Here’s a scene from Still Love You that takes place right after Silas gets Willow from college. On their way home, they stop for a burger.
“Why were you flirting with her?” Willow asks. “You don’t live here. It’s not like you could date her.”
“I wasn’t flirting. I was just giving her my order.” I stretch my legs out under the table, letting them brush against Willow’s.
She crosses her legs and turns to me. “You were giving her the Silas smile. No girl can resist that and you know it. You were definitely flirting.”
“Why do you care?” I nudge her leg with mine and keep it there. I know I shouldn’t keep touching her but I can’t help it. I haven’t seen her forever and now that she’s here, I have this need to touch her, even in just an innocent way. I’m a very tactile person. Touch is a way I communicate, sometimes without even knowing it.
“I don’t care,” she says in a tone that implies the opposite. “Do what you want. I just don’t think you should flirt with some girl you have no intention of asking out. You’re leading her on.”
“A person can flirt without having it go anywhere.”
“Then what’s the purpose?”
Typical Willow logic at work. She has to have an answer to everything. An answer that makes sense to her.
“There doesn’t have to be a purpose.” I know that comment will get her going, but I put it out there anyway.
“Of course there does. You can’t just do something for no reason.”
“Fine.” I lean across the table and give her that Silas smile she was referring to. “I flirted with her so she’d get your order correct. I’m sure they’re not used to having to follow such specific guidelines for making a burger. I was just making sure they got it right.”
She sighs. “I appreciate your efforts but you don’t have to resort to selling your body just to get my order correct.”
I laugh and sit back. “I wasn’t selling my body. It was just a smile.”
“I think that girl would like more than that.” Willow holds up the receipt, which has a phone number written on back with the words ‘call me.’
“Huh. I wondered what she wrote on there.” I take the receipt and shove it in my pocket.
“You’re keeping it?” Willow looks disgusted with me.
I shrug. “You never know.”
“Never know what?”
Before I can answer, our food arrives, delivered by a short, scrawny kid who doesn’t look legally old enough to work. He’s probably the little brother of the girl at the register. They look similar.
“Wait.” Willow stops him before he leaves. “Could you get us another cup for the milkshake? And another straw?”
He nods and walks off.
I set the basket of fries between us as Willow inspects her burger, lifting the top of the bun.
“Is it the way you wanted it?” I ask.
“Yes. It’s perfect.” She puts the bun back in place. “But your flirting trick didn’t completely work. She forgot the cup and the straw.”
“That’s because you asked for that, not me.” I smile, then take a big bite of my burger.
“Whatever,” she mumbles, picking up a fry.
She eats fries one at a time, whereas I grab several and eat them all at once. That’s why we always shared an order. It would take Willow forever to finish a basket of fries on her own, eating them one at a time like that.
I wonder if she shares her fries when she goes out with other guys. I try not to think about that. Thinking about her with another guy makes me angry and I never get angry. Except when it comes to Willow. She brings out all my emotions. The good, the bad, the in-between. This girl gets to me the way no one else can.
When I left two years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see her again, and now, working for her parents, I’ll see her every day.
This is going to be a very interesting summer.