by Emma Courtice from the February 18, 2013 issue
Tagline: Carla's perfect date was in the coffee shop all along. She just wasn't looking in his direction...
In a Nutshell: Carla has been using a cafe's Internet dating service but not having much luck. When talking with the barista about the last dud, she sees him in a new light.
Observations: You know those romance novels where the best friends end up lovers? One of the characters knows the other person is The One, and it takes a whole book for the other person to realize it too. This story reminded me of that, but only 800 words long.
You can tell Eric has been observing her for a while and just biding his time. The fun is seeing Carla realize what she'd been missing. First, she notices he's cut his hair. From the description--"a head of longish thick waves to a short neat trim--he underwent quite a change, so seems to me she'd have noticed the moment she got her coffee from him, but I let that pass.
Next she realizes he's older, or old enough rather, and that he has nice laugh lines around his eyes. She finds out he has a graduate degree and will be working as a veterinarian. Poor Carla didn't stand a chance. Cute story.