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Evie Turner

At ten thirty every morning, I step through the doorway tucked away in a slither of space down the street. I stare at the walls, painted with mould, whilst the sweet smell of burnt beans singes my nose hairs. I order a latte. My eyes are magnetised to their usual spot, just as I predicted. His name tag reads ‘Max’.
            The breeze was strong outside; it made my curls intertwine, bunching at the top of my head like a nest. The cold, sharp stabs of wind threatened my mascara, making my eyes water until streaks of black ran down my face. I grab a compact mirror from my scuffed handbag in the coffee shop and fix my imperfections.
            Precision lining every step, his movements smooth like chocolate syrup as he sweeps the dust from the countertop. His eyes focused as he inserts the tip of the steamer into the fresh milk. He pours with care, the liquid morphing from a dark night to a caramel sunrise. He cautiously cleans the machine, his eyes avoiding the adoration in mine. I wait, in disappointment, for the usual slam of the cup on the counter until I see his hand stretch out.
            ‘You like coffee?’ he asks, grinning.
            I reply, ‘Not in the slightest.’