Thanks Pumpkin: 2P America and Reader: Contest Entry:
There was an unspoken tradition in your family. Any unmarried person over twenty-one would bring the pumpkin or pecan pie to Thanksgiving. It was a bit odd but it was always explained that it was taking stress away from the wives who were busy stuffing turkeys and mashing potatoes. As a result, in the past few years, there had been such a thing as too much pie.
But this year there would only be one pie, and it was currently stuffed in the back of fridge waiting for you to finish work. It was far away from the other pies that resembled gelatin and questionable potato salad that the diner made.
The diner was a small place a few miles away from the city. It was a little place in the middle of nowhere on the edge of somewhere and the only reason it was still open was because of tired truckers, who didn’t care if their coffee was burnt, and tourist families.
You would hate it if it didn’t keep you in your apartment. The only reason you were even there on Thanksgiving Day was because the other workers were currently having Thanksgiving lunch while you didn’t have to meet your family until seven.
Currently it was six thirty and you were quickly growing anxious to throw off your apron and strut out of there, not caring whether the coffee burned or if someone new came through the door.
And just your luck someone did, a young man who was a regular costumer about your age with tanned skin and brown hair. Most days he walked with purpose and had a rude remark or a lewd comment just for you, but at first glance you knew that he wouldn’t even mutter a cussword or try to juggle salt shakers.
“Hi Al,” you said and grabbed the pencil from behind your ear.
He managed to grumble something as he sat down. His obvious sadness was a bit unsettling and you decided to take some pity on him and not smack him with your notepad if he decided to perk up and do something stupid.
“Can I have something that doesn’t taste like gelatin?” he asked and angrily ripped a brightly colored scarf from around his neck and dropped it on the counter,
The bright scarf definitely wasn’t his style and fed your curiosity as to why he wasn’t his normal rude and cocky self. The scarf looked carefully knitted with light blue, pink, and purple yarn and if you looked closely you could see heart patterns knitted into it.
You hid your smile behind your note pad, but still giggled and hoped he didn’t hear you. Just in case, you quickly disappeared to the back to grab him a cup of coffee and reach into the refrigerator to grab something that didn’t taste like lime Jell-O, but there was only one thing, so you swallowed your dread and brought up some pity and cut out a nice slice of pumpkin pie.
There was no turning back once you made the first cut and you were tempted to turn around and put it back until you saw Al lift his head and catch sight of the pie.
You sighed reluctantly and set the pie down in front of him along with coffee from a fresh none burnt pot. “I can only promise that it doesn’t taste like cheese,” you said and turned back to go put the pie away but Al stopped you.
“There’s something wrong,” he said. You swiveled around and frowned. There was nothing wrong with your pumpkin pie! Everything was homemade and you were about to snap at him till you saw he was holding up a napkin and his normal smirk had returned. “This doesn’t have your phone number on it.”
You blushed, snatched the paper out of his hand, and quickly scrawled your phone number, but stopped when you heard him snicker. It made your cheeks flame to an angry red. You almost snatched away the napkin, but Al already had a hold of it and was stuffing it in his pocket.
He flashed you a quick smirk, the only thing that could come close to a smile for him, and smacked a twenty down on the counter. “I know what I’m thankful for,” he said, giving you a quick glance over.
You blushed; for once you were glad to come to work on a Holiday.