Warmth – Jodi Gayle

Wet pebbles crunched beneath my heavy combat boots as the dark night hovered over my shoulders like an over-sized coat too heavy for me to bear. My mother, not too far ahead of me, led the way as we approached the entrance. Dangling fairy lights caught my eye as they stretched around the building giving it an amber glow. The glass door opened and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans overwhelmed me. We were greeted by a barista whose hair had been pulled up into a loose bun, allowing a few curls to frame her face.

I absorbed the mood of the room as I gazed to the right corner where a group of small musicians were playing. The crowd was friendly and buzzing with witty conversations. Allowing my attention to shift from one item to the next, I noticed a shelf stacked with coffee beans from around the world that omitted the sweet smell I had first encountered. My mother said my name, pulling me back to reality. We received our drinks and headed outside to escape the densely packed room. We sat down in the wooden booth, my back next to the open window. The sounds of laughter, singing, and the echo of the bass guitar bubbled inside me carrying a wide smile to the surface.

My mom gave me my chai tea latte opened at the top where steam arose and the condensation droplets rolled off the lid. Sweet vanilla bean, cinnamon, and nutmeg swirled together gifted  the tea with a smooth creamy taste. The temperature of the tea warmed my numb hand, despite the cold of the rain. The glassy road reflected light as cars traveled along the road. Quiet bypassers walked on the sidewalk. I was home.

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