Jade looked at her phone for the 5th time within the same minute. It was 12 past the hour, and her heart rate was starting to quicken. She had anxiously joked that she may be stood up like she had been before, but part of her had really doubted that Hunter would leave her hanging like that. Perhaps he had forgotten? Perhaps he had gotten into a car accident? What if he slipped in the shower and broke his leg and has no way of seeking help? What if he was kidnapped? The many ridiculous possibilities began to run through the girl’s mind, causing her to place a palm on her temple and breathe deeply. No, no… Jade interrupted, frantically shaking the internal anxiety that was running its mouth, there’s a reasonable explanation for this, there has to be… there has to be…
Looking at her phone once more, she took a deep breath as she remarked the passing of two minutes. Almost fifteen minutes late. No texts, no missed calls. Oh god oh god oh god she started again. Pushing herself away from the table, Jade got up, then sat back down, then got back up and looked around. The cafe was significantly less busy than it usually was, and thankfully none of the current patrons were noticing her small mental breakdown. A man in the corner was typing away on his laptop, and two elderly women were in deep conversation at a large table in the middle of the shop, and various young people and middle-aged businessmen were strewed in between. For everyone else, this moment was calm; unimportant. For Jade, it felt like the boiling point of something unknown.
The bell atop the cafe’s door jingled, and Jade’s attention was brought to the person who had just rushed in. Like the air being released from a balloon, all the breaths she had been unconsciously holding in wooshed out of her at once. Hair somewhat askew, a slight glimmer of sweat on his brow, and a searching gaze in his eyes, Hunter stood in the doorway seeming a little bit out of breath. A huge smile spread across Jade’s face and she waved awkwardly as soon as their eyes met. Sitting back down, she watched the young man walk over and take the seat opposite of hers.
“Hey!” she started immediately, before he could even get a word in. “Are you okay? I mean you look okay, I don’t mean to say that as an indication of how you look, which is great, although you look kind of stressed? I mean unless you’re not! Maybe I’m projecting, haha. Oh, wait, no — I’m not stressed, I’m okay, maybe I just assume people are stressed when I’m not sure what’s going on with them. You were a little late so I was worried maybe something happened — but, I’m not mad! I mean you’re not even really late at all! Like it’s what, fifteen minutes? It’s totally fine. Not that I need to validate it being fine, you can come when you want, two was just something to work around, definitely not set in stone or anything.”
Not entirely sure if she had taken a single breath during that monologue, Jade paused and breathed in. Feeling a little insane, she bit her lip and attempted to erase the past minute of history by asking,
“Want something to drink?”