M A R C I E "So tell me, why aren't you doing the Tuesday evening shifts? Don't get me wrong, you do shifts all day, every day and you even have started to do your homework in the kitchen during shifts. So you can't blame me if I'm intrigued as to why you can't do Tuesdays". I sigh. Karla is going to love this. But maybe I can work this to my advantage. "Actually it's because me and my FRIEND are going to be working on a history project after school, every Tuesday". I say, triumphantly. "You made a friend?!" I giggle and flick some washing up liquid at her. "Fine, I can be busy on Tuesday evenings. Just tell me who it is!" I laugh. She sounds so excited. Karla does love her gossip. She knows everyone and everything. Owning the only cafe in town does help with that. "Okay okay, his name is Calum Hood" "CALUM HOOD. CALUM HOOD? Soccer star? Stunningly attractive and flirtatious?" She screams, clearly having a fan girl moment. For a 17 year old boy. "That's the one" I fake smile and pretend to laugh along. Oh boy, what have I got myself into. "He used to come here after practice every Thursday evening for dinner. He doesn't come anymore, I think it's because I banned his friend" She murmurs, turning her attention back to the paperwork. Oh good Lord, is Michael fricking Clifford banned from everywhere?! I make a mental note to ask Calum about it. I finish washing up and dry my hands. I check the cafe to make sure there are no leftover stragglers. I see a figure sitting by the window. Probably old Jed. Hangs around every night, he's lovely, he just hasn't been the same since his wife died. "C'mon Jed, you know we close at nine" I say, turning over the open sign so it reads closed. "Actually, my names Ash but you can call me Jed if you want. On the other hand, comparing me to an old man could be an insult." "Oh I'm really sorry! It's just that we usually have Jed stay quite late" I turn around. Still babbling on. Oh sweet potatoes, this man looks like he's been sculptured by God! He had a lovely smile that stretched across the whole of his face. Literally from ear to ear. He blew a strand of his curly beach hair from his face and tucked it back into his red bandana. Yes, a bandana. He was wearing a sleeveless t-shirt with a logo on it. I presumed it was a band. Nirvana? Never heard of it, I am really out of touch with music. My eyes travelled from his scruffy vans back up to his face again. "Finished?" he asked, one eyebrow raised. I blushed furiously. "Yes, sorry" I said, tucking my hair behind my ear. "Anyway, I was just leaving, but I wanted to ask for your number" he said. He wants my number. He wants MY number. I put a hand on the counter to steady myself, as I reach into the pocket of my apron for my phone. I give him my number and he returns the favor. "Hey, Marcie?" I look up. He darts in, and kisses my cheek so softly, it's hard to tell if it happened at all. He pulls back and looks me and the eye. "Goodnight" he winks, and strolls out of the cafe. Into the darkness of the street. And that's how Karla finds me, 10 minutes later. Leaning against the counter for support and my hand holding my cheek. Well there goes my first kiss.