two

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T W O


I handed the customer the box with a smile on my face saying, "have a nice day."

While I was a bundle of - feigned - cheerfulness, my mood must've not passed onto the man who stood before me as he took it from me roughly before retreating over to a table where he could eat. I was used to rude customers - they were part and parcel with this business - but it would be lying to ignore the sting I always felt when someone looked down upon me at this job.

But I couldn't do anything about it but move on, letting the wound heal by forgetting about it.

I stepped out from behind the counter, grabbing a rag to wipe one of the vacated tables down, my method to keeping busy when time seemed to stretch on forever here. I had just started this job a month ago, and yet I wasn't fully used to it, the bells and whistles ringing too loudly in my ear.

Sassy Cupcake was a swanky new high-end cupcake shop that was located just south of the school. It was where I spent my afternoons, working until the late of night where I would end up having to take a bus home and try and finish up my homework as fast as possible in order to get a decent amount of time for sleep. In other words, it was an exhaustive regime, but it was worth something at least. I made plans of attending university at either Yale or Calpurnia, which were both going to be pricey unless I discovered some miracle that would give me a hundred thousand dollars.

As I finished wiping down the vacated tables - new ones had freed up, leaving behind new messes for me to wipe down - I looked up to find that my routine would be all the more exhausting as Dylan Parker stepped through the door, the soft entry bell ringing in his wake.

By the coolness in his gait, a swagger in his walk that would be unnatural in a natural setting, I could tell he was looking for someone. His eyes were searching, lips in a pout as he scanned the room. He didn't see me, stepping past the far table that I had just cleaned in the corner.

Granted, he was looking much better than he had when he was in drag at the pep rally-sleepover - which was one of the last times we had talked even though we had a class together - in a button down dress coat and a scarf around his neck. He was wearing green pants that I could only assume was coordinated with the top he wore that was tucked into long, black boots with a beanie shielding the majority of his brown hair from snowfall. What stuck out from beneath his hat was lightly dusted in pale snowflakes, giving him a dazed and confused appearance, complimented by the fact that he was actually looking to find someone.

Not only was he tracking in snow, but no one seemed to be coming to his aid, so I stepped up in front of him asking, "hi, Dylan. Can I help you?"

While exhaustion was a key factor in whether or not I should be stepping up to the plate at work, I knew I was harboring a ten foot tall crush on Dylan Parker, one that drove me up the wall anytime we did anything together. So far, my job served as a platform where I could safely communicate with him without spontaneously combusting before his eyes. I was going to regret exerting pressure on myself in order to talk to him, that was for sure, but it felt nice to delude yourself by chasing after fantasies - at least, every once in a while.

Of course, only you were responsible to sweep up the pieces of your heart that you spared him, but I preferred not to dwell on that.

"Venia Addams," he said, his voice cheerful and humorous. "Did you know that you're just the girl I was looking for?"

A blush crept onto my face, lighting my cheeks in surprise. It hadn't crossed my mind that he would be looking for me, especially since the last we had spoken was at the pep rally-sleepover and had dissipated into strangers in every sense of the word.

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