**A perfect challenge for summer–ice cream and unrequited love…or is it? Enjoy!**
Getting relegated to working the ice cream stand had been kind of a low blow. I hadn’t had to do that since high school. The ice cream portion of the permanent family farm stand was only open during the summer, and there wasn’t much that could get fucked up in there, which was why it was the high school kids’ job in the first place. But with my brother Jack in charge of the business now that my parents had retired to Florida, and him being pissed I’d been giving loyal customers a break on some of their produce purchases, I’d been kicked out of the stand and over to ice cream. I felt bad that our best customers were no longer getting a few extra pieces of produce, but I could kind of understand where Jack was coming from, even if he was a big jerk. So I took my punishment like a man and went to work in ice cream. It wasn’t horrible, but it was boring as hell, and there was only so much ice cream I could eat before I got sick.
And then he started showing up and I thanked my lucky stars I was where I was.
The first time he stepped up to the window he had his niece perched on his hip, and he was just so dang pretty I forgot how to speak. I just stared. He stared back. Neither one of us said or did anything. The dark eyed toddler–she was maybe two or three– finally broke the spell, pulling the striped hat over her eyes and yelling out, “Hey, who turned out the lights?!” We both laughed, and Pretty Man turned a sheepish smile to me.
“Sorry. It’s her new trick.” He shook his head, and gave the girl a little bounce before pulling her hat off. “Evs, you want ice cream?”
“Ice cream! Ice cream!” She gave us both a big grin, and raised her hands in the air. “Woo hoo!”
“Vanilla or chocolate?” he asked.
It was all I could do to keep the laugh inside at the incredulous look she turned on her uncle. “Chock-lat.”
He turned back to me, his blue eyes bright and shining, and asked for one vanilla and one chocolate, both in bowls. I was struck speechless again for just a minute before Evs hollered for her hat.
Those two ice creams were the most perfect I’d ever made.
That was just the first time he came by. Over the past month or so, I’d seen him several times a week. Sometimes he had his niece in tow; other time he was by himself. We struck up a conversation each time he stepped up to my window. His name was Trevor, and he worked as a computer programmer. I learned about how much he enjoyed his job, his niece, and superhero movies. He was the epitome of adorkable, and I was completely in love.
I anticipated his arrival all day. I couldn’t wait to see him. If he didn’t show, I felt supreme disappointment. I found myself daydreaming about him at the oddest times. Every time he did show up, my heart started pounding and it was all I could do to keep my nerves from showing. Every little piece I learned about him made me like him even more, made me long to take him in my arms. I wanted to know everything about him. I wanted him in my house. In my bed.
But I knew he didn’t return my feelings. We were friendly, and had many a good conversation, but he never flirted back. Not once. That didn’t stop me from trying, but I knew I was destined to adore him from afar. And I was loathing the end of the summer, when ice cream season would end, and the stand would close because I would no longer get to see him. But until then, I would store up as many memories as I could.
A rather slow afternoon had me counting cars as they drove passed and seeing how many times I could kick the counter before my toes started hurting. I wasn’t the most intelligent of human beings when I was bored. But when I saw the familiar dark sedan pull into the tiny parking lot, I stood up straight and did a little happy wiggle before he could see me. When he didn’t reach into the back seat to retrieve his niece, I got even happier. The little girl was adorable beyond words, and she always brightened my day, but it was easier to flirt with Trevor when she wasn’t hanging on his hip.
“Hey Joel,” he said with a bright smile as he walked up.
“Trevor,” I said with a swoon-like sigh. I cleared my throat. I was smitten but I didn’t need to act like it. “Good to see you, man. You want the usual?” I reached for a cup before I even finished asking.
“Yes, that would be good.” Trevor’s voice shook and he couldn’t quite meet my eyes. “And also a date. With you. Ice cream and then later, a date. If you want that is. I don’t know if you want to. Or if you even like boys. I just, you know, like you so–”
“Trevor,” I said, interrupting gently. He blinked those gorgeous eyes at me. “I’ve been flirting with you for the past six weeks, of course I want to.”
He blinked again, and then a shaky smile graced his face. “You have? Are you sure?”
I laughed. “I’m sure.”
The smile grew. “Then we should have dinner later. Since you like me back.”
I grinned too. “I really do.”