Violet chatted absent-mindedly with her mom as they walked up and down the aisles of the convenience store. It was their first outing since the move back. "How about Chinese food for dinner?" she proposed, holding up a box of instant rice. She wasn't particularly interested in food at the moment, but it kept her thoughts off of Thayer. And, she had to admit, she rather enjoyed hanging out with her mom. They could talk about absolutely nothing, yet understand everything.
Her mom rolled her eyes. "Remember the last time I tried to cook Chinese? We nearly burnt the place down! You, dear, are no help at all." she laughed, and rolled the cart forward. Violet set the rice back on the shelf, giggling and throwing up her hands.
"Fine, mom. Have it your way. Why don't you keep looking for our dinner menu, and I'll go hunting for dessert. We'll meet back in the front of the store at O-Five-Hundred!" She mock-saluted her mother, and, noticing her silent acceptance of the plan, headed for the freezer section. It had been a long day, both physically and emotionally, and Violet was perfectly ready to surrender herself to the comforts of Ben & Jerry.
She was pleased to find the aisle nearly vacant of passer-bys. It was freeing, with nobody to stare or to judge. As she found the freezer loaded with assorted flavors, she hummed mindlessly to herself. She opened the door and picked up Cookies & Cream and Moose Tracks, so absorbed in her choices she didn't notice the intrusion behind her. "My personal favorite is Rocky Road..." he blurted as she jumped, dropping both. "Perfect for an ice cream connoisseur like yourself," he continued, not hiding his amusement with her reaction. He bent to help her pick up the covers that they had lost in the drop. There was no returning of either container in this state.
"Apparently, I'm not a "one-flavor" kind of girl," she replied. She took the covers from his hand and glanced at his face for the first time. His deep, chocolate brown eyes met hers. He was roughly her age, if not slightly older. His hair was raven black, cropped short in an almost militant style. He was quite attractive, a head taller than she, and not built lightly, to say the least. He laughed at her cheesy retort, and his eyes seemed to laugh with him. He felt inviting. But she tore her eyes off of him to look back down at the damage she'd done. "I guess I'm buying, huh?" she mused.
"Guess so. On the bright side, I can ring those up for you." It was then that she realized his uniform, and looked down, slightly ashamed at her own ignorance. How stupid of her, to believe his sales pitch and charm were flirtations. Her face reddened, but he tilted her chin upwards with his finger, unphased. "And since I feel I may have an ounce of blame in this catastrophe, I'll let you take advantage of me and jump the lines," he winked at her, and she couldn't help but laugh. "The name is Cameron by the way. Shall I escort you to the front?" Violet hesitated, but walked with him.
She set the two cartons on the counter and he began scanning. She couldn't find her mother anywhere. "What time is it?" she asked.
"Five-thirty. Why? Do you have a curfew or something?"
"Worse: an impatient mother." As if on cue, she heard the horn on their car, just outside the door. She turned back to Cameron. "Can we hurry up? I might miss my ride..," she said, shrugging and handing him her credit card. He returned it with a request for a signiature, and she slipped it back his way, grabbing her bag to leave.
He called out to her again, "Hey! Wait just a second." He flashed a heart-stopping grin her way, and as much as she knew she had to leave, she was curious to know what he wanted. She returned, and he held her signed receipt up again. "You know, that phone number you tried to slip me on your receipt must of rubbed off or something. Care to rewrite it?" She stared at him in bewilderment for a few seconds before cracking up. He had been flirting with her. His line was confident, but she could detect no arrogance. If nothing else, she had to give him credit for making her laugh. She took the pen from him and smiled before printing her number on the back.
"Now, I really do have to go. I'll...talk to you soon?" she asked, meekly.
"Bye, Violet," he said, reading the name she had signed.