Colours of the Rain: Letting Down Her Guard

Since becoming friends with Terin, Ocean had let down her guard and started talking to her co-workers.  She had become quite good friends with another girl on her shift, Becky.
The day after Terin asked her out, Ocean excitedly told Becky of the impending date. “I was wondering if you might have a shirt or something I could borrow.  I don’t have any nice clothes.  I’ll be really careful.”
Becky smiled at her.  “OF course you can.  How about on Saturday before work, you come over and you can look through my closet?”
“Sure.  Thank you.”  Ocean felt relieved that she would have something nice to wear.
Saturday morning, she was nervous before heading to Becky’s.  She gripped in her hand the well-worn piece of paper on which Becky had scribbled her address.  Becky was a part-time community college student and she still lived with her parents.
Ocean had to take two buses to get to Becky’s.  She hesitated once she was on the front porch.  After a quick jog around the block, Ocean finally found the courage to knock on the door.
Her heart pounded as she waited for someone to answer.  Or maybe no one would answer.  Her heart leapt into her throat.  Becky told her the time and place and what buses to take.  She would be there, Ocean reassured herself.
The door was opened by a boy of about 13.  “Is Becky here?” Ocean asked.
The boy turned and yelled “Becky,” then he walked away leaving the door open.
Ocean frowned and stepped inside, closing the door behind him.  She waited, looking at the empty hallway waiting.
Becky turned the corner with a smile.  “Sorry for the greeting.  Come on in.”
Ocean took her shoes off and put them aside and then followed Becky to her room.
Becky threw open her closet.  It was a small closet, but it was full of clothes.  Ocean gasped.  She once had a closet like this.  Full of clothes.  But living out of her pack for the last six years had changed her view of material things.
“Wow.”  Ocean fingered the material of a shirt. “I feel like a kid in the candy store.  I used to have clothes. But, this is wonderful.  Thank you for sharing.”
“You can take some things if you want.  For keeps I mean.  I am spoiled in clothes.  I used to spend a lot of money on clothes.”
“Me too.”
“Well, you have a date to dress for, let’s get to work.”
Ocean shared a smile with her new found friend.  She wanted to cheer.  But she only smiled and then turned to the closet.
She and Becky left a few hours later at the same time.  Ocean had tossed two worn items from her bag.  She replaced it with three shirts, a pair of pants and a skirt in her bag.  Becky tried to get her to take a pair of shoes as well, but Ocean had refused, saying that there was no room for them.
After searching through Becky’s entire closet, where Ocean tried on at least half of the clothing in it, she felt exhausted.  Now she had to face a busy evening at work.  But she was exhilarated as well.
The supper rush went by quickly. The lull after was welcome to Ocean who had been on the front lines, taking and filling orders.  She was leaning on the counter, chatting with Becky and another girl while they cleaned.  The door rang and she turned to the customer.
A big smile crossed her face and she felt her heart leap with joy. “Terin,” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?” She leaned over the counter.
“I was looking for a place to eat with some good-looking girls behind the counter.  I was told there was at least one here.”
“Oh is this him?” Becky asked.
Ocean blushed and turned to Becky. “Yes.”  She smiled at Terin.
Becky hustled up to the counter. “So, I’ve heard much about you. Becky.” She offered her hand.
Terin shook her hand. “I’ve heard some about you too.  You stole my day with the girl.”
“She was just doing some preparation for you.”
Ocean laughed, watching the verbal sparring match between them.
“Do you really want something to eat or did you just miss me?” Ocean asked.
“Both. But I was hoping you had a break or something coming up so I could sit with you.”
Ocean smiled.  Becky and the other girl, oohed. “Go for your break,” Becky told Ocean.
“Thanks,” Ocean said, gratefully.  “Wait here, I’ll get us something for a good price.”  She flashed a smile at Terin and then disappeared into the back.
She stuck her head in the kitchen.  “Any screw ups?” she asked.  “Left overs.  Something I can have?”
“Always,” one of the cooks said.  He pointed to a corner by the grill.  There were some burgers in a pile.  She picked up two and got some fries on a plate.
“Thanks.”
She filled her cup with some pop.  “Screw ups,” Ocean said to Becky as she walked out from behind the counter.  She took her hat off and took Terin to a corner.  She wasn’t supposed to eat in the restaurant during her shift, but it was quiet and no one was around to find out.
She sat across from him in a booth.  Her heart was pounding and she looked at him, wondering if he could hear it.
“How was your day?” she asked.
“It was okay.  Boring.  You?”
“Good.  I wish I could tell you exactly how good.  But you will have to wait for that.”
“Damn it. How much do I owe you for the supper?”
“Nothing.  They were screw ups and we get them for free.”
“Ocean, I can’t do that. I don’t work here.”
“Accept or I’ll break the date.”
“You can’t keep holding that over my head.”
“I can until next Friday.”
He slumped his shoulders and opened his burger. “Fine. Tell me about what you’re wearing.”
“Nope.  If you can’t wait you shouldn’t have made the date so far in advance.”
“It was the only time we both had off.”
Ocean grinned. “I know.  And I’m going to have fun with it.”
He smiled at her. “Thank you for the burger.”
“Your welcome. Thanks for coming to see me.”
Under the table, she rubbed her foot against his leg.  He looked at her, the question in his eyes. She pressed harder.  He lifted his foot and touched her leg with it.  She giggled.
She heard Becky laughing and looked toward the counter.  Becky looked away from them.  Ocean smiled.
The meal was over too fast and Terin departed, a quick brush of Ocean’s cheek.
Ocean was glowing when she went back behind the counter.  She cleared off her tray, walking on air.  She could barely concentrate on customer’s for the next hour.
“Ocean’s in love,” Becky mentioned while they were in the back, sneaking fries.
“I am not.  I haven’t had friends in six years.  It’s just novel to me.”
“Someday you’ll tell me exactly why you’ve been that way for six years right?”
“Maybe.”
“That fact aside, you are totally in love with him.”
“No. I’m not.”
“Mmmhm.  You should go look at your face.  Your giddy with it.”
“Infatuation.”
Becky shook her head, walking away.  “Love. You can admit it.”
Ocean crossed her hands over her chest.  She and Terin were just friends, she would be leaving next month as she planned when she arrived in the city.  It was nice to have friends and she would keep in touch with him, but there was no attachment.

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