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Why would she think he would ever ask her out? He had barely spoken to her since they were kids. They had classes together growing up. They saw each other at football games. They were in a play together once, but not the same scenes. After they graduated from high school, he’d come into the restaurant and she’d have to serve him coffee and pancakes. He’d always ask for extra butter with his short stack. He’d ask for extra cream for his cup of coffee. That’s about all he said to her their whole lives. They orbited each other, but they weren’t in the same solar systems, it seemed.

But then, one morning he went into the diner, sat down, smiled up at her and said, “We should figure this out over a movie or something.” She didn’t know what he was talking about. She didn’t even know if he was addressing her, but, yes, he was writing his phone number on a napkin and handing it to her. But, yes, he had just asked her out.

The night of, her sister was making fun of her. But it was a big deal! She got out of the shower and wondered what dress to wear and wondered what lipstick to put on. He wouldn’t think of kissing her, would he? She was so nervous. He might kiss you, his sister howled with laughter. She was so nervous and so very happy. Someone was paying attention to her. Someone noticed her. Saw something. Maybe even beauty.

Story by Jonathan Shipley

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