3 - Sleepless nights and a cappuccino.

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(James)

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(James)

I am so tired.

In the last four days, I haven't slept for more than three hours or in a decent bed.

I know that I shouldn't be acting like this anymore since I have graduated from being a naive intern but some cases just can't be left to someone else.

After being threatened to take some rest, I leave the hospital and unconsciously trudge by an unknown route - probably because I don't want to be home alone right now.

The street seems to have been forgotten by the passage of time giving off a nostalgic feeling: arborized, narrow, with pavement made of blocks of stone, and old houses adorned by colorful flowers in balconies. A couple of elegant but small bistros, coffee shops, and bookstores are dispersed here and there. Relaxed people savor their meals on tables placed on the sidewalk while smiling and having pleasant talks with their companions.

After a while, my nose notices the sweet smell of apple pie in the air. My mother used to make really good ones but I haven't been eating pastries lately. Not by choice but due to lack of time and life circumstances.

It seems to come from a two floors building with the stone walls covered by ivy. There are big wooden windows with colorful glass, steep stairs on the side and a suspended board above the front door - like the ones you would see in a medieval tavern – with the written 'Die Hütte' and below 'Café Bakery'.

I do need a coffee.

A strong one.

The door opens with the jingle of a bell and I enter a very comfortable ambient. The tables are covered by pale towels and there is a balcony with a cashier in the back. Besides it, a small expositor shows an assortment of pastries and a table displays a couple of different kinds of bread. An ample arc leads to what seems to be the kitchen. But there is no attendant.

Is the store possibly closed?

"Good afternoon. Is this your first time here? What can I do for you?" Says a melodious male voice.

I turn around surprised and meet a young man with a stunning appearance: quite tall, just not as much as my 6,2ft, well-kept platinum blond hair combed backward, ice blue eyes, creamy skin, full lips in a bright smile that somehow also looks sexy, and a relaxed attitude.

In contrast to his outstanding looks, his dressing is simple: a white shirt and black pants, with a black apron wrapped around his slim waist.

The whole set makes him the kind of man I wouldn't want near my woman.

Though, he doesn't give off an unpleasant or prideful feeling.

I ask for a black coffee and stride to a table beside one of the windows then let my eyes wander wearily observing the street outside.

The attendant comes back with something I didn't ask for, making me feel somewhat irritated, but it could be that he didn't hear the order right.

When I point out the mistake, he gives me a condescending but playful stare and says.

"That is true, but sugar is good for a tired body. Your brain needs it. As a doctor, you should know better than me."

That is true. The brain functions exclusively based on glucose.

But wait, how does he know my profession?

When I look suspiciously at him he points towards my white coat and stethoscope.

Smart man.

Chris was like that too.

"Tough day?" He asks.

Was I showing a sad expression? I would prefer to not let it out on my face. But, when I lock up to the man, there are no traces of morbid curiosity just concern.

"Really tough." I end up saying despite myself.

"Want to talk about it? Sometimes, speaking with someone can help."

No, not really. I don't think it is going to help.

But, when he seems ready to go away, something makes me part my lips and tell this complete stranger about Chris' death. I don't even care when he sits at the table - despite being an unusual behavior for a store clerk.

Remembering is painful but, when I start to think that this wasn't a great idea, he says the words I needed to hear the most.

"You are not God. You don't get to decide who lives or dies. I am sure you did everything in your power to help him. But there are things in life outside of our control. You did nothing wrong."

I have been so stupidly self-conceited.

When I thank him, he shrugs it off and tells me to eat my food.

Strange man. Besides smart and wise.

The food is delicious and his creation, judging by his reaction when praised. So this man is not the waiter but the cook. Indeed, his pale slender hands and wrists have some small scars of cuts and burns, compatible with his line of work.

When the bell rings, interrupting our pleasant talk, he gets up and goes help a small old lady.

He is so careful and caring with her that when he smiles to me so happily and carefree I can't stop myself from smiling back.

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A/N: So this is what was going on in James's mind while the events of the first chapter were happening. Do you, like me, also thinks it is interesting to see both sides of a story?

See you in the next chapter, until then, please comment and vote!

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