16 years old Gary was just another cashier at the departmental store. A lanky bloke of his age stood at the other side the counter getting his supplies billed. Just when his customer’s attention shifted to the protest going on outside, Gary slipped a jar of coffee under his table ad handed over the rest of the supplies to the guy standing in front of him. The lanky customer didn’t notice, but the store manager did.
“I will teach him a lesson today for stealing. How dare he?!” thinking, the fat store manager started walking towards Gary, but halted to see what just followed. Hastily, Gary brought out the same jar of coffee and sprinted towards the store’s gate. The lanky boy was only a few steps ahead of him.
“Hey! You forgot your coffee!” shouted Gary. The boy stopped to check his bag and found no coffee in there. By the time he turned around, Gary reached his spot and returned him the bread. The boy looked up to find a big smile on the cashier’s face, “Hi! I’m Gary.” he reached out to shake his hand.
“Thanks!” and that was all he said before drooping his head and continue on his journey.
“Gary, you dumb ass! What heroic stunt do you think you were trying to perform here?” questioned the store manager twisting Gary’s left ear with his fat, pink fingers. But twisting was not what turned his ears scarlet, it was a mild chuckle he heard two steps away from him.
* * *
“Why would you never buy supplies from Gary’s store dear? He sells items on discount, and plus he is a very good friend of mine. He might give us some extra discount.” asked Elizabeth frustrated to find dollars up on every item present on her list.
“I do not like that man, neither do I like you being friends with him!” exclaimed Daniel. A few ladies shopping close by frowned at the gray-haired Daniel.
* * *
“Mom’s not gonna come, dad!” said Daniel’s daughter with tear-full eyes, “You should come home now.“
Daniel’s eyes continued to stare the cup of coffee. His daughter, exhausted by the funeral and unending conversations with her relatives, sighed and shifted to a side. Her dad won’t move; she knew, he loved her mother more than anything else in the world. Suddenly it occurred to her, “why not read dad a day from her mother’s diary?”
“Hey, uncle Gary! You know I’m drained by the day, so don’t say anything to me right now. Please take a seat and listen to what I’m gonna read from mom’s diary.”
Gary nodded and sat down beside her. He looked at the coffee and recalled the first conversation he had with Daniel after exchanging numerous casual smiles. Gary has told Elizabeth about that day multiple times and she often laughed off about how shy a man he was.
“Uhmm…uhmm….Dear Danny….Oh! It seems like she wrote to you dad, in her diary!!“ excited, she continued,
A silence hung up in the air.
Daniel lifted his head up. Tears welling up in his eyes, struggling to speak, he looked at Gary and sent his first love letter. He then slid his hand over Gary’s and held it, “It’s going to be oh..okay…that’s what I always told Elizabeth.” pining for him, he asked,
“Could you tell me the same…Gary?”
“All three love letters, well-received.” Natalie noticed.