“So d’you think he’ll be here?” Vanessa whispered as they walked up to the door.
“I don’t know,” Zoe hissed back. “It’s not like we’ve ever had a real conversation. Now shut up. Someone might hear you.”
She yanked open the door and gestured for Vanessa to go ahead. They headed for the line of refrigerators at the back of the shop.
“Do you see him?”
Zoe quickly and casually scanned the counter up front. Two guys were alternating customers, taking an order and then making the sandwiches while a girl was manning the register. The line was busy but the guy in the middle glanced up and caught Zoe’s eye long enough to give her a smile and a wink.
She spun towards the open fridge, letting the cold air freeze the flush that was rising in her cheeks. “Yeah, he’s here.” She grabbed a bottle of soda paying no attention to flavor.
Vanessa turned to a rack lined with overpriced bags of chips. “The one on the end?” She was facing the front of the shop as her hands moved from one bag to the next.
Zoe was on the other side of the rack where sugary processed pastries sat wrapped in cellophane. “No, the middle.”
“Not bad.” Vanessa looked at the potato chips in her hand, made a face and put it back, grabbing the one she actually wanted. She snuck another peek. “He’s definitely interested in you. Every chance he gets, he starts staring.”
“Shut up,” Zoe said quietly, but she was unable to keep a smile from sneaking across her face. She looked at the counter and sure enough, he was staring in between placing slices of cheese on someone’s sub. She let her eyes fall from his but her smile remained transfixed.
“Come on,” Vanessa said hurrying Zoe into line. Zoe counted the number of people in line ahead of them and her heart sunk a little as she realized that she and Zoe would wind up with the other guy taking and making their order. Vanessa must have noticed it too.
“Crap, I meant to get a diet soda,” she said. “Wait for me,” and she headed back to the fridge to exchange her drink.
“D’you want to go ahead of me?” Zoe offered to the person in line behind her. “I’ve got to wait for my friend.”
When Vanessa got back, Zoe gave her a smile. They were back on track.
“What can I get for you ladies?” he asked when they reached the front of the line. Even though Vanessa answered first, he hesitated before turning to face her and write down her order, earning Zoe a subtle nudge when he turned to get the bread. At the register, Vanessa paid while Zoe accepted the bag with their sandwiches.
“Here you go, sweetheart.”
“Thanks,” Zoe said with a flush. Then the too girls walked carefully and quietly out to the door before erupting in the relative safety of the parking lot.