• I was sitting alone, one night in a table outside a cafe. Yes, I was alone.

    I was walking around calming my nerves, clearing my mind, and feeling the night’s coolness when I saw this heart-warming cafe. I stopped by the window and saw people conversing, eating, drinking and celebrating inside. I chose not to enter; I chose to feel the coldness and that’s how I ended up sitting alone outside the cafe.

    Across my table, there was another person sitting. He made me wonder why he wasn’t inside the cafe. But knowing where I stand (or sit), I’d rather not ask. He must’ve noticed me staring at him that’s why he gave me a smile. I mustered up a weak smile. Then he slowly stood up, walked towards me and sat with me on my table.

    He introduced himself and so did I. He was polite and we had a light conversation. A few minutes later, a waitress came out of the cafe and went to our table. She put down a cup of coffee, smiled and went back inside.

    Something at the back of my head made me say out loud, “You know, love is very much like a cup of coffee. It would smell so nice and inviting but when you finally get a hold of it and take a sip, that’s the time you would taste its bitterness...”

    He asked me if I ever had a boyfriend. I answered ‘no’, that’s maybe why he put up a smile.

    We both looked down at the hot cup of coffee. Then he put his hands around it. He started, “But you know, it’s warm.” Then he took a sip. “Since it is warm, it’s soothing as well. Within the bitterness you can taste that tingling sweetness. Only persons who take the time to feel and open the heart to see can ever know the sweetness behind the bitterness. Besides, love isn’t all about the happy sweetness but also the bitter sadness. Love is about how you can overcome that bitterness and enjoy the sweetness.”

    He paused and looked back at me. I was starting to see his point but tried to wash it off my mind. I want to stand by my ground and for what I believed in. Love isn’t what he said. Love can kill you from the inside. At first you’ll be loyal to love, you give everything you have, and you may never wanna leave but in the end, love will end up leaving you. I wanted him to know that. But somehow I just couldn’t say it. I kept silent as I continue to look at him admiring the cup of coffee.

    “But what I tasted wasn’t complete yet there’s something missing,” he started once again. He took the sachet of milk and poured it over his coffee. He gave it a quick stir and again took a sip. “Now it’s perfect. For love to be perfect, two people, no matter how opposite they may be, they’ll blend as one. Just like milk and coffee.”

    I smiled at the thought of that. Whether he was bluffing or not, certainly I admired him for trying so much to make me believe. How come he would know so much? Had he experienced loving so much? I only blurted out that simple statement out of nowhere and now here I am listening for his opinions one after another.

    He again took a sip from his cup and said, “Another thing. Coffee keeps us awake. Being awake means being alive. It’s a lot like love. We live for it and it keeps us alive. Without love, we have no reason for living.”

    He locked his eyes unto mine and smiled as if he triumphed over me. Then he said, “Why don’t you try it?” He pushed his cup of coffee unto my hands.

    I looked at the cup with its creamy content. It looked so smooth and inviting. Then I stared back at him, eyebrows raised. “But I don’t like the taste of coffee, it’s bitter....”

    “How would you know if you wouldn’t try? It tastes good and smells nice...” he again pushed the cup of coffee to my hands.

    I hesitated. Again, I looked at the cup then back at him.

    “Go on,” he insisted.

    ‘He’s right; it was warm and soothing in the hands. I could smell its inviting aroma. Why not?’ I thought then gulped some of its contents.

    I felt the fluid pass through my mouth and the warmth spread through my body. “I was right! It’s so bitter!” The taste wouldn’t go away.

    He chuckled. “It’s love. It’s inviting. Even though you already know it’s bitter, you still would try it. Just like a cup of coffee.”