenty minutes?”
The other end of the phone went quiet.
“Patti, Patti, you there?”
“Oh yes, sorry, sure twenty minutes will be just fine.”
Laura put the phone down, and started to clear her desk. She was looking forward to a good girls chat with Patti.
Packing up her laptop, and checking her desk she headed out the door. Noticing the light still on in her manager’s office, she peeped in the door. “Goodnight Carolyn, I’m off now.”
“Night Laura, I’m wading through the month end figures so I’ll be here for a while yet.”
Laura caught the lift to the ground floor and wrapping her scarf round her headed into the snow covered night.
The lights sparkled from shops full of Christmas goodies, and she wondered just what Daniel might give her for a Christmas present, it was always hard for him to get to the shops. Not that she had really decided what to give him either, but then she was always a “last minute” shopper.
A small time later, Laura entered the warmth of the coffee shop and looked around for Patti, not able to see her, she was just about the leave when somebody touched her on the shoulder.
“Fancy meeting you here.” Came a voice she knew so well.
“Daniel!” she exclaimed turning into the arms of her boyfriend. “What are you doing awake, let alone here?”
“Oh,” Daniel casually remarked “I couldn’t sleep. Anyway I had a few errands to do, and thought I’d stop for one of the “Christmas Coffee’s that I’ve heard so much about.”
The couple sat at a table near the window, Laura’s hand automatically going to Daniel’s.
“I meant to meet Patti here,” Laura said, “I guess she’s been held up. Still, what a lovely surprise meeting you.”
Daniel leaned forward and kissed Laura softly. “How could I stay away from the woman I love.”
“Tell me that when you’re feeling half asleep at 5a.m.” Now go… get us two of these special Christmas Coffee’s.”
“Yes boss lady.” Daniel said giving a mock salute. “I love it when you’re dominant.”
Laura laughed and gave Denial’s rear, a friendly slap as he went to get the coffee's.
She looked around, wondering where Patti might be.
Daniel returned with two cups of coffee, the whipped cream piled on the top, had silver sprinkles in it, so it almost looked like snow.
“So these are the Christmas Coffees,” Laura said taking a sip. “Hmm not bad.”
Daniel wiped the cream from his lips caused by his first sip. “I like the snow,” he said “but I think it needs more ice.”
Laura looked a little puzzled. “More ice?”
Daniel fumbled in his pocket. “Yes,” he said “more ice like this.” He handed Laura a red box, which she carefully opened. There inside was a ring, not any ring, but an engagement ring.
She looked at Daniel her mouth half open in shock.
A smile flicked across Daniel’s lips. “I’m sorry love, this is all a little plot hatched between me and Patti, to get you here so I could ask you one question.”
Laura’s eyes filled with tears.
Daniel knelt down on one knee. “Will you marry me,Laura?”
People at the nearby tables had stopped talking and were looking at the couple.
“Well?” said a lady sitting next to Laura. ”What’s your answer?”
Tears started slide down Laura’s cheek. “Oh yes Daniel, with all my heart, yes.”
A cheer went up as the couple kissed, sealing their engagement.
“About time.” Came a voice from behind Laura. Turning, she was greeted by not only Patti, but also Carolyn, and several of her friends from the office.
Laura turned back to Daniel, and slipped the ring onto her finger. “Some plot, fiancée of mine. Then she laughed, saying, "I think Christmas Coffee's the best drink I've ever had."
© Barry Eva December 2005
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