That One Summer // Luke Hemmings
I came back to work, hyped yet still upset. My glum expression led Brandy to the wrong conclusion as her mouth dropped the slightest bit.
"Oh...I'm so sorry." She hurried to comfort, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. I looked over at her with a weird expression before smiling and shaking my head.
"Oh no, nothing went wrong!" I smiled, fueling up due to that statement. Sure, I didn't get his number like I hoped but he still has mine and if it's destined to be, hopefully he'll text me. Or call me...or do something.
"Then why did you look so upset?" She asked, obviously clueless about anything that had just happened. I couldn't blame her, I wasn't always Miss. Obvious.
"It's kind of stupid. It's just...you know how in the movies the guy gets the girls number but never even messages or calls? What if I'm living in my own personal movie? He has my number but what if he forgets me..." I paused, thinking of more conclusions.
"Or accidentally deletes my number. Or! Or, or, or what if his school starts back up unexpectedly in Australia and he has to find the soonest flight back!" I babbled, listing off highly unlikely options.
"Aerie!" Brandy laughed, cutting off my panicked voice.
"What?" I gasped, my expression wild, my heart racing due to the thought of never seeing him again.
"You do realize everything you're saying isn't going to happen, right?" She smiled, obviously amused at my frantic distress. I nodded, taking a breath to relax my tensed muscles.
"Good. Now let's get back to work. I think I just saw the boss' car pull in." She smiled as I nodded, wiping my palms against my apron and grasping the scooper. Without warning, swarms of teens had flooded the parlor, ordering every flavor of ice cream we served.
"Mint Chocolate Chip!" Brandy shouted, sliding the order over to me before rushing to complete the next. I looked down at the slip, rereading the order over and over before a smile pressed at my lips.
"Aerie? Why are you smiling at a piece of paper? Get to work!" I heard Brandy exclaim as I snapped from my daze, my eyes widening as I looked towards the accumulating pile of orders.
I quickly scooped everybody their ice cream, a group of girls obviously annoyed at the long wait. My hands were sticky, cake batter smeared across my thumb as I reached for a rag to wipe it off.
"Geesh, talk about lunch-time rush." Brandy laughed, pushing all the pens back into the container and putting all the remaining money into the register. I smiled, nodding in agreement as I looked out the door, the wind pushing the scent of fresh water into the space.
"Aerie, stop gazing!" I heard Mary, our boss, snap. I took in a breath, scared by her sudden presence as I turned to look at her.
"Oh, uh...sorry ma'am." I apologized quietly, looking down at my shoes, only to realize a huge glob of cotton candy ice cream had landed on them. I groaned, with a roll of my eyes before moving to wipe it off.
We were all able to relax again, but an hour later another rush had moved in.
"Aerie, take your lunch break! I'll get Montana to cover your shift!" Brandy ordered as I heaved a sigh of relief, finding my purse and rushing out the door, onto the boardwalk. I quickly untied my apron, stuffing it in my bag as I pulled my sunglasses out, perching them on my nose. I found my favorite food cart, ordering a hot dog and drink, waiting before paying and taking them.
I began towards the beach, sand grains slipping into my shoes as I wiggled my toes in annoyance. The air was much warmer than yesterday, the sun shining much, much brighter. I found a shaded spot, a chair beneath before setting my things on the sand and plopping down into the plastic.
The chair sunk beneath me, but luckily it was strong enough to hold my weight. I began on my meal, enjoying the view before another caught my eye.
Luke sat on the sand, his shoes kicked off as he scrolled through things on his phone. Nobody was near him, not even his friends. I looked a bit further, only to see them flirting with about half the beach. I was instantly hit with sympathy, taking a bold decision and gathering my belongings.
I walked nervously over to him, glad he hadn't realized me yet. With one more push of encouragement, I sat down beside him, looking over at him as he looked up so our eyes met. They still mesmerize me.
"Hey." He smiled, turning his phone off and sliding it into his pocket.
"Hey! Sorry if I seem weird, it's just you seemed lonely." I admitted with my cheeks burning. He chuckled lowly before responding.
"It's okay, I wasn't really looking to talk to anybody." He answered as my smile dropped.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll go." I smiled, already pushing myself up before his hand wrapped around my wrist. Electricity bolted through me, and as cliche as it sounds, it really did send bolts of an indescribable feeling throughout my body.
"No, please don't! I don't mind talking to you...I actually like it!" He smiled, and I felt something I hadn't in a while. Worth.
"Oh, well. Okay." I replied awkwardly, sitting back down and finishing my meal as we laughed and talked about several things. The longer we talked, the closer I felt to him. I don't know what he felt, I mean obviously, but what I was feeling was crystal clear. A feeling so indescribable not even John Green could capture it's beauty.
"Ariel! Get your butt back to work!" I heard Mary's deep voice shout, and I could already feel the stares. I squeezed my eyes shut in annoyance, biting my lip.
"I thought you said your name was Aerie?" Luke questioned, looking at me curiously. Not suspiciously, after all; who lies about a name? Just simply in curiosity.
"Well, my full name is Ariel but I don't really like it so I call myself Aerie." I smiled as he nodded, reciprocating my action.
"If you don't get your butt back in that parlor, you're fired!" She shouted once more, her voice tight and strained. I rolled my eyes, looking down at my watch, only to realize I was twenty minutes over my lunch break. My eyes widened as I scurried up, gathering my purse and wiping the sand off my pants.
"Sorry, I've got to go..." I panicked, trying to my best to run quickly through the sinking sand and towards the parlor. My legs were tired as I passed Mary, ignoring her protests and dashing through the door. I quickly pulled my apron out of my purse, tying it in a rush and resuming to my previous task.
"There you are! Montana had to leave early, family death!" Brandy informed me as I nodded, retying the strings that had slipped out of the bow.
"Aw." I frowned, adding giving her an apology to my mental list.
"Well, things kind of slowed down. Most people got freaked out and left when Mary came in screaming your name." Brandy laughed as I gave a small giggle.
"She's really got no inside voice, does she?" I asked, raising an eyebrow as she shook her head with a large smile.
"Never has, and probably never will." She answered as I laughed, taking all the scoopers and moving them to the sink for Mallory to rinse off.
"I feel bad for whoever becomes her husband!" I exclaimed as Brandy's eyes widened in agreement.
"Oh, yes!" She spoke, her voice lower, her head nodding frantically.
"So, I saw you with Ocean-eyed Aussie during your break. Spill the deets!" Brandy urged, nudging her shoulder against mine. A tint crept onto my cheeks as I smiled, looking down which I had been loads lately.
"Nothing. We just talked." Okay, so maybe that was a little under-stated. I got to know him much better.
"Mhm, just talked. I saw the way he looked at you." She rolled her eyes playfully, making kissy faces as I groaned, bumping my hip against hers.
"Maybe it was because I was eating obnoxiously while he was trying to talk about what it was like in Australia!" I pointed out as her eyes widened, an ear-piercing laugh leaving her lips. I cringed, letting out a silent chuckle as she clutched her stomach. It wasn't that funny, but whatever kept her entertained.
"Why..." She paused to catch her breath, "Why was he talking about what Australia is like?" She asked, clearly fascinated by our random topics of conversation.
"I don't know, I kind of asked. Either way, it seems interesting!" I smiled, wiping the counters down of ice cream.
Our conversation had come to a stop and soon it was time for me to leave. As I pulled the sleeves of my coat on, I looked out the door to where Luke and I had sat. He was no longer there, not that I expected him to be, but it put a frown on my face as I bid my goodbye and hurried to my car before driving home.
What if he never messages? Or comes back to the parlor?
What if I never see him again?