Chapter 6

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"True Love burns the brightest, but the brightest flames leave the deepest scars." -Brandi Snyder

When my alarm sounded the next morning I practically jumped out of bed like an uncoordinated ninja. So basically, I tried to get up really, really fast and slightly injured myself. Round of applause for the dork.. Luckily, there was no one there to see me except for Timon and Pumba, and fish don't judge. A quality that people should possess.

With one look in the mirror by my bedside, I knew I was in desperate need of a shower. With steaming hot water running through my blonde hair, I manged to comb the rats out and make it smell like coconut. When I resurfaced from the mist, it was time to rummage through my closet and find something suitable to wear. I faintly recalled various scenes from teen chick-flick movies where the main character searches vigorously through her closet for something to wear to her date, or special occasion, or something else important. I remembered their faces when they found the perfect outfit and wished that would happen to me. Because, what do you wear to a date that's not really a date, (but you wish it was), to see a guy you've barely met, at a coffee joint you've never seen before with a closet like mine?

Sure, I had cute clothes. They just happened to still have the tags on them.

So, after much inner debate, I settled on my favorite pair of jeans and a shirt that I'd gotten compliments on. Paired with my comfy moccasins, I was ready for the day.

I stepped out into the kitchen and dining room area of my apartment and quickly shook a few flakes into Timon and Pumba's bowl while they swam in aimless circles. "Hey guys," I greeted them, "it's a big day today, wish me luck."

On my way out the door I grabbed a granola bar and munched on it as I traveled to the familiar sub station that would take me to Little Black Book. I swallowed my nerves along with the mini chocolate chips as the reality of the day set in.

The street that houses Little Black Book is not a large one or particularly busy for that matter, but it is home to a wide range of trinket shops and brand name stores. It didn't take me long to stumble upon the coffee shop Elliot had been talking about the day before. After checking the time on my cell phone I saw that I was over five minutes early and knew that I would have to wait for him. The whimsical brick outer of the building prepared me for the sight of the inside. The cafe was nice, homey, and inviting. But it was off just a degree.

The brown paint on the walls matched the artwork too perfectly and the greeting from the cashier as I walked through the door was too forced. It reminded me of that sweetener you can buy to replace sugar. Yeah, they say it tastes like it, but we all know the truth. It isn't sugar and it just doesn't taste the same. You can try to replicate a small town feeling and one-on-one attitude in a chain restaurant, but we all know the truth.

I politely returned the cashiers greeting with a small grin and sat down at a booth to wait. I tapped my fingers rhythmically on the tabletop, glancing around the medium-sized shop. The menu above the counter stated that the place was called Camel Coffee. What sounds appetizing about that, I didn't know. I fiddled with the packets of sugar on the table, real and fake alike. I was about to tear open one and have some when the door dinged and another ring of "Hello! Welcome to Camel Coffee!" sounded, I glanced up to see Elliot had made an appearance.

His attempt at looking professional was cute, the white button up shirt and blue tie that made his eyes pop looked good. But Elliot wasn't the kind of guy that wears dressy clothes and says things like 'dashing' or 'marvelous'. His shirt was wrinkled from work most likely, he'd probably gone through the trouble of ironing it that morning to no avail. And there was a faded coffee stain on the tie that looked like he'd desperately tried to clean it off. Elliot was a bit disheveled and his hair was a little messy, but it worked for him. And, honestly, it was attractive.

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