“You should talk to him,” Candy continued. She filled two coffee mugs and walked toward the floor.
“I told you, Candy. He’s in love with some married girl.” Jill called after her.
Candy shook her head. She was almost to the booth when she turned back to Jill. “Go talk to him.”
Jill straightened her bright pink uniform with its little white apron and walked over toward Jacob. He was reading the newspaper at the counter. He looked up to watch her walk over to him.
“I was wondering if you would marry me, but I’d take a date or a conversation or maybe another kiss.” Jacob’s face flushed with emotion. “How was that? I’ve been practicing.”
“Very smooth,” Jill replied. “What about the married girl?”
“What married girl?”
“The one you’re in love with?”
“Oh, her. She’s divorced.”
Jill sat down on the barstool next to him.
“Why aren’t you with her?” She knocked him with her shoulder. “You should go get her.”
Jacob’s eyes held Jill’s. In one fluid movement, he kissed her lips. Surprised, Jill pulled back to look at him again.
“You okay, Jill?” A beefy cook appeared across the counter. He scowled at Jacob.
“Yeah, Risto. Thanks. I’m okay.”
Jill smiled at Risto. He leaned into Jacob and Jacob sat back on his stool.
When the cook turned away from them, Jill asked, “I’m the girl?”
“From the moment I laid eyes on you nine years ago.” Jacob nodded.
Blushing bright red, Jill looked away from Jacob.
“I’m not very lucky at love. But I guess you know that,” she said. “I promised myself — well, and Megan — that I wouldn’t ever even date again, let alone fall in love.”
“Give me one chance. We don’t even have to call it a date. In fact, it won’t be a date. I can take you to a movie or …”
“I’d like to go to the zoo.”
“What if I take you and Katy to the zoo tomorrow?”
“I don’t know. I’ve read it’s not good for babies to have other men around. But I can’t really afford to take her, so …”
“No romance, no hanky-panky, no date. Just the zoo. Well, maybe some lunch and the zoo.” Jacob held his hand out for her to shake.
“Lunch and the zoo sounds like a date, but okay.” Jill shook his hand.
“When do you get off?”
“In an hour,” Jill said.
“Can I take you home? I mean, in my truck … I know you walk to work. Or we could walk. I mean, it would be great if you would let me take you to my home, but I don’t want to be too forward … move too fast or …”
Jill laughed. Walking back to her station, she said, “Sure.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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