Checkout Girl

One vanilla latte later, and Evelyn White finds that she can't seem to get this guy that she served that day off of her mind. What happens when this 'guy' turns out to be Harry Styles - and she didn't even notice?

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1. Vanilla Latte

The door creaks open and clicks shut once more – but not for the first time this morning. ‘Okay,’ I say, ‘so its three vanilla lattes, two mochas and an espresso?’

The woman on the other side of the counter glares at me. ‘Did you not hear me the first time?’

My eyes widen a little and I purse my lips as I charge her and allow a sigh of relief to escape from my lips as she moves further down the counter: Allie could deal with her now. She had a far better knack of handling awkward ones, and there were plenty of those. Hey, that’s showbiz, kids.

Before I can utter an opening greeting to the next customer, my finger accidently taps that button – oh, that bloody button – that ejects the till. My hand shoots out in an attempt to stop it from jutting all coins from its slots but my reflexes are too slow which is just a no shit, Sherlock moment, and instead I curse beneath my breath and drop to my knees.

And then, just as I am scooping stray coins into my apron, some knob decides that he is going to tap on the counter. Cue idiot: ‘is anyone serving here?’

I stand: my smile is so plastic that if you took a lighter to it, it would no doubt melt. ‘Yes, sir – how can I help you?’

The boy – yes, boy, not exactly a sir – that stands across the counter has sunglasses on despite the fact that we are inside, and yet he takes them off when he catches sight of me. The smirk that plays around his mouth is cheeky, and I feel my awful tendency to blush flaring up. I drop my eyes. ‘How could I help you?’ I repeat.

‘That depends,’ he says, ‘what are we referring to here?’

I brush it off quickly and gesture to the array of foods in the counter to my right. ‘We have cakes and sandwiches here, sir,’ I say quietly, ‘and an assortment of drinks on the boards above–’

He leans forward, the sweetness of his cologne a little overbearing but pleasant all the same. ‘Vanilla latte,’ he says, ‘and you’re new.’

I meet his eyes for a fraction of a second – unbelievably green – before dropping them once more. ‘I guess I am.’

He pulls back, a smile on his mouth as he rifles through his wallet. ‘How you liking it?’

My eyes dart to his again, a slight frown rippling my forehead then – he was asking me this why? My first day, some horrific occurrence some six weeks ago, consisted of a plump middle-aged woman telling me that I wasn’t to speak to anyone apart a yes, sir or yes, madam – notice how it’s never a no, sir – and nothing more. So did I answer this boy or did I ignore him? For ignoring him was just plain rude, wasn’t it?

I don’t realise he is holding a note out to me before he drops it onto the counter. His smile does not falter. ‘Keep the change.’

I open my mouth to speak but before I can, he is further down the counter and that grumpy woman is back – to be quite honest, she was nothing more than an intern for the venue so I didn’t see why I had to do my yes, madam routine with her, but I needed this job. Badly.

‘You didn’t give me straws,’ she says.

I drag my eyes away from his retreating back: oh, how I hated it when people thought me rude – and he was no doubt one of those. ‘The straws are–’

‘You didn’t give me straws,’ she repeats and so, rather than attempting to explain again, I dig into a new box beneath the counter and give her a handful. By the time that she and her upturned nose have left the cafeteria, the boy – or perhaps I should say guy, as I soon realised – has also left.

**

‘Well, maybe he thought I was ignoring him,’ I say, chewing on my straw as we stroll down the street. A woman knocks my arm and I near about blind myself with the deformed straw, but I suppose if she hadn’t done it I would have found a way to do it myself – after all, I was a renowned klutz.

‘Yeah, maybe,’ Allie agrees, taking a mouthful of her sandwich, ‘and you do make that face when you’re thinking.’

I frown. ‘What face?’

‘You know,’ she says but, on seeing my confused expression, adds, ‘the fuck-off-face.’

I gasp. ‘I do not!’

‘Well, why else do you think he just walked away like that?’ Allie says, chewing on her food. ‘It’s because of the fuck-off-face.’

‘It is not,’ I protest, but weaker this time. It wasn’t like that was the first time that had been said to me, although perhaps not in so many words...

‘Which one was he anyways?’ she asks through yet another mouthful of dough.

‘How am I supposed to know?’ I reply. ‘There were loads of guys in there today.’ Yes, that was true, but the cute guy that had told me to keep the change had not yet escaped the realm of my memory. Not just because he was cute but because of the way that he had looked at me: no one had ever looked at me like that. I wasn’t that kind of girl.

‘What kind of hair did he have?’ Allie prods.

‘Oh, I don’t know!’ I say, rolling my eyes. ‘Dark?’

‘Straight or curly?’ she continues.

‘Curly?’

‘And his eyes?’ she says. ‘Eye-colour?’

This, I could remember. ‘Green, definitely.’

‘Ooh,’ she coos, ‘he sounds hot.’

I raise my eyebrows, surprised at her stupidity. ‘You saw him too – actually, no. You served him his drink...’

‘Yeah, well,’ she says, waving her hand dismissively, ‘I can’t remember them all. Oh, but there was that guy from that band that came in...’

I take another sip of my drink, fiddling with the plastic lid. ‘What band?’ I ask absent-mindedly.

‘You know,’ she says, squinting as she attempts to remember, ‘the British one. You know the song about–’

‘Don’t ask me,’ I cut her off, ‘I don’t listen to anything after ’69.’

Allie stares at me. ‘What is wrong with you?’

I laugh. ‘Many things,’ I say, turning onto my street now, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow...’

‘You wait!’ she yells from behind me. ‘He’ll come back in tomorrow!’

I roll my eyes. ‘Alright, Al,’ I call, ‘whatever you say!’

As I turn up my path, however, I do wonder whether he would make another appearance tomorrow – but only for a brief moment. Bright pink motorcycles that you have never once seen before sitting on your doorstep can do that to you.

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