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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. – Galileo Galilei


Six years ago – July 8, 2012

Peering into the mirror, I frowned at the weary reflection. Waking up fairly early this morning caused a very thin shadow to rim below my light, cloudy-grey eyes. Although my skin tone was naturally pearly and pale, it looked even more pallid at this hour. I had always thought my fair complexion clashed with my ebony hair. It flowed straight down by back, and was now gently ruffled beneath the new hat Evan provided me. My boss rarely bothered me – now being the exception.

Previously, he handed me this black snapback with ICY printed across the top in intense, ruby letters. He mentioned that it went brilliantly with the uniform, which included dark pants, and a crimson polo with a cartoon ice cream cone at the center. Fitting, I guessed, considering this was an ice cream parlor.

I left the restroom, wondering if caps really suited me, to find Evan with the largest smile on his face. The subtle wrinkles in the corners of his eyes and mouth were always conspicuous when he grinned. “There you are, princess. Now don’t you look nice in that little hat? I knew it’d fit your tiny head.”

I stuck my tongue out at him and grimaced. No matter who you were, you had to adore Evan. He may have been my boss, but he treated me like family.

Icy was Evan Clark’s business – primarily established by him. It was his pride and joy, and I admired how much he cared for it. He was exceedingly rich, having been handed down money from his family over the generations. And yet, he still ran this old place simply because he loved it.  

The walls were coated a deep burgundy, with ivory tiles spread among the floors. Evan adored the idea I suggested, having golden Christmas lights to polish up the place. They shimmered beautifully from wall to wall, some cascading near the doors and windows. Other than that, the tables and booths were awfully old-fashioned. That gave this place some character, and I loved it. There was something about this out-of-date parlor that ultimately grew on me.

“Alright, now get back to work,” he demanded, trying to act serious. After running his fingers through his ash blonde hair, he crossed his arms. “Go handle the cash register.”

“Got it,” I replied, stepping behind the counter.

It was an especially slow-paced day I awoke to, and I was unquestionably appreciative. Only around a dozen customers had entered in total. And it was almost closing time. I had a savory mugful of hot cocoa, and a season premiere beckoning me at home. Preparing myself to leave as the last couple took off, two guys had ambled through the entry at the same time. Great.

Hoping to glower with a cattish and venomous expression, I immediately found myself gazing at the two figures walking my way.

The first guy approaching had a shaved head, growing fairly little brown fuzz. He sported a midnight t-shirt paired with some jeans – a simple look that suited him well. With his warm, chestnut eyes and friendly smile, I could already tell that he was a sweet one. But it was the other boy who had caught my eye.

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