Make it Right, Part I:
Sam knew he was the only gay guy who worked at the shopping mall Starbucks.
It wasn’t that people were exactly mean to him (most of the time), but more that he was excluded and stereotyped. One drizzly September morning the Starbucks was busier than usual. The mall was having store wide sales and people were flocking in.
As Sam scooped up ice and poured it into a ladies latte, he noticed most of the customers were moms and families with younger children. Most young people were in school. For a fleeting moment Sam wished he was at college, not making coffee. But he was thankful for taking a gap year, High school had been pure hell, and Sam needed a break.
“Here you are ma’am.” Smiled Sam, handing the latte and a paper bag of baked goods across the counter to the tired looking woman, who was shushing a fussy baby in a stroller. The lady barely thanked him before rushing off towards Old Navy with her coffee.
“Sam can you get more soy milk from the back?” Came a sudden cheery request. Natalie peeked at Sam over the coffee machines, blonde pony tail swinging as she vigorously bustled about the counter. Natalie was 16. She seemed to love working at Starbucks. But then again, for her it was more of a social gathering place than a workplace. All the other female baristas were her BFFs and she flirted with every teenage male customer in sight.
Sam nodded and went to the back, searching among frozen breakfast sandwiches and huge bulk cases of plastic cutlery. He finally found the soy milk, and opened up a new jug. When he pushed through the rubber door flaps back into the shop he was met with a familiar sight.
Natalie leaned across the counter, speaking to a costumer while flirtily flipping her hair and flaunting her manicured nails. But the customer caught Sams attention. It was a guy, around 19 or so. He was tall, fit, and incredibly good looking. His skin was flawless, and his dark hair was shiny and freshly trimmed. He wore a red leather jacket and tight fitting black jeans. His ears had multiple piercings, and he had a chain necklace.￼
Sam looked away from the attractive costumer, trying to ignore him. But when he looked up he saw that the guy was staring straight at him, with a smile that could melt steel. Sam gulped and tried to push away the butterfly feeling flitting through his heart.
“Do you have any more donuts in the back?” The guy asked Natalie, looking down into the bare display case.
“Oh, lemme check for you.” Said Natalie with a sappy smile. “Sam, can you check for donuts in the back?” She called over her shoulder, not taking her blue eyes of the customer. Sam nodded dully, and started to comply.
“No don’t send him again, why don’t you go.” The customer interrupted, surprising both baristas, who weren’t used to costumers requesting things like that.
“Um, ok.” Said Natalie, showing obvious confusion on her makeup pasted face as she headed to the back room. Sam watched Natalie go, and then glanced at the costumer, quickly looking away when their eyes locked.
“Hey.” Said the guy. His voice was smooth, with a light accent.
Sam looked around. “Me?” He asked in surprise, pointing at his chest. The guy chuckled.
“Yes, you. Can you finish taking my order?”
Sam rushed to the register.
“O-o-of course!” He exclaimed, blushing a bit at his embarrassing stutter that popped out when he was flustered. Every time Sam looked up at the costumers face, the chocolate brown almond eyes were already piercing into Sam’s, crinkled into happy crescents as he smiled.
“W-w-what else c-can I g-get for you today, sir?” Stuttered Sam. The handsome customer smiled, leaning slightly foreword towards Sam.
“I’d like an espresso and a snack.”
“What kind? We have chips, popcorn-“ Sam said helpfully, motioning to the display case. The costumer shook his head.
“Never mind, I’ll just take the espresso for now.” He smirked. Sam nodded and prepared the drink with shaking hands. He carefully snapped on a lid and handed the cup across the counter.
“Th-that’ll be $5.99.”
The handsome costumer reached into his pocket and pulled out an expensive looking wallet. He pulled out a huge roll of bills and pushed it into the tip jar.
“Oh, sir, y-you don’t have to give that much-“ Sam protested, but the costumer cut him off.
“It’s for the handsome barista called Sam.” Winked the guy, glancing at Sams name tag. Sam choked, face turning bright red. The costumer smiled and grabbed a random business card from the counter, lazily picking up a pen and scrawling something on the back.
Then he leaned across the counter and tucked the card into Sams shirt pocket, before turning and strolling away without a backwards look. Sam was still standing, dumbfounded, staring after the guy when Natalie finally got back. She burst out of the store room proudly brandishing a chocolate donut. Her face fell and she stopped short when she saw the counter was deserted.
“Where’d he go?” She asked disappointedly.
“I gave him his coffee and he left.” Said Sam monotonously, pulling the business card out of his pocket.
“Aww man...” sighed Natalie, “he was totally into me!”
Sam turned over the business card to see what was written on the back. The name ‘Min-Jun Kim’ and a number were scrawled messily, under a note that read “hey cutie, text me” with a smilie face.
Sam scrunched the card into his palm, breathing heavily.
“He gave me his number.” He mumbled.
“What?” Asked Natalie, perplexed.
“He gave me his number.” Repeated Sam, holding up the card. Natalie looked shocked, disgusted, and disappointed.
“Ewwww no way...” she complained, “What a waste of handsome face...”
Sam didn’t think so. He slipped the card into the pocket of his jeans and kept working.