I always knew it wasn't going to last. I mean, from the moment I met Jess, I could sense the clock ticking. It wasn't that it was doomed. But reality check, we go to different schools. He goes to South. I go to Central. It was just an accident we met, anyway.
And that smile. So genuine. I made him laugh just trying to get in some body position that was not really comedy. Just being clutzy me. Yeah, I'm not really an actress. Wasn't even suppose to go to that workshop. Fortunately, the person who was suppose to go was on vacation and I got to go.
But Jess is the real deal. He works really hard. All those play productions. Even local theater. Yeah, I know. Follow his lead.
No, I guess I'd rather goof around with him instead. And that's not happening. Nothing is happening in my life. But school, work and homework.
I work in the coffee shop part of a bookstore. OK, its more of a diner and less of a bookstore. You know, give them what the customer wants. And they'd rather have pie and coffee, or ham sandwiches and tomato soup. We make muffins too. According to my boss, she'd cook anything but a hamburger. Not that she's a vegetarian. She loves soups and sandwiches.
So life is good in my very small little world down at the Page Turner. I don't have to think much of anything but serving up pie with a smile, most nights. Of course, it seems more and more lately that Jay keeps turning up. Close to closing time at 9 p.m.
"You're just doing this because you don't want me to walk home alone." I told him. Not that I think he's crazy about me or anything. I mean, he's way into college, or he should be. I'm never sure with him.
"I want to make sure you get home, OK." He nodded as he ate his cherry pie.
"But I don't even live that far. Like, three blocks." If that. Streetlights everywhere. And these were long days of summers. It was practically light when I left the place. So he'd been coming in late for the last couple of weeks.
Of course, Bess who runs the kitchen told me that Jay has a good heart.
"It might not be so good if we keep feeding him pie all the time." That couldn't be that good for you. Honestly, I'd loved her pie in the beginning, but now, I just snarled my nose up at the thought of pie. I saw too much of it.
Bess laughed at me. She told me he liked me and I better be attentive.
"But he's kind of old." I whispered to her in the kitchen while he finished up the last of the coffee.
She laughed so hard then. "Honey, you have no idea what old really is, do you?"
I rolled my eyes, wanting her to keep it down. Yes, Jay was possibly 25 and I was just 16. We could be no more than friends. Maybe I reminded him of his little sister. How could I put it mildly without sounding crazy. Yes, I had found the love of my life and he was already taken. What in the world would Jay want with me this summer?
And then it hit me when we got back to my place. It was my mother he wanted.