“Can I help you with anything?” the young clerk asked while wiping her hands on her apron.
“No, thank you,” he replied glancing at her for a moment then turning his gaze toward the door.
“Look, be honest,” the clerk continued while clearing cups off the table next to him, “are you casing this place or something?”
He looked at her again and forced a smile. “I’m sorry, I plan on ordering something. At least, I think I will. I hope I will.”
She nodded her head slowly.
“It’s just that,” he said quickly, “I’m waiting for someone. At least, I think I’m waiting for someone.” He looked at the clock. “I should know in about ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes?” the clerk repeated.
“Have you ever been in love?” he asked.
“Dude, I’m sixteen, I’m in love like every other week.”
He sized up his audience and realized she had no clue as to what he referred to. How could she? But he didn’t blame her because a few days ago he wouldn’t have been able to understand either.
“I’m sorry, but you’re kinda creeping me out a little bit,” she walked back to the cash register.
He looked around at the empty shop. “Because I’m the only one here?”
“Because most people order something when they come here. This isn’t a coffee shop where people hang out, it’s a yogurt place. People come here to eat yogurt.”
“I promise, before I leave I will order some yogurt,” he said and sat up straighter.
She shrugged her shoulders. “Just so you know, I’m not the only one here. My boss, May, is in the back getting some more yogurt out of the freezer.”
He sighed. “I promise, I come in peace.”
“Whatever,” the clerk pulled out her phone and started hitting buttons.
“It’s just for a few more minutes.”
The clerk shrugged her shoulders and the door to the kitchen opened. A woman who looked to be in her mid-fifties walked in with a big tub of yogurt. “Mariah, what did I tell you about using your phone while customers are in the store?”
The clerk tucked her phone in her pocket. “But he’s not a customer, not yet. He hasn’t ordered anything.”
May looked at the customer and smiled. “Can I help you with anything?”
“Not yet,” he said. “I am waiting for someone and I don’t want to fill a cup of yogurt and have her walk in and be offended I didn’t wait for her. I do not want to offend this woman, at all.”
The boss smiled. “First date?”
“Technically no. Well, maybe. Kind of, I guess, but really more of a second date.”
“Oh,” May unhooked and removed an empty yogurt tub from its station.
“Technically I guess you could say this is our second date. But I know I felt a connection. It might even be love.”
The boss dropped the empty yogurt tub. “You aren’t sure if this is your first or second date but you love this girl?”
She smiled. “That’s…” she struggled to find a word, “sweet.”
He shrugged his shoulders and looked back at the door. “If she comes.”
The boss followed his stare to the door.
“You don’t know if she is coming?” she asked slowly.
It took a moment for him to recognize her reaction. “No,” he looked at her, “I’m not crazy. I met Cheyenne yesterday and well, I, we…” He took a deep breath, “Do you believe in love at first sight?”
Good customer service demands that the customer is always right but the boss couldn’t quite agree. Her response came out as a barely perceptible shrug.
“Okay, well, here is the situation. Then maybe you’ll understand.”
The boss nodded her head and picked up the hose to hook up the yogurt again. “I always love a good story,” she said.
So Dakota began his story.