This is a story about a woman who finally gets a chance to go out with a man she has liked for a long time...
It was a few minutes after eleven o'clock on Firday morning. I was behind the cash register, giving a customer his change, when the front door opened and Andy Latshaw ambled into Brindle's restaurant. Right away, my heart started to race. My breath caught in the back of my throat and I felt a warm, tingling sensation shoot like a lightning bolt through my entire body. Oh, he was so cute! Tall and lean and hardbodied, with short, spiky blond hair and big, blue eyes.
He looked at me with those beautiful eyes and flashed me that little-boy smile of his, which was cute and adorable, and made him look totally irresistible. Then he looked away. But for that one, short second, when he looked at me, I thought my body was going to melt like a block of butter on a stack of hotcakes.
Lindsey Crockett came in behind him. Lindsey worked as a reporter for the Morning Ledger. She gave me a quick, polite smile. The place was already starting to fill up with the usual lunch crowd. There were a few ofther people there who worked for the paper. Lindsey smiled and nodded, and said, "Hello," to them, as she passed their table. She followed Andy to a small table for two, in the middle of the room, where the red-brick floor seemed to slant downward into a tiny hollow.
I brought them each a glass of ice water and a menu. Then I went back to the counter. I could see Andy's lips move, as he perused the menu---Lindsey sat with her back to me---but I couldn't hear a word he said. The din and clatter from the other customers was much too loud.
Five minutes later, I went back to their table and asked if they were ready to order. Andy wanted a cheese burger and fries, and a Coke. Lindsey asked for a small shrimp plattter. Brindle's was known throughout The Valley for its sea food.
I returned twenty minutes later with their orders. I served Andy first, setting his warm platter and tall, cold glass of soda in front of him. I handed Lindsey her shrimp dish.
I stopped working the chunk of gum in my cheek long enough to draw in a quick, little breath. "Enjoy your meal," I told them both.
As I started for the counter, I heard Lindsey say, "I like Jackie. She's nice."
"Yes, she is," Andy agreed.
When Andy said that, my heart soared like a rocket into outer space. I hadn't felt that happy in years.
"When we were in high school, did you ever ask her out?" Lindsey asked Andy.
"Because I wanted you. I still do."
Just as quickly as my heart had zoomed into the stratosphere, it sank deep inside my chest like a stone down a dry well. Suddenly, I felt miserable.
I stood behind the counter and watched Andy munch on his cheese burger and fries, and gulp down his frosty Coke. His eyes were bright and shiny and he was smiling. He looked happy, which made me happy. I loved it when he smiled. I could stand there and watch him smile all day long.
Then Lindsey must've said something that made Tad mad. That tiny pin point of bright, white light winked out in his eyes and his handsome face turned dark as a storm cloud. His thick, lower lip puffed outward in a sudden pout.
A second later, that light snapped back on his eyes and he smiled, again. I was glad.
Lindsey rose from her chair and Andy joined her. Now, it was his turn to follow her through the tight, little maze of tables and chairs to the counter. Andy clutched the check in his big right hand. That made me hopeful that I would get to speak to him.
Just as they were about to reach the counter, Lindsey suddenly stopped and turned to face Andy.
"Here, let me pay," she said to him. "That way I can write it off as a business expense."
"Okay," Andy said, relinquishing his vice-like grip on the thin slip of paper.
Andy smiled and nodded to me, as he strolled out the door. Lindsey came over to me and placed the check and crisp, new twenty-dollar bill on the counter. I rang her up and poured her change into the expectant palm of her right hand.
I was about to wish her a good day, the way I do to all our customers. But Lindsey wasn't finished with me, yet. She leaned across the counter and looked me straight in the eye.
"You like Andy, don't you?" she asked.
I was so stunned by her question that it took me a moment to respond. "Why, yes. As a matter of fact, I do."
"Good. How would you like to go out with him?"
Would I? That would be wonderful!
"I'd like that alot," I told LIndsey.
"Well, Andy's going to be at The Barn, tonight, around nine o'clock. He always goes there on a Friday night. He'll be expecting to see me there, but I think you should show up, instead."
"But what about you?" I asked.
"Never mind about me," she said.
"Okay," I said slowly, still unable to process it all. "Thanks for that little bit of information."
"Oh, no. I should probably thank you. I have a feeling you're going to be doing me a very big favor," Lindsey said.
She walked out the door and joined Andy, who was waiting for her, on the sidewalk. I watched them walk together down Jefferson Boulevard, until they disappeared from my view, and an impatient customer clamored loudly for me to ring up his bill, so that he could get back to work on time. I couldn't wait until tonight.