Valentine's Day Flash Fiction





“Over the Moon”

By Kevin Hopson



“That will be nine dollars and thirty-two cents,” Jake said.


Jake met Kayla’s gaze, his lips stretching into a grin. Kayla’s brown eyes matched her curly locks, both of which were softened by her olive complexion. Jake only knew her name because she’d visited the bakery before and always paid with a credit card. But he wanted to get to know her better.


Kayla smiled in return. As expected, she pulled a credit card from her wallet and tapped the countertop card reader. Jake watched as a receipt spit out of the small printer next to the register.


“Would you like a receipt?” Jake asked.


Kayla shook her head. “No, thanks.”


Jake grabbed the receipt and placed it in a bowl with the others. “Thank you. Have a great day.”


“You, too,” she said.


Kayla made her way over to a window table and took a seat.


“Jake,” a voice called out from the kitchen.


He spun around, and his brother Ryan stared back at him.


“I’ve got a tray of macarons that are ready,” Ryan said.


The bakery was a family-run business. Jake owned it, but he wouldn’t be able to get by without his brother and sister.


“Great,” Jake said. He eyed his sister, who was rearranging some items in the glass display case. “Sarah.”


She pivoted to look. “Yeah.”


“Mind handling the register for a minute?”


“Sure.”


Macarons were one of the bakery’s bestsellers. Pistachio, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, raspberry, and espresso were just some of the flavors they sold. And they made a beautiful display with their assorted colors of white, red, yellow, and green.


Jake pulled a nearly-empty tray of macarons from the glass case and brought it into the kitchen, resting it on the counter. Ryan had already laid out the new tray, so Jake picked it up and returned to the display case, sliding the fresh macarons under the glass for everyone to see. When Jake looked up, he noticed a man approaching the register.


“I’ll handle this,” Jake said to Sarah.


“Okay,” she replied, heading back to the display case.


“Hi,” Jake said to the man. He was a portly fellow in a business suit. “What can I get for you?”


The man rested a bottle on the counter. “Just this cold brew coffee and a pistachio macaron.”


“For here or to go?”


“To go.”


Jake glimpsed Sarah. She nodded, grasped a pair of tongs, and snatched one of the macarons. Sarah deposited it in a small paper bag and handed it to Jake.


“Anything else?” Jake asked the man.


“No. That’s it.”


“No, it isn’t,” Kayla said, walking toward the counter. “You forgot the moon pie in your jacket pocket.”


A nervous laugh escaped the man’s mouth. “Oh. I nearly forgot about that. I’m sorry. I was juggling my wallet and the coffee, so I put the moon pie in my pocket to help free my hands.”


The moon pies were prepackaged and displayed in a basket next to the refrigerated items. Jake couldn’t tell if the man was lying, but he decided to give the customer the benefit of the doubt.


“It comes to eleven dollars and eighty-four cents for the three items,” Jake said.


The man flipped through his wallet and handed over two bills. A ten-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill. Jake was about to open the register to give the man change when he was interrupted.


“Keep the change,” the man insisted. “Sorry again.”


“No problem, sir,” Jake said. “Thank you, and have a good day.”


The man nodded and left, and Kayla approached the counter.


“Thanks,” Jake said.


Kayla grinned. “No problem. Maybe he was being honest, but I felt the need to point it out.”


“I’m glad you did. We made a little extra money on that sale,” he chuckled. “Is there something else I can get you? It’s my treat.”


Kayla waved a dismissive hand. “It’s not necessary.”


Jake deliberated. He didn’t want to be too direct with her, but he wasn’t sure if the opportunity would arise again.


“Hold on,” Jake said.


He grabbed a pen and a notepad next to the register and quickly jotted something down. He tore the sheet from the pad, handing it to Kayla.


She read the note and raised an eyebrow. “Your name is Jake?”


He nodded.


“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Kayla.”


“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Kayla. As a thank you gift, I’d like to make you dinner some time.”


“Ah. So, that’s why you included your phone number on the note,” she said in a playful tone.


“Yeah, but you’re under no obligation to accept. It’s just an offer, and it’s fine either way. Like I said, I just want to express my gratitude.”


Kayla let out a giggle. “Well, thank you, Jake. It’s very generous of you, and I’m flattered.”


Jake pursed his lips, debating whether to broach the subject. Then he decided to come out with it. “If there’s a significant other, I’ll understand. The last thing I want to do is make you feel uncomfortable.”


“There’s no significant other, but I appreciate your courtesy.”


Jake managed a smile.


“I’ll give you a call,” Kayla finally said. She sidestepped the counter, grabbed something, and returned to the register. “And I’ll take this moon pie to go.”


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