It All Began With 'Hello'.

It All Began With 'Hello'....

She sat alone, and watched him from that same spot in the coffee shop. He always ordered a vanilla milkshake. She'd secretly peer over the pages of her book and sneak a glance. Then one day he caught her looking. Then one day he said hello. It all began with 'hello'.

...And It Ended With 'Goodbye'.

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2. The Vanilla Milkshake Boy Has A Granny

 

I hate school. So. Much. Liz has literally not stopped complaining all through tech, and I am seriously considering suicide. Turns out Max Donnighue has told her things aren't working out, which was kind of obvious anyway. Seeing as they didn't speak to each other. At all. Ever.

"Do you want some water?" I say, pulling a bottle from my book bag. "You've barely shut up, and your tongue must be getting pretty dry."

She sighs, stretching her arms out in front of her. "Sorry. I just don't take this stuff well."

"I've noticed." I bump her shoulder with mine, giving her a smirk. She rolls her eyes.

 "Can we just skip history? I'd much rather go get a Subway than learn about some stupid war that probably never happened anyway. And I need it. A subway I mean, it would so do me good."

I look at her sarcastically. "Liz, trust me, World War 1 happened. And no way, Mr Gordon already hates me enough. He's still not got over that essay." I give her a wink. She screws her face up, her forehead wrinkling.

"Well that sucks." She says playing with her bracelet, one her mum brought back from Egypt. It's the kind of thing that I would be too afraid to wear full stop, nevermind to school.  When something's expensive, just don't let me near it. Josh Herring slides over next beside Liz, and they start murmuring away. I guess it's about Max because Liz goes all over dramatic about it and starts raising her voice loud enough that it catches Mr Henry's attention. When I look back over, they're holding hands. God, that girl moves on quickly. I'm not even kidding when I say I'm sixteen and have never ever had a boyfriend. Ever. Yes. Judge me. I Katie Morrisson, have never had a boyfriend.

***

"Vanilla milkshake please." I lean over on my tiptoes, balancing myself against the counter.

"Medium or large?" the waitress drawls, her fingers hovering over the clear plastic cups.

I could be greedy. But no. A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips. Oh God Katie, what the hell.

"Medium's fine."

"One pound sixty then."

I swear they've put the prices up here. I don't make anything of it, and hand the money over anyhow.

"Sure," I say, grabbing my milkshake, and take my usual spot. It's next to a window that looks over the high street. I shove one earphone in, and read the last few pages of my book. I know the ending, but I still cry. I always do. Spoiler alert: He dies. Spoiler alert: You'll cry.

"Are you alright, love?"

I look up. An old lady with thin tufts of white curls smiles down at me.

"Oh," I laugh a little bit at myself, rubbing tears from under my eye. "Yeah, just a really sad book."

The lady pushes my book back so she can see the cover. Her face lights up a little bit.

"Ooh, John Green eh? He was in the paper the other day, he was. Good lad." She nods, her eyes going all distant. Something tugs her back to reality, and she looks back down at me. "I'm Dulcie Liddle. Would you mind if I sit here while I wait? My grandson's running late." She tuts, her spring-pink cheeks smiling.

"Sure, no bother. I'm not staying much longer though. I'm just here to read, my friends don't really approve." Why the hell am I telling an old lady my life story?

"Don't listen to them. Keep it up, it'll do you kids some good." Her lips press into a gentle smile, and she pulls a packet of soft mints from her bag. "Want one?"

Okay, yeah I know. Don't take candy from strangers.

But hell, I'm hungry.

I nod. "Thanks."

"Anytime, sweet. What's your name?" She leans over a bit, staring hard into my eyes. Hers are a deep shade of blue.

"Katie. Katie Morrisson." I can barely get the words out.

He's back. Vanilla Milkshake Boy is back.

"What a lovely name," I hear Dulcie say. "How old are you?"

"Sixteen," I reply, although I don't even realise I'm saying it. I'm so caught up in watching the VMB stroll over to the counter.

"Oh how nice. Same age as my grand son actually. Speak of the devil, there he is there. Well it was nice meeting you, Kate."

I don't tell her she got my name wrong. She hobbles away in her lilac quilted coat.

I look away out the window. Maybe he'll see me today. Notice me. I put my book in my bag, and head towards the till. Just as I get there, he walks away, Dulcie following behind him.

Wait what?

I stop in my tracks.

Dulcie is the Vanilla Milkshake Boy's gran.

He's sixteen.

The same age as me.

Dulcie gives me a wink as she passes me, and I feel like I want to hug her like mad.

That ancient woman has just got me a hell of a lot more close to finding love.

Oh god.

I give her a wave, and it takes effort.

I am actually stunned.

Dulcie Liddle.

I love you so much right now.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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