by Lara Jade
“Have a nice day!” I said and smiled at an older couple as they left the diner. Her husband held an umbrella for her as they walked to their car. The old jukebox in the corner played, “Tag, You’re It” by Melanie Martinez. I loved having the new jukebox. A man in a brown leather jacket had held the door for the couple. My attention then turned to him as his boots clapped against the tile. A chill ran down my spine as I looked up at him. He made his way to a booth in the back, by himself. It just so figures that he chose the booth in the back in the darkest part of the diner; the bulb above his table flickering. I knew the bulb needed to be changed, but I forgot to remind anyone. He caught my attention for sure. Tall, at least six foot three, light brown hair that was lightly buzzed on the sides, the top a bit longer and styled with some gel. What really distracted me was his piercing green eyes that appeared to have a honey-tinted shine to them. It took me a moment to realize I only knew so because he was staring my way, intensely. I grabbed a notepad and pen before approaching him.
“Hi, I’m Jazmine-,”
“I see that.” His deep voice booming against the walls. It wasn’t loud, just gravelly.
“What can I get you?” I asked.
“Uh, a double bacon cheeseburger and a coke.” He shrugged.
“All right,” I replied. I jotted it down and ripped the paper off the pad, walking behind the counter and handing the slip to Jason, our head cook. I turned back to the guy, his eyes still plastered to me. My nerves were getting the better of me, causing my hands to shake. Another older man who was eating by himself approached me with his receipt, ready to pay. He handed me his payment, and I dropped the change he gave me.
“Sorry. I’ll get that.” I apologized, and the man nodded before leaving. I walked around the counter and felt that man I served still staring at me. I squatted to pick up the change and stood back up. When I spun around, he smirked at me as I passed. Rosemary, my manager, smiled at me when I approached her. She stood by the kitchen window where we retrieve the meals.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re getting eyed.”
“I feel it. Honestly, it’s extremely uncomfortable.”
“At least he’s attractive. I don’t dig the whole five o’clock shadow deal, but…”
“Go at him.”
“You first.” She smirked.
“Double?” I called back.
“Double,” Jason confirmed. I nodded and took the plate, making a quick stop at the soda machine. I filled a cup and returned to his table.
“There you are,” I said.
“Thank you. Glad you confirmed it was a double I would’ve been disappointed. And you don’t want to see me when I’m disappointed,” he stated. I noted his words and he seemed to gage my reaction, another smirk curling his plump pink lips into a smile as he dug into his meal.
After about twenty minutes, the man looked to be nearing the end of his meal. I walked his receipt over and he thanked me. He began to pull out his wallet while I took his dishes. I strolled into the kitchen to drop off his dishes and by the time I spun around, he was waiting at the register. Rosemary approached him, and his eyes scanned the kitchen before landing on me. While Rosemary communicated with him he hardly gave her a peek as he watched me clean off the counter. I refused to look back at him, though I could feel his eyes burning into me, making my face flush.
“Have a good night,” she said to him. I looked up at him, he completely ignored her and waved to me.
“Bye.” He said and walked out.
“Go get him!” Rosemary squealed as the door swung shut. I watched him through the window of the diner as he climbed in a black car.
“No, he was just passing by I’m sure,” I said and shrugged my shoulders.
He sat there for at least ten minutes. The end of my shift was coming up, so I began sweeping across the diner Rosemary came up and hit my arm.
“You can go,” he said. I nodded, finished sweeping around the last table, and took off my apron. The rain falling did not help the eerie feeling washing through my body as I strolled to my car. I climbed in and started the engine, driving off.
Once I turned down my street, I noticed the car behind me turned as well. My heart pace quickened when I realized it was the man from the diner. I knew where I could go. I continued down the street and even pulled down a few others just to see if he really was following me.
Finally, I arrived at his front door.
“Sammy, hey,” I said and smiled.
“What’re you doing here?”
“A car followed me, please let me in. Don’t look around, just let me in.”
“Okay,” he said and moved aside. I walked in and he locked the door behind me. I sat at his kitchen table, head in my hands.
“What’d he look like? I can draw him and take it to the police?” he asked.
“I don’t know… is that a good idea?”
“How about I draw him while his image is fresh in your mind, and we see if he follows you tomorrow?” Sam asked. I nodded and described the man, only to hear a chuckle come from his lips about ten minutes later.
“Is he this good looking? And you ran away?” Sam joked.
“Not funny Sammy.”
“You’re still calling me Sammy?” he asked quirking his eyebrow. I looked shyly at the floor and got up, pacing the living room.
“You’ll always be my Sammy,” I responded quietly.
“Why did you dump me again? You never really explained that to me. And I think I deserve an explanation since you decided I was your safe house,” he said. I could tell he hasn’t been with anyone recently. No woman would be able to tolerate the beer bottles scattered on the coffee table, the bags of open potato chips and the three blankets he keeps on the couch. I always pulled two of them off me because he gives off heat like a grizzly. The kitchen was a mess too, mostly with take-out containers and pizza boxes. However, I’m sure the few kitchen dishes he actually owned were in the sink as well.
“We were getting too serious… it scared me. Sam, we were together since sixth grade. I never even got to date another guy.”
“Have you? You know, been with anyone since?” he asked, his innocent chocolate brown eyes round in curiosity.
“Not trying to be a pain, but that’s either, a sign this guy should be given a shot or that we still have a chance.”
“Sam. Not now. I’m tired and honestly… I’m scared.” I said. He stood up from the kitchen table and joined me in the middle of the living room, pulling me to his chest.
“My room or do you want to stay in the guest room?”
To be continued in part two...