Shaun Seabury couldn't even remember how this glaring match had even started.

All he knew was that the woman standing on the other side of the counter was not speaking, and that if she wasn't going to make even a peep, he was not going to able to enter her order into the computer.

The woman was gesturing at something on the board above him. She didn't look all too pleased either. Her cheeks were tinged pink in anger or frustration, he couldn't quite tell.

"Lady," He gritted out, fingers thrumming impatiently on the edge of the wooden counter top, "There are forty-two items on that menu. Pointing to them does not clarify your choice." Obviously, he had long since given up the exhausting formalities of customer service. The two had been going at it for at least five minutes now, and that was five minutes too long for his tastes. He was never the patient fellow.

The woman's scowl deepened and her grey eyes grew even colder. She looked like she had half the mind to leap across the counter and strange him to death. Not like that thought had worried him any. He was pretty sure he could take her down fairly easily. His only worry would have to be the heels she had on her feet. They weren't particularly long and skinny. They were short and stubby, but he still didn't want that to stab him anywhere. That would certainly be troublesome. Shaun let his green gaze flicker quickly over her frame. What he saw made him raise a brow.

He could tell that the overcoat she wore was of the stupidly expensive variety. The same went with her scarf, square glasses and gloves she donned. Why such an obviously prim and wealthy lady was doing in his humble family café (which didn't even have enough room for a proper seating area) was beyond him.

Shaun watched with growing interest as her sharp eyes darted about the place, a faint look of regret flitting briefly across her - rather average - features. She seemed to spot something of her liking and hurried off to go grab it. Returning after a brief second, she smoothed out a plain napkin on the counter and looked at him expectantly. Shaun noted that her eyes, no matter how dull seeming a colour, were extremely expressive. His hand had already reached into the pocket of his black apron and presented her with a pen.

She took the pen from him with a surprising lack of roughness and scribbled down on the napkin, in loopy handwriting: One blueberry muffin and hot chocolate. She paused, worrying her bottom lip a bit before adding with some hesitancy: please.

Luckily for her, it was past rush hour at the Seabury Café. Otherwise, he would not of bothered to entertain her so. He raised a brow, "One blueberry muffin and hot chocolate?"

She nodded eagerly, eyes lighting up in triumph. She went and scribbled something else down on the napkin, and in the process of, managed to rip it a little - although that seemed to pass right over her head.

Medium. To-go. Thank you.

Shaun decided to quit stalling and just key in her order. He could practically feel Jennifer's probing gaze on his back. "Six twenty please." He told her curtly. He felt his left eye twitch ever so slightly as the lady reached into her pocket and presented him with a whole pile of change.

The woman wasn't even that old, hardly any older than himself, and she was already paying in exact change!

Carefully, she slid out six one-dollar loonies, one dime and two nickels. With a prideful look, she pushed the collection of coins towards him and went on to sweep the rest of the coins into the palm of her hand and back into her pockets. The lady, who wore expensive branded items, looked like she barely had twenty dollars worth on her.

Shaking his head a little, he took the money with muttered thanks and, to his great surprise, was welcomed with a beaming face. She looked as though she was a young child who had received a great compliment. It would be a few more moments before Jennifer would ping for him to pack the food, so he took the opportunity to voice his curiosity. "Why couldn't you just ask for it? Normally – with your voice."

His Momma had always advised him to keep his damn mouth shut, but apparently he never could listen.

It looked as if he had just opened the drain to her joy. Nearly instantly, her face fell and molded into a perfectly emotionless face. The split second transformation was startling and Shaun struggled to seem unfazed. In all honesty, he felt like a monster. Her face might have been blank, but her eyes were sad. He could see that much, even if she was deliberately looking away from him. She tucked a stray bit of dark brown hair behind her ear, her shoulders looked square and tense.

He was about to apologize, but Jennifer had ringed the bell, indicating that the food was ready. Turning on his heel, he hurried to pack the warm muffin in a small paper bag. He slid a slip of cardboard around the body of the hot take-out cup and snapped a sipper lid on it.

When he turned around to give the paper bag and drink to the lady, all that was left of her was the napkin and pen on the counter.

Lost voice.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and will support me through NaNoWriMo 2011. :)