Innocent Question

Hannah had her head cocked to the side, listening closely to the sound the steam wand was making in the milk as she tipped the metal pitcher to one side, watching the foam build up. When she was satisfied with the amount of foam, she set the pitcher flat on the espresso machine and turned to face the only customer at her end of the counter. He was a young man in an “Army Strong” t-shirt with close-cut hair and an unzipped hoodie.

“Cappuccino?” Hannah said, propping one hip against the counter.

He nodded and she acknowledged that with her own nod, turning back to the machine as the steam shut off. With an ease born of making hundreds of drinks, she moved the milk pitcher off the espresso machine and onto the counter, pulling the steam wand out of the creamy foam. Wrapping the rag around the wand she cleaned it of foam and milk in two firm strokes before hitting the steam button to clear the wand of any extra milk.

“So do you like it wet or dry?” she asked as she reached for one of the long spoons.

“What?” Stunned or startled, the young man jerked a little, eyes widening.

“Your cappuccino, do you want it wet or dry?”

“Stop flirting with the customers,” Kara called from the bagel station.

Hannah laughed and shook her head. “Do you want mostly foam in your cappuccino or some milk? Wet or dry.”

“Some milk, please,” he told her.

He received a toothy grin from Hannah as she poured the milk.

“You are terrifying,” Kara muttered as she handed the bagel off to another customer who she had waved over.

“Am not,” Hannah said. She put a sleeve and lid on the drink and handed it to the customer. “Wet cappuccino with whole milk, enjoy.”

“Thanks.” He took it and hurried back to his table.

Hannah smiled after him, leaning back on the counter. “Too easy.”


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