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  • I was sixteen and had spent the morning volunteering at a soup kitchen. My hair was unwashed and braided and my face fresh painted only by the worries of the "soup" beneficiaries. Trailing my two best friends (like most 16- year-old girls) I first met his eyes over a coffee shop counter.

    He was steaming and stirring, I was staring.

    And then he was too.

    It took us about one month to fall into an intoxicating borderline obsession. Forty-five minutes and three years apart, it seemed as if the entire world stopped when I was in his presence. I knew it as soon as I saw him. No one else mattered, everything else seemed meaningless.

    My idea of coffee was an extra large, carmel frozen treat with extra whipped toppings. The sweeter the better...it did horrible things to my insides, surely. So did he.

    Eight months later it ended. Six years later it picked back up. I had not quite grown out of that desire for carmel and whipped cream.

    It took me two years and one month to realize that sweet treats are for girls, what I needed was real coffee--hold the sugar and cream.
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