Whenever she isn’t looking, I can’t help watching Sam. It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve spent any amount of time with a girl, and an even longer time since I’ve been with a girl as attractive as Sam. There’s something, I don’t know, sultry about her. She exudes a certain confidence, I suppose. She isn’t wearing much makeup, and it doesn’t look like she spent a lot of time doing her sandy brown hair. She’s got a heart-shaped face that ends in a pointed chin, an angular nose that I think might have a light dusting of freckles on it—which I can’t get close enough to confirm—and small lips. She’s definitely got a sort of tomboyish, androgynous vibe going on. Which, I’m beginning to realize, I find extremely attractive.
But all throughout my shift, whenever my imagination starts to wander I remind myself of two things. Firstly, this is work, not Match.com. She’s a coworker, not a potential date. Keep things professional. Secondly, she is entirely out of my league. She’s hip, mysterious, and would never be interested in a boring guy like me.
A guy who has no life.
Even so, despite all the time I spend trying not to stare at her, I’m pretty sure she catches me in the act more than once. Six times, to be exact. Once at the register while she’s measuring out tomorrow’s beans, twice at the bar while she’s re-teaching me how to properly make a cappuccino, and three times while we’re cleaning up for the night. Every time she catches me, she gives me a little grin and goes back to what she’s doing.
“Sorry, by the way,” I tell her as we’re washing dishes.
“For the whole thing about Sam being a guy’s name and all that.”
She laughs. “Dude, don’t sweat it. I completely forgot about that anyways.”
“Oh,” I say. “Cool.”
She flicks her hair and looks at me. “Were you seriously thinking about that this entire time?”
I nod sheepishly. “Intermittently, I guess. Yeah.”
She smiles. “That’s…sweet.”
I look away and start scrubbing a muffin rack. I feel my face flush and pray she doesn’t notice. She probably does.
“Hand me that tray, will you?”
I reach for the overhead rack and pull the tray down. As she takes it from me our sudsy fingers touch. I freeze, and steal a peak at her. She’s staring at me again.
I clear my throat. “Well, I suppose I should rinse.”
She grins. “Yes, you do that.”