That Summer

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Ice Cream Guy

The next day, I walked the long trek to the ice cream parlor. I could have asked my mom to use the car, but I figured she’d stop me from going alone and urge me to call one of the other girls my age in the neighborhood. But the ones I knew were just too annoying and only seemed to care if a guy was checking them out or if their hair was sufficiently straight. I was sure Charlotte had friends like her in the area, but unfortunately, I did not know them.. We had only gotten along when we were nine or ten. Now, it was clear we didn’t have anything in common. Plus, I had wavy hair.

I waited patiently in line behind a woman and her five year old daughter. She had been standing in front of the glass for about five minutes, wondering which flavor to get. Her mother kindly offered me to go ahead of them, since she was taking so long. I refused. I didn’t mind waiting, and, plus, it’s not like I had anywhere to be.

“Mommy, which flavor do you like best?”

She was crossing her arms and making a concentrated face at her mom.

“Um, I don’t really have a favorite, although chocolate is good.”

“Mom’s that not a valid answer. What’s your favorite?” she asked, turning to me.

“Well, mine’s on the secret menu. Ever heard of it?” I whispered, leaning down towards her as if it were really a secret.

Her eyes widened and she shook her head. Because of my urging, she asked the girl behind the counter for it. There were only four or five flavors on it, but just the thought of it being secret made it exciting and mysterious for her. She chose one almost right away.

“I’m Katie, by the way,” she said, ice cream in hand, “We could hang out sometime.”

It was funny to think what we’d do exactly, considering the age gap.

“I’m Lucy and I’d love to.”

Her mom thanked me and they left. I ordered my chocolate chip cookie dough cone and sat down at one of the many empty booths. There was only one other one filled with two girls of about eleven or twelve.

A guy I hadn’t noticed in line behind me was ordering. He seemed of around my age, maybe a little older. He ran a hand through his sandy blonde hair and smiled as the girl handed him his ice cream. Her cheeks were slightly red. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I bet he was charming her so much it shouldn’t even be legal. He just looked like the kind of guy who would. Not only did he have the nice hair and style, but he also had sharp, attractive factions and a body that gave away the fact that he played in some sort of sports team.

He turned around and caught me staring at him. I quickly looked down at my cone, but didn’t eat for fear of looking like a pig while doing so or something. He was probably internally laughing at me for checking him out. I mean, a girl like me would never have a chance with a guy like him. I was concentrating so hard on putting myself down that I hadn’t noticed he had walked towards me and was sitting in the seat across the table from me. My heart was beating so loudly, I was afraid I would develop a serious medical condition.

“Hey,” he said, flashing me a wide smile.

“Um, hi.”

I was practically holding my breath, waiting for him to say something rude or be a jerk. It wouldn’t be the first time someone did that to me.

“So, I saw what you did back when we were in line.”

I just raised my eyebrows, because I was afraid that my words would come out wrong or stupid if I spoke.

“I thought it was nice of you.”

“It’s what anyone would have done,” I said nonchalantly.

“No, not really,” he smiled.

Why was this cute guy that was completely out of my league sitting, eating ice cream with me and being so nice? Was the universe finally granting me a miracle or was it a sick joke? Maybe he would grin wickedly, out of nowhere, and call me a loser for actually believing what he had said. But he didn’t.

“I really like your dress.”

“Thanks. I do, too,” I said, wanting to slap myself right after the words escaped my mouth.

“Well, I like you in that dress more than the dress in itself.”

I blushed and looked down at the table. I felt like I was making it more awkward than it should be.

“I like your face more though,” he continued, taking in a spoonful of ice cream.

By that point, I was nearly choking on my chocolate chip cookie dough. Had this gorgeous guy just called me pretty and attractive and not ugly? Despite the cheesiness of his lines, I was extremely flattered. I just stared back, surprised.

“I have to go,” I said, standing up.

I don’t know why but I felt like I had to get out of there as soon as possible. I didn’t want him to take those words back or shatter one of the first moments ever I felt pretty.

“I didn’t mean to scare you away,” he said, standing up too. “I know you must get this a lot, but I genuinely like you and have no bad intentions.”

“This?” I asked, confused.

“Pathetic guys like me hitting on you.”

I seriously wondered if he had some sort of seeing problem. Or if it was a dream or a hallucination caused by overexposure to sun.

“Well, no not really,” I said truthfully.

“You lie,” he grinned.

“Trust me,” I said, walking towards the door.

“Wait, I’m throwing a party tomorrow night. It’s at the big yellow house on Maple Lane. It’ll start around ten. It’d be great if you could come.”

He was still standing by the booth, practically begging me with his eyes. And they were beautiful ones. Deep blue and honest. I was flattered and awed that this boy liked me so much, but I decided to hide my inner spaz and play it cool.

“I’ll see,” I said and pushed open the front doors.

I felt like one of those girls that flirts with guys all the time, except I never did. And just like Charlotte had done, I didn’t look back once.

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