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Candace found the little coffee shop to be exactly what she was looking for. Quiet, quaint and with a charismatic atmopshere. She bought the coffee of the day and settled down at the nearest maghoney table. She stirred the creamed coffee absently, her mind lost on other things. The book she had intended to read remained unopened on the table.
People came and went, but the young woman did not notice it. A soft, low silky blues crooned on the speakers. She watched a spectacular sunset out through the arched window. A pastel, summer evening sky filled with high thin clouds that drifted like wisps of vapor across the rainbow hues of the sunset's cresting rays.
Time had seemed to pass unnoticed and the darkening evening sky brought her almost back to reality when she heard a deep masculine voice speak to her; asking "Are you okay, miss, would you like another cup of coffee? I have some great latte."
She turned her gaze to the right and looked up into a pair of deep warm brown eyes. His face was filled with character and his smile was charismatic. It was a welcoming smile that seemed reassuring and comforting all at once.
"No, I am fine, thank you. Just a bit lost in thought." Candance said softly with a gentle smile. She appreciated his concern and his friendliness. He seemed to realize that.
"Would you like something to eat?" he offered once more.
She silently shook her head "No".
Well, it always seemed worth a third try..
"Would you like to have dinner with me after I close the shop at nine?"
"My name is Deke, by the way?"
"You look like you could use a good meal and I would the company!"
It had been a rough week with just moving to the city, the new job and the loss of her old friends. A dinner invitation seemed perfect and with a smile, Candance accepted.
Just like his shop, Deke had charisma.
(When I lived in New Orleans, this little coffee shop was my favorite place. I have seen more than one young stranger to the city find a new friend and maybe romance within its old walls. This little scenario is fictional but also true of many who passed through Floras doors.)