Demitri and Essie

....I would've said yes.”

Demitri looked at the his cup of coffee. It was Tuesday and his coffee on Tuesday was once again too sweet. A smile tug at his lips after the initial cringe. Always the barista looked at him as if they had done something wrong. They didn't. The order was perfect.

For Tuesday.

Across the world, Essie was sitting in a cafe with the exact same order. It was the way that she loved her coffee. Too sweet. Just the way life should be.

If we had met at a different time...”

In a country that both Demitri and Essie are foreign to. She came for an escape from her daily humdrum, he came for business. She barely had enough to pay for the trip and settled to reside in a hostel. His company was paying for his room at the local four star hotel. They both went to the local cafe every morning for coffee and a buttered toast.

On their their third day there, a Tuesday, they both chocked on their coffee. He looked at his as if it had came out and slapped him. Hard. Essie shrieked when she dropped her cup out of shock onto herself. That was the first time Demitri saw Essie.

And thought she was completely mad and thought nothing more of it.

“WHO WOULD DRINK SOMETHING SO BITTER?”

Demitri's attention was returned straight back to the loud and inappropriate young lady. “I would. That's how adults drink their coffee, not this sugary misery you call a drink.”

Her dark eyes were a flamed as she turned to glare at the man who dared to answer her question – with attitude. He was terrified she was going to dump his coffee on him. Instead, she give out a “hmph” and turned on her heels and went to correct her coffee.

That seemed to just be an unusual morning.

Until they noticed each other again the next day.

Then the day after.

“...Are you stalking me? I know fifteen different ways to castrate a man and only ten of them requires me to use my hands.”

It was the second time on his trip that Demitri chocked on his coffee. “W-what? You're the one stalking me if anything!”

This should have been us.”

Moonlight kissed at her olive skin, Demitri couldn't help but to mimic it. He wasn't sure how they had ended up like this. They met in a cafe. They talked. Met for dinners. Half way through their trip, Essie had moved into his hotel room. He learned she was from a small town that was adjacent to his metropolitan hometown. He left his for college and a high salary job across the country. She never left her hometown until now.

Now she's the reason he was willing to leave his comfortable hotel room to see the ancient temples, cat cafes, and feed the deers.

“...mmm....what's wrong, D?” He smiled at the nickname she give him, thinking his name is a mouthful.

“I just wanted to remember everything about you before we part tomorrow.” She turned in his arms, pressed a kiss against his cheek.

“We have all sorts of way to stay in contact.”

“It's not the same.”

“No, but it'll make every time we're together more memorable.” She let herself get lost into his arms.

If I had asked you to elope with me?”

The ring was in his hands, he looked at Essie in the morning. She was stunning. No one made him felt the same. Passionate nights followed by quite blissful mornings. There was nothing to compare to the feeling. When they're together, they can pretend nothing exist but them. Their time together. No other person existed, there was no work, no tears.

She was sipping at her coffee, smiling at her cup.

“Essie, what do you think?”

Demitri showed her the ring, Essie gasped.

“...It's lovely.”

I didn't think you'll come...”

Everyone in the chapel inhaled as the bride walked down the aisle. She was stunning in her classical trumpet style dress. Glowing among their families and friends. Demitri stood in the place of the groom. But his eyes was not on the bride.

He stared at Essie. In her simple yellow dress that clings to every curve on her body. Every curve that he knows so well since that trip. And their many trips after.

Even after he told her he was in a relationship. Engaged.

Essie smiled and pointed back at the bride, where his attention should be. The entire ceremony was everything that a girl dreams of for her special day. Even Essie got misty eyed.

Later that evening, during the reception that put Essie's sweet sixteen birthday to shame, Demitri found her. Standing off to the side, not really acquainted with anyone at the wedding. They never introduced each other to their families, spoke about each other to their friends.

“I didn't think you'll come.”
“I had to come.”
“If I had asked you to elope with me?”
“....I would've said yes.”
“This should have been us.”
“If we had met in a different time.”


It's been five years since they had last met. Demitri drinks sweet coffee every Tuesday. To remind him of how sweet life should be. Essie was traveling the world, forever eloping from bitter reality.


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