He lets go the collar of his coat and opens the café door. Conversation thrums the air and the smell of dark roast scents the steam rising from behind the counter. He stands in line and orders a single shot, then finds a barstool by the window. He buries his face in the oversize cup, its shape funneling the aroma of earth. He thinks again of summer, a week on the Adriatic and mornings with her. He inhales, then drains the cup. A woman, slender and dirty blonde, smiles. He rises to leave, then stops at her table. "Have I seen you before?" They chat and laugh, the invite there in a yellow fleck of her hazel eyes. He begins another question, then pauses. What would tomorrow be with her? He smiles. "I'll see you again." He rises, smiles again. In his car, he calculates the time and makes the call. "Ciao, caro," she answers. He tallies the time until spring.
Adele Annesi is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in 34th Parallel, The Fairfield Review, Hotmetalpress, Miranda Literary Magazine, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Tertulia Magazine and Trillium. She contributed to The Circle and the Italian-American literary journal Pyramid, and her short fiction appeared in an anthology for Fairfield University. Adele won Poetic Voices of America's editor's choice award, and teaches writing workshops. Visit her at Word for Words and Adele M. Annesi.