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For once, I was the one late to work. Arielle was lighting incense when I ducked through the door – a surefire sign that Lee spent half the night making up to her – and watching the first customers of the day from the corner of her eye. A girl with her head shaved save the multi-colored bangs falling across her forehead. A guy with carrot topped locs and a Rastafarian cap. Ravers. They wouldn’t buy anything.

“You’re late.”

“I have coffee.”


“7-11 Special.”

“El Cheapo.” Arielle scrunched her nose but took the coffee anyway, leaned against the side wall and watched me as if I were a small child just learning to crawl, “So?”

“So, nothing.”

“When were you going to tell me about Son?”

“What about him?”

She continued to grin.

I made a mental note to see that she seriously reduce her daily caffeine intake, then headed for the CD display.

She, of course, chose to follow.

“You know.”

“Know? Know what? That he’s a manic stalker whose dog has tried to maul me to death on more than one occasion?”

“You like him.”

“What are we, twelve? What’s next, candy cigarettes and Backstreet Boys trading cards out by the old swing set?”

“Well, I liked him. He’s musician and he’s cute.”

“First, cute musicians are notorious perpetrators of male whorism. Second, Son is not cute. He’s abnormally tall, awkwardly ganky, and…”


“He smokes cigarettes.”

“And he’s cute.”

“He tries to cover it up with cologne but he isn’t fooling anyone because…”

“Because he’s cute.”

“Can you please stop saying that?”

“I’ll stop saying it when you stop denying it.”

“Yes, Arielle. Son Tyler is cute in the same way George W Bush is a world-renowned rocket scientist.”

“Shhh, he’s listening.”

She bit back a devilish grin, paused in her interrogation long enough to watch the Ravers on their way out. There’d been a rash of shoplifting incidents along the strip. We’d lost two moonstone necklaces and four CDs the week before. Our manager was not pleased and when he threatened to deduct the loss from our monthly wages, neither were we.

“You do like him.”

“And strawberry ice cream with sprinkles on top.”

“You’re going to see him again?”


“Aww. Mellie’s got a date.”

“It’s not a date. They have rehearsal at noon tomorrow. He asked if I wanted to drop by.”

“You’re dropping by to watch L Richard’s band rehearse?”



I smiled and petted her shoulder on my way to the front counter,”Close your mouth, Ari. You’re letting the flies in.”

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Romance