I was reminiscing on a competition held by Starbucks a while back. Now that I have some free time, I decided to go back on my favourite and most memorable Starbucks moment to date.
The nearest Starbucks to my university is the one in the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). It has a nice and conducive environment which I exploit rather regularly for all my study purposes. The staff are rather friendly and recognize the regular university students during assignment crunch times. How ironic it must be that I go to the airport all the time but rarely take a plane out of the country.
So I was sitting in the corner, staring into the infinite mound of assignments that lay before me, sipping on my usual tea (Yeah, I drink tea in Starbucks. Problem?), when a girl walked up to the counter lugging a backpack and carry-on luggage. I didn’t pay much attention to her. After all, all she would be is another traveller grabbing a drink before her flight.
After talking to the friendly barista, she inched slowly to my table while waiting for her drink. I could feel her coming closer, eyes glued on me, scrutinizing me. But with the amount of work I had before me, she could take a hundred photos of me and I wouldn’t really bother.
“Thomas? Thomas Liew from Ipoh?” she muttered out in a barely audible whisper.
I looked up and there stood a tall, beautiful girl with fair complexion and long, silky black hair. I was awestruck not by her beauty but by the fact that I have seen here from somewhere before. Question is…. Where? I dug through my memory archives as my brain tried hysterically to locate a name of this beautiful damsel.
“You haven’t changed much except for the glasses,” she added on, this time confident it is me.
“My glasses?” I wondered, “But I have been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old.”
At that point, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. But it couldn’t be. It’s not possible. The probability of such a coincidence could not be that high. But I had to know.
“Jennifer? Jennifer Lee from Tenby?” I mumbled, holding my breath for an anticipated shock.
She nodded her head. My eyes widened and jaw dropped. Jennifer Lee, my kindergarten friend whom I have not seen for over 14 years. She migrated to Australia back in 1998 and we lost contact with each other ever since. Back then, there was no Facebook. And 14 years later, there she stood in front of me, all grown up into a fine, beautiful young lady.
We spend the next 2 hours chatting and catching up on old times, this time, remembering to exchange contact details. It seems she came back to visit her relatives. I couldn’t believe that she could recognize me after so many years let alone remember me. She said she will always remember her cry-baby gentle giant who has always been held dearly in her heart.
She later revealed that she wouldn’t have realized I was there if she didn’t order tea. She asked the barista if anyone bought tea in Starbucks and he pointed at my table saying that I am a regular patron who drinks tea.
As we bade each other goodbye, I can’t help but wonder how wonderful moments in life can just fall into place. As Fate would put it, the meeting of 2 long lost buddies came together over a wonderful cup of tea in Starbucks at an airport. I will definitely remember this story for as long as I live. It’s not everyday something this amazing happens.