Monday, November 3, 2014

"You're like a gift. Either that, or you're St.Nick himself!"

Come.......they told me.....pa rum pum pum pum.....

"I really don't want to think about Christmas right now, grrrrr" Penny thought as she reached over to flip the radio to another station, hoping to hear something, anything, other than a Christmas carol.

FIIIIIIIVE, GOLDENNNNN RINGSSSSSSS! four calling birds, three french hens.....

"Forget it!" She turned the radio off and continued getting ready to go to Java Bean, staring intently in the mirror as she examined her hair, while brushing her teeth.

Several years ago. Penny dared to dream that she would own and manage her own coffee shop.

That dream came true last September, on a quiet little corner in East Manhattan. She would call it small, her loyal patrons frequent the word quaint, and count on it during their morning routines much like hers. Rush to get ready, rush to get out of their homes, rush to get coffee, rush to work. Rush, rush and more rushing, because, everything in New York is done at breakneck speed.

When the holiday season arrives, which is usually before Halloween these days, the already busy streets and outlets for public transit double in attendance, leaving little room for a relaxed atmosphere of meandering to the intended destination.

Glancing at the clock on her bathroom wall, Penny realized that if she wanted to be in the shop by five-thirty am, she better get a move on. Thinking of the latest brew she concocted by mixing two very distinct beans, she knew she would call it something that spoke of Thanksgiving. After all, there were only two weeks left until the holiday.

As she wound the winter scarf around her neck and pulled her gloves on, she smiled, remembering the night Henry gave them to her for a surprise "no reason, just because" gift during dinner last week. It was just like him to do that, always thinking of her, and usually surprising her with thoughtful gestures like hidden notes at the shop, or stopping by during the lunch hour to see how things were going. "Oh Henry" she sighed, then started chuckling, thinking of his usual response. "I'm not a candy bar!" he would yell, and they laughed every single time. Thank GOD there was someone out there that had a similar sense of humor. When she met Henry, she instinctively knew that somehow, she had managed to find someone, by pure accident mind you, that "got" her.

Grabbing her keys and purse, Penny locked the front door and felt the brisk November breeze against her face as she hurried down the steps of the brownstone.

"Brrrrr" she thought to herself, wrapping her coat tightly around her as she stepped along the same path she took every morning, to "the bean" as it was often referred to.

Her mom worried about her walking the streets of Manhattan so early in the morning by herself. Penny assured her that she was always alert and never took shortcuts through alleys or unlit pathways that she wasn't accustomed to. Plus, her friend Bert worked the wee morning hour shift at the Police Department and usually was nearby as he knew her routine and wanted to look out for her safety.

Arriving at "the bean" fifteen minutes later, she felt ready to take on the day. Seeing Nick coming from the other direction, she smiled, and stopped to wait for him.

"Good GOD it's cold out here! It's definitely Winter in New York, yes?" Nick stepped quickly when he saw Penny waiting.

"I believe it's Winter, yes. Good morning Nick!" she said, laughing as she unlocked the chain link gate so Nick could pull it up for her. Unlocking the front door, they went inside and headed towards the back to start their morning routine.

Nick flipped the light switch on behind the coffee bar, and began pulling out the beans and what they would need for the morning rush. Penny decided when she opened the shop that she would have small lamps on each table that produced a soft gleam of light, she thought it was a nice touch, bringing a home-like quality. On overcast days like today, it was especially charming to see the dimly lit lamps glowing, as passersby would look into the windows from the street.

As she turned each lamp on, she could already smell the beans that were being ground to perfection. She called to Nick, asking if he was using the mixture they discussed the previous evening.

"I am and I think this was a fabulous idea. It will do well, I can feel it!" Nick said, always supportive of her ideas.

Nick had been with Penny since the shop opened, and she trusted him like a friend one has their entire life. He was sixty years old and had lost his wife several years ago, being in the shop and speaking with the regulars every morning was what he lived for. The new customers were just as exciting for him because he loved to have interesting conversation. He told Penny once that it was like making new friends every day, all the while being with friends you had known for years. The best of both worlds.

"I need to find a name for that concoction" Penny said pensively, as she paused to think about what could sound like Thanksgiving in a coffee cup. Thanksgiving blend was too derivative of what Starbucks brewed during this time of year.

"How about A Penny For Your Thoughts?" Nick yelled as he walked towards the back to retrieve the newspapers that were left each morning in the bin that was made for such a delivery.

Penny said, "I'm just trying to think of a good name!"

"I know, that's my idea. You can call it, A Penny For Your Thoughts. I mean, when friends get together for a cup of joe, isn't that what they are doing, sharing their thoughts?" Nick said as he lugged the newspaper bundle to the front of the store to place just inside the door. Flipping the front lights on and preparing the welcome mat, he turned to her and said, "good idea, or no?"

As usual, Penny just stood there, then slowly smiled at him and said, "you know Nick, I really don't know what I would do without you. I love that idea! You're like a gift. Either that, or you're St.Nick himself!"

His eyes twinkling, he muttered under his breath, "Wouldn't you like to know".......

to be continued.......

3 comments:

Serenity said...

I love Penny and Nick and the Bean! And you know I love NY. A brownstone in NY is even better.

Sara said...

I love it! What is going to happen next?! :)

Tiffany said...

thank you girls for reading! Hmmm....what will happen next I wonder....=)