Winter came and Ari and Cameron still met in the coffee shop every morning.
Ari suprised Cameron by ordering hot chocolate one day instead of coffee and Cameron felt his heart jump at the playful look in Ari’s usually serious eyes.
“Don’t tell me I’m not allowed to change my order now, I might have to talk to your manager.”
When Ari became comfortable with Cameron the barista realized he was actually a very mischevious and playful person behind his usual reserved demeanor. The teasing edge to Ari’s voice was barely noticable to Cameron for it’s subtle presence but the faint smile on Ari’s lips was enough.
Ari himself thought the flustered look on Cameron’s face whenever he teased the barista was priceless and finally admitted to himself that maybe, just maybe..
He had a crush on Cameron.
Neither of them had admitted the feelings they had for each other, the shy barista and the even shyer student seemingly content to have their coffee and day dream about holding hands and even a kiss or two.
But they had their routine interrupted by a man from Ari’s university storming into the cafe and walking up to their table. Without a word he grabbed Ari’s hot chocolate and dumped it over his head.
“You’re a heartless bastard.”
Ari was still in shock, the warm (thankfully not hot) liquid dripping down his shirt. The entire small shop was silent- waiting to see how the drama would unfold.
Cameron was surprised but only for a moment. He got up to stand in front the student and glared at him, the barista’s average physique still enough to outweigh the skinny boy.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” He struggled to stay polite even though he wanted to yell at this person who dared lay a hand on his Ari.
“No. He strung me along for weeks and now he’s here, screwing the goddamn coffee guy!”
“David-” Ari started quietly, an embarrassed flush on his cheeks from all the attention his ex friend was causing with his little fit. “I never said I wanted to date you. You assumed.”
“We were together all the time. We slept in the same bed–” Cameron stepped into David’s personal space and repeated himself, ignoring the questions raising in him knowing he had to care of Ari before he started asking.
“Please leave, now. You’re not wanted here.”
David was a surprisingly handsome man with dark hair and a sharp jaw. But there was a selfishness in his baby blue eyes that made it hard for Ari to find him attractive. He glared at them both before turning to walk out of the cafe slamming the door behind him, belatedly looking self conscious with the stares of the entire cafe on him.
Cameron went to Ari and held out his hand to his friend. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.”
Ari took his hand and let himself be lead to the back where Cameron started grabbing towels. He took a towel and wiped his face, trying to stall. Anything to keep him from having to answer the questions written all over Cameron’s face.
Ari didn’t want their routine to end if he gave Cameron answers he didn’t like.
But what choice did he have other than to tell the truth?
He could only hope it wouldn’t drive Cameron away and leave him alone.
Every relationship Ari had ended up undulating like waves, up and down. Never steady like he wanted them to be.
Maybe he had been better off with his routine before.
At least you can’t disappoint yourself.