“Frankie, a customer out here is asking for you.”
I stepped out of the walk-in freezer with a bag of frozen mangos and a bag of frozen strawberries. It was the summer going into my senior year of high school. My parents had insisted I get a full-time job and since I started looking later than I should have my choices were severely limited. Thankfully the local smoothie place had someone walk out during training and I happened to be at the right place at the right time.
I walked up to the front of the store and there he was. The sweetest blue eyes I had ever seen were right there waiting for me. Noah was a regular. I met him about two weeks after starting my job. I was working the register and had to control myself from drooling and stuttering when it was his turn in line. He was probably about six foot three with a great build. He had tan skin and light brown hair. His blue eyes were like the color of the ocean in Hawaii. I remember going once when I was younger and I had never seen water so blue and clear. His eyes were almond-shaped which gave off an almost exotic feel. And his arms! Holy crap! His muscles barely fit in his sleeves and to top it off he had tattoos that went down almost the entire length of his arms. Every time I saw him he took my breath away.
“Hey, Noah, what’s up?” I asked casually. “Are you here for your usual?” I put the bags of fruit in the freezer and walked towards the counter looking up at him. This man towered over my five foot two self.
“Hey Frankie, and yes my usual sounds great,” Noah said.
“Great I’ll start making it while Jackson rings you up,”
“Frankie, real quick? Are you over twenty-one?”
Aww crap. Why did he want to know how old I was? Was he suddenly worried about flirting all summer with a minor? I knew he was older than me but I never thought to ask. We had shared brief conversations about music and I knew he played bass in a band. We had some common interests but it was all small talk and some flirting. Our conversations had never been deep and profound. How could they when we only ever had five to ten minutes of chit chat while he waited for his drink!
“Uh, yeah, I am. Why?” Crap I just lied. Why did I lie? Why couldn’t I just tell him the truth? Like hey, I'm not twenty-one right now, but someday I will be. Ugh maybe because that alone made me sound like a ginormous baby!
“My band and I booked a gig and I wanted to know if you wanted to come and watch. Then I realized I wasn’t sure.” He said.
“Oh, when is it?”
“Next Saturday at eight. It’s at the Badlands downtown.”
Next Saturday was my eighteenth birthday, and also my mom’s birthday. At least I had an excuse why I couldn't go and it wasn’t because I was a big fat liar. “I would really like to hear you play. But next Saturday I have plans. It’s my mom’s birthday. Her fiftieth. So it’s a big family party thing I can’t miss.” I'll just leave out the tiny detail that it's my birthday too.
“That’s ok. Next time. Or maybe one time I can ask you out without using my band as an excuse.” Noah said with a wink. Aw crap, there goes my panties!
“Hmm can’t wait to see how you ask me out next time when you actually put some effort behind it,” I responded and winked right back.
“Ouch! Who knew something so little could pack that kind of punch?”
I smiled and wrinkled my nose at him. “Alright with the short jokes. Go pay the man and I’ll mix up your smoothie.”
In my lifetime I had dated my share of guys. But they were guys my own age. I was sure that this man could go toe to toe with me. From what I had seen he was the perfect package and I wanted to unwrap every part of his sexiness.
I walked out of Smoothie Palace with a dorky ass grin and an overpriced drink that I didn’t even want. This was the situation I had found myself in more than a couple of times a week now. The first time I saw Frankie it took everything I had not to just stand there and stare at her. Even in a Smoothie Palace trucker cap hanging over her face, I could tell she had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. They were hazel in color and framed by long, thick lashes. As I moved closer I could see they were the perfect color combo of green and light brown. Full pink lips that she would put into a pout when she was concentrating. Her long chocolate brown hair was pulled into a ponytail. Her work t-shirt was way too big for her stature and she had it tied into a knot at her lower back. Her ass was round and plump, and her thighs perfectly thick. The jeans she had on fit her so good you’d think they were custom made just for her.
I would try to make sure I went to get a smoothie when I knew they wouldn’t be busy. I'd try to make basic conversation without looking too creepy. I had no clue how old she was and I didn’t want to give off a pervert vibe. What I quickly learned was this chick could talk. But she had a lot of good things to say. I had casually mentioned I was in a band and we would talk mostly about music. Never getting too personal. Yes, I used the gig as my opportunity to find out how old she was. And just like that, I had my green light. Twenty-one was still a little younger than I was used to dating. But with me being twenty-five the age gap wasn't a big deal. It was better than her being too young. As I pulled out my keys to get into the truck my cell phone started to ring. I pulled it out of my pocket and looked at the screen. s**t. Back to reality.
I went in the back to clock out and I threw off my crew shirt and hat. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. I drove ten minutes to my best friend Hannah’s house. I walked up to the door, knocked and then let myself in. We had been friends for years. When I walked into her home it felt like I was walking into my own. I could hear her music blaring and knew that it meant she was the only one here. I opened her door and plopped myself down on her bed.
“Hey! Shoes off now!” Hannah said.
“Ugh, yea I’m on it.”
Hannah was a complete neat freak. Everything in her room was so organized you would have no clue a teenager lived here. She was currently going through her closet reorganizing yet again.
“Didn’t you literally just do that like a month ago?” I asked her.
“So what if I did? You know there’s nothing wrong with being organized right? School starts in two weeks and I want to make sure I have everything ready.”
“Crap, it’s already two weeks. Friggin awesome.” I said smashing my face back into her pillow.
“What is wrong with you today? You’re even grumpier than you usually are.”
“I’m not grumpy. I’m just a realist. Oh and a liar.”
“What do you mean you’re a liar?”
“Remember that cute musician I told you about that comes into my work? Well, I lied to him today. I told him I was twenty-one when he asked if I wanted to go watch his band play next weekend.”
“Franks! Why would you lie about your age? And wait how old is this guy? You never said he was old!”
“I don’t have an answer to either one of your questions. He caught me off guard and I panicked. I think he’s like twenty-two, twenty-four max.”
“That’s four to six years older than you. What are you thinking of? You know it can never go past flirting. Plus if your mom found out she’d die of a heart attack, come back to life and then kill you.”
Thinking about the drama my Sicilian mother would cause made me groan into the pillow. Sometimes I wish I had parents like my friends. Their parents were calm and quiet. Always had a nice word to say about others. In my house, it was always a dramatic scene. No matter what I did I would hear my mother “Francesca, how could you do this to me? What will people say? Blah blah blah” I rolled my eyes willing myself to change the subject and think of anything but Noah.