You walked into the room, I saw you, and the world stopped spinning for a moment. Before that, I have counted how many hours had left to go home: 3 hours and 42 minutes. But now I need time to stop.
You were looking around with a curious expression as if you were trying to find someone, and I had to look away; otherwise, you could catch me seeing you and smiling. When you finally sat, I stared at you for a minute; then I took a sheet of paper to start writing.
The First Letter
I know you don’t know who I am, but you have turned into an essential part of my morning routine, and before this confession makes you creeped out, let this stranger explain himself.
I’m a man of routines: I get my clothes ready since the night before and always drink a double espresso to start my day. It was 7:45, I got in the coffee shop to buy an espresso, and I realized two months ago, during the most rainy Monday of the year, I was behind you in the line.
I wondered how you could carry such a disaster that early. You couldn’t find your wallet, dropped your phone. I tried to help, so you looked directly into my eyes and mourned while saying thank you.
Are you ok? – I asked
Yeah, I’m crying hard to avoid drowning with my own tears – Your answer was so weird and honest that I thought to myself it made sense it was a rainy day.
Next on my daily routine, I’ll drink my coffee in four sips, cross the street and be the first one at the office, but the day is still crying for you. I convince myself that everyone will arrive late, and I sit two tables away as if I could comfort you from a distance. As I watched you contemplating the rain through the window, somehow, the way you make time stopped fascinated me.
Even sitting in front of one of the most chaotic streets in the city, you weren’t in a hurry; instead, your chaos calmed down while you watched raindrops running through the window as if they were in a race. My cellphone started ringing, and I realized it was past 8. Time hasn’t stopped; I would arrive late.
Before you crossed that door, I was mad at myself because today you did not go to the coffee shop, and for an overthinker, as I am, I keep thinking it wasn’t fair I don’t even know your name. Mine is Robert, and I will love to know yours so I will be sitting at that window tomorrow at 7 a.m. you can arrive later or stay at home. But if I have the possibility of seeing you am going to wake up earlier.
I think about ending the letter by saying: «please let me know your name,» but I figured that I’d be lucky enough if you don’t find it weird that a total stranger gives you a letter, so I’m not going to push it.
After waiting until you leave the room to go after you, and feeling anxious like a teenager, I wasn’t sure if there would be a chance of giving you the letter. Destiny had something planned for me; 4 of us went into the elevator, and the other two got out of there after going down three floors.
I was finally with you, but it took me two more floors to put together the courage to talk.
Excuse me – I turn around to see you.
Yes – You responded with a huge warm smile, and I felt a lump in my throat. – Do you need anything?
Actually, yes – I was trying to sound interesting, but I noticed by the way your smile disappears; I haven’t accomplished that, so I just said – I need you to know something written in this letter.
When I give it to you, you keep staring at it as if it was the oddest thing you have ever hold in your hands, and the idea of seeing you throwing the letter terrifies me, so I get off the elevator even when we were missing three more floors.
I didn’t know if you would ever read me, but I went downstairs feeling hopeful because maybe you would. There was an hour until I could go back home, but I will spend it thinking of the next 13 to see you at the coffee shop.