"Welcome to Starbucks, ma'am. What can we get started for you?"
I stared blankly at the menu. It's the little decisions that overwhelm. Seriously, the smallest of decisions.
"Um, a salted caramel mocha, please. Decaf."
"You bet, ma'am. Coming right up."
We exchanged a few common pleasantries.
And then I said, "Could I tell you something that will seem intensely vulnerable, and yet I just need to say it?"
His hands were still and he looked intently at me.
"Yes, ma'am. Of course."
"I'm a writer. I come here often to write. I sit in that corner booth; perhaps you've seen me?"
He smiled and nodded. "Oh, yes. Yes, ma'am."
"I lost my husband, quite suddenly, very tragically, a few days before Christmas. This seems to be the only place I can come on my own, your Starbucks. This one. I've written here before, and I'll write here again. In fact, I'm here to write today. I just wanted you to know. I can do that here. Thank you."
His face softened.
"You're welcome, ma'am. It's an honor to have you. And may we buy your drink today?"
Yes, please. My husband would love that.