Penny loved Bon Jovi but for some reason this year, she was just not ready to listen to Christmas music. She had always loved the holiday so it was puzzling to her that all she wanted to do was change the radio station when a Christmas song came on. Reaching over to turn the dial, she heard Nick at the door of the office.
"Oh, let's let the customers enjoy the holiday music, it's not too bad is it?" he said to Penny as she slowly pulled her hand away from the radio. "What is your aversion to Christmas music this year?"
Penny sighed. "I don't know, I guess I'm just not ready. It's not that I don't like the music, it's just....I don't know. Do you think I've somehow lost the magical feeling of Christmas?"
Before Nick could reply, the jingle-jangle of the front door bell at Java Bean interrupted their conversation. As Penny followed Nick to the front bar, she called to one of her most favorite patrons as they came through the door.
"Good morning Cecelia, how are you doing today?"
"I'm right as rain dear, I wanted to stop in a little early this morning because my grand niece is taking me Christmas shopping!" Cecelia exclaimed excitedly, her blue eyes sparkling. "I have my list made out, and am looking forward to the adventure. What is that wonderful aroma that is brewing this morning, you two?"
Cecelia was the epitome of what people see when they think of everyones Grandma. Barely grazing five feet, two inches, she was a petite bundle of all of the goodness this world has to offer. Always excited to see someone, her joie de vivre was contagious. Every Friday morning she had her hair done at the same salon she had been going to for over thirty years. Much like Nick, she never met a stranger, and when you began talking to her and felt her warmth, you soon realize that you could probably talk to her all day long if you had the time.
"You know, Nick came up with the name for my latest idea, isn't he creative?"
Nick smiled sheepishly as Cecelia told him that she thought it was truly clever.
"Well I must have a cup of this at once!" Cecelia said as she made her way to the usual table, dead center of the Bean where she could see everything.
Penny asked Nick if he could serve Cecelia while she pulled some extra coffee filters to add to the bar area.
"It would be my pleasure" Nick replied softly as he glanced at Cecelia settling in at her table. Making his way to the large urns to prepare a steaming mug for her, he hadn't noticed that she turned his way to watch him.
"I have Josh scheduled to come in at eight, why don't you go have a cup with Cecelia and keep her company until her niece arrives?" Penny suggested.
Looking over at Cecelia, Nick said, "I don't mind if I do" as he removed his apron and poured a cup to take with him.
Penny smiled as she watched Nick sit down with his friend, and wondered if they might ever see each other socially, outside of Java Bean. She thought they should, but knew that it was really none of her business so she didn't ever say anything to Nick, other than to mention that she really loved Cecelia and was glad that they got to see her most mornings.
Just as she was putting the finishing touches on the bar , Josh arrived in usual fashion, bursting through the front door as if being chased by ghosts unseen. Tall and lanky, he resembled the college version of Harry Potter as the glasses he wore were similar. He stopped to say good morning to Nick and Cecelia, who grabbed his hand and asked him how his classes were going, and was he an engineer YET?
"Oh Cecelia, I think you may be my biggest fan. I'm on my way, just have to get that degree first" he replied as he smiled and patted her shoulder.
"Josh is going places!" she said to Nick, as Josh continued to the back to put his coat and backpack in the office and get his apron.
As patrons started pouring in, the shop came alive and Penny and Josh moved about quickly to see that everyone had what they needed as they enjoyed their morning coffee.
Cecelia's niece had arrived and joined her at the table as Nick finished his cup and told them he better earn his keep. Knowing that Josh seemed rather fond of Annabelle, as he greeted a few friends and worked his way to the bar, he told him that she was there and asked if he wouldn't mind to see if she would like a cup of coffee.
"Oh, sure, no problem" Josh said as he moved from around the bar. Cecelia and Annabelle were talking animatedly about their morning plans as Josh approached them and said hello.
"Annabella, good morning!" he smiled, using the nickname he began using almost the first day he met her. "What would you like to have this morning, I hear Penny has a new brew?"
"It's delicious dear, you should try it" Cecelia told Annabelle as she sipped from her mug.
"I'll have that please" Annabelle told Josh as she tried not to stare at him for too long. "What is it about this guy" she thought to herself. It was nothing short of a fluttery feeling that came over her when she talked to him. She wondered if he had a girlfriend as he turned to get her a cup. One thing was certain, she knew Cecelia loved him which made him even more endearing.
"I feel Christmas in the air" Cecelia's eyes twinkled as she watched Annabelle's expression.
Being nearby, Nick couldn't help but hear Cecelia. He smiled, and whispered, "indeed".
to be continued.......