[Author's note: Once again, sorry this is late. It's Story
Sun, er, Thursday!]
"I hate the evening rush we get," I explained to him. "There's nothing quite so horrible as people coming off a long day at work who then throw that frustration in our face while they wait in line to get their meat and cheese."
"Yeah, but we're in control here. They have to wait for us unless they want to get their stuff off the shelf swimming in preservatives," he smiled back. "We win."
"That we do. I just don't quite know how to make all of them realize it without me getting fired."
"Just get in their face and preach it."
"I said I didn't want to get fired," I said. "Sometimes I just can't control the urge to snap on a customer. They bring me to the edge more often than they realize."
"But that's why you got me. I balance you. We're like a see-saw."
"See-saw? Really? You equate us to a see-saw?"
"Gimme a break. I was at the playground with my son before work today. Besides, you trying to say it's not true?"
"I guess you're right," I admitted. I would've liked the comparison to be a bit more romantically edged than a see-saw, but this was better than nothing. I'd been in love with him too long to not accept any little nibble I could get. My love is nothing if not unrequited.
"So what do you have planned for tonight?" I pressed.
"Sit at home, probably. Watch the game."
"Wait a second... isn't tonight Date Night? Don't you two have big plans like always?"
"I was hoping you didn't notice that," he said sheepishly. "We broke up. Couple months ago, in fact."
If there was a giant cosmic hand that could smack me square in the face, it did at that moment. "WHAT? Spill!"
"It's a long story," he said.
"I've got all the time in the world on my hands," I offered.
"And about a pound more Swiss than your customer ordered."
I looked down. He was right. I looked at the customer who was staring back at me impatiently. "I'm not paying for all that," he said.
I fixed the order, took the next one, and returned to my slicer.
"So you're really just going to sit at home all night and watch the game? Stew in the memories?" I asked.
"Nah. I'm over it," he explained. "We haven't been right for a while and I've had a couple months to get past it. I think I'm ready for the next phase."
"Yeah. Let's see what life has for me."
I steeled myself. "Then come over to my place."
His gaze raised to meet mine.
"You sure about that? It is Date Night, after all."
"Yeah," I replied. "Let's see what life has for me."
"Okay. If you're sure."
"I am. I'll bring the cheese."