By Morgan Lynn

The MooMoo Milk Creamery, is like turning the pages of a scrapbook. The black and

white tile floor throw me into a time warp to 1996. I was about three years old when my very

cherry ice cream leaped from the cone and landed splat on the floor, artificially colored goop

resembling a gory blood stain. They could never get that stain off and ended up replacing the tile.

I sobbed as it splat. So hard that they gave me a new scoop for free, this time putting it into a

cup. The red of the ice cream matching my upset cheeks. Her tight blonde curls bouncing to the

rhythm of her laugh, my mother watched with onlooking tourists. She told me later, that even

when I cry it's always best to laugh. We always went there together the rest of the summers,

laughing at the memory of very cherry.

I walked past the replaced tile, sadness took hold and I quickly giggled making myself

forget again. It now only took me one step to pass, and as I looked up my eyes locked with the

clerk who was way too old to actually work there. His shirt was robin's egg blue with the

MooMoo logo sprawled across, slightly deformed from his combination of double d breasts and

German beer belly. There was a huge stain, of what may be semen smack where his belly button

should be. As I walked closer to him some form of intense B.O shut my nostrils tight.

“Hi! I was wondering if you guys are hiring?” I said nasally. He let out an almost sigh

and reached under the counter.

“Yuh, uh I'm Craig I'm the manager.” he said standing up and pushing the application

towards me, a slight brown spot formed from where his fingers were on the white paper. And I

grimaced in my mind making a mental note to use the hand sanitizer in my purse after. "Fill this

out then come back up and we can, uh, talk more. "he gave a wink and his voice was slow and

out of breath, just like his appearance.

This guy must have been at least thirty and he was flirting with me? I'm not sure if

flirting with a 16-year-old can be considered pedophilia but it sure feels like it. When I walked to

one of the high tables, I swear his eyes were burning a hole into my thrifted blue jeans. Let's just

say god bless those jeans because they got me the job.


I'm not sure which wakes me up, my alarm going off, or the scream I make when it does.

Regardless that noise is deafening. I sprang up in bed recognizing the rare caller. I clicked the

green receiver as fast as I could and hung onto the line for a second.

I checked the time, snuggling back under my blanket. 10:29AM. June 23rd, 2010 three weeks

since I began working and I still couldn't get the schedule down. I sprang back up and flung

myself from bed.

̈Shit ̈ talking to myself has always made me work faster. I tied my brown hair messily

into a bun and sprinted to the garage door halfway putting on my shoes before hopping onto my

bike, newspaper boy style. On a good day it would take me about 30 minutes to reach the

creamery. Today was not a good day. I checked the time again, 10:35, and mentally prepared

myself for the hilly bike ride that I would have to complete in 25 minutes. At least I would look

super sporty and the flush it would give my cheeks! I peddled faster.

By the time I got to work, my shirt could have one a wet t-shirt competition. Craig was standing

by the door staring at his watch, as I walked past him his uneasy blew along my neck.

“Its 11:02, you’re late” he spat out his words, I could practically feel his brown saliva spritzing

into my hair.

“Oh yes, I’m sorry it was just that the gear on my bike fell off, so I had to flip it over and

fix it myself. It was so hard because of my weak feminine arms not being able to lift that much

and all.” I whimpered. Batting my eyelashes over light purple eyes. Those eyes could get me

anything, as a rare trait passed down from my mother it was my favorite feature. Long ago I’d

wish to have new eyes, as kids can be so cruel. Now they are a super power.

“Don’t be late again, and next time that happens why don’t you just wait for a man to

drive by and fix it for you?”

“Will do sir!” Gave him a captain's wave and I swiveled around smirking at my coworker

Rachael, she laughed so hard she snorted and quickly covered up her giggles by placing the

white rag she was using over her mouth. I flexed my chicken arms making a “manly” gesture as I

headed over to the storage closet/employee lounge. My locker was one of ten blue chipped paint

pieces of trash Craig must have dumpster dived for, because everyone knows that whenever

Craig needed something you were sure to find him rooting through some dumpster behind

Raymour and Flanigan.

Before leaving the room, I slipped my phone into my locker. A bright instachat

notification from Danny illuminated my face. My heart beat picked up as my eyes widened and I

clicked onto the notification. I skipped the usual snaps from Rachael and Eve and quickly

pressed the awaiting picture message from Danny. His gorgeous walnut hair filled the screen and

I could practically smell it. The rest of the picture being dedicated to his rich brown eyes. Even

through the LED those eyes made me swoon, I stared at them like they were staring back at me.

The picture was captioned “Heyy”. Those two “y’s” instead of the one “y” meant everything.

Everyone knows that two “y’s” are flirty, and if you send one “y” you may as well be the persons

grandma or severely in friendship town. Two “y’s” meant that he felt some kind of way in a

place lower than his head. The lighting in the locker room is fluorescent, which is not good selfie

lighting in the slightest, I was just about to scoot into the bathroom to use the warm lighting for

my selfie when I heard Craig behind the door. He coughed loudly and knocked saying some

nonsense about how I should be on the register. I slammed the door open practically hitting him

the face.

“Sorry girl problems” I said smirking as I walked along. I couldn't help but wonder if my

lack of response would upset Danny, or make him want me even more, maybe he will double

snap me and say “Heyy” but now with three “y’s”. Either way I will see him in an hour when his

shift starts.

Rachael my other coworker, gave me the usual fair warning before Danny comes in. This

gave me enough time to fix my hair and prepare for a stunning entrance. I ran to the bathroom, re

applying my tinted Chapstick and mascara in the mirror. I walked over to one of the pale blue

round tables that were never occupied to give it a good wipe down, leaning over it and pooping

out my waist. I knew that if Danny would walk by its only in his nature to stare. The bell of the

door rang, and I ignored it trying to suppress the urge to look back at him. If my eyes were

magnets, he was the metal. Usually he would just walk right by me into the locker room, not

even a nod, and the disappear till we ask him to come out. But the b-line to the table I was

occupying said something different.

“Hey Fern.” Danny said, his deep voice flooded into my ears and made my knees buckle

down. I pivoted my hips towards him and smiled.

“Oh, hey! I didn't know you were working today!” Danny was convinced but I heard

Rachael chuckle and quickly shot her a look. She buried her face behind her blonde hair so you

couldn't see her smiling. She's a good friend.

“Well, I'm glad I am.” he said. He shot me a wink and smiled showing his snow-white

teeth. I felt my face beam pink, I thought maybe I should wink back, but instead a half eye spaz

came out. Danny laughed and walked off into the locker room, his butt looking super nice in

those old blue jeans.

“HA! You’re as red as a tomato!” Rachael said to me running over.

“Well did you see what he did?” I whispered leaning toward her over the table. “He

winked at me!” “Can you believe it? It was so weird like I thought he would never speak to me

and he winked at me! He said he was glad to see me! And did I tell you that he sent an instachat

this morning? This is such a great day oh my god.” my words poured out of my mouth like a

hyper river. Rachael looked slightly shaken by my outburst but equally as happy.

“Girl, he wants it!” Raquel always knew how to hype up the little things that happened

with Danny. Once I dropped my rag and he picked it up for me. That hand to hand sensual

moment when he passed the rags into my waiting fingers was a topic of conversation for days.

“Shh!” I said frantically searching around my shoulder for Danny to come out.

“Relax!” she said to me pushing on my shoulder. Danny had just walked out of the locker

room, and my faced burned bright again. He probably heard the whole conversation or

something, because he kept meeting my gaze the glancing away. Before he used to hold it and I

would have the thirty seconds to stare into his deep brown speckled eyes. They reminded me of

sea glass, not the pretty blue or green ones you find, but the unique brown ones that are usually

tossed aside. I would never toss away his eyes.

Craig swung open the door, his face told me that I was four hours into my shift, and it

was time for my break. Craig was always so particular about this because in Scraggy Neck,

Massachusetts there is some stupid law forbidding sixteen-year old to work more than four hours

without a break. Based on “child abuse” or whatever.

When I walked into the locker room, I practically skipped to my phone so fast that I

missed Danny sitting on one of the benches. My flower power wallpaper illuminated my face, I

scrolled through my notifications, but the one I was looking for wasn't there. I went to go click

on my mom’s contact to call her back when I felt someone behind me. I spun around and my

face met a hard chest that smelled like musk and evergreen trees, I instinctively took a big breath

in through my nose leaning closer into his smell.

“Oh, sorry, I was just about to come ask you something.” I looked up towards the sound

to see him looking back down at me.

“No! It's fine.” I took a small step back my face felt hot again.

“Oh, so, uh I was thinking maybe we could hangout tonight?”

I could barely process this information. I triple fact checked in my mind that what I was

hearing was correct.

“Oh my god” I didn't even realize the words came out

“What? Sorry, uh-”

“No, I would love to, my grandma won't be home tonight if you want to come to my

beach house?” I said quickly trying to drown out that embarrassing slip.

“Yeah that would be chill.” He smiled down at me. “Um do you burn?”

“I don't have a fire pit on my beach, but I guess we could just make one if you wanted

too”. The question was kind of weird but maybe he was just trying to be romantic and we could

talk all night under the stars and by the warm fire. But wait, then I wouldn't be able to ask for his

jacket. Whatever this will make a cuter Instachat and first date story.

“This is going to be fun.” he shook his head his brown hair saggy and swaying back and



I heard a knock at the door at 8pm. I quickly checked myself in the mirror spraying some

pink crush perfume. I looked down at my watch, thirty minutes late. That's fine probably just

some traffic. I sprinted down the sand dusted stairs pausing a moment to compose myself before

opening the door. He stood there; a cute navy polo shirt replaced the robin blue staff shirt. I took

a breath in the pine scent reminded me of home.

“Hey, come with me we can go burn down by the beach!” I said grabbing his hand and

pulling him towards the back door. He laughed hard when he saw the pile of wood gathered on

the sand from my balcony. It confused me and I shot him a glance.

“Do you really think burn meant a bonfire?” he erupted in laughter and I felt my face

light up like Rudolph's nose. He pulled something out of his pocket, it looked exactly like

oregano and kind of smelled like it, but also kind of like grapefruit. I instantly remembered my

two-week Netflix binge of “Skins” and knew what the strange herb was. Danny was older than

me by two years, but I didn't know he was into that kind of stuff, maybe then I wouldn't have

agreed to tonight.

“Oh, No! I knew what you meant; it was a joke.”

“Good, so we will have fun tonight!” was he implying that we weren't going too if we

didn't use the stuff. He sat down on my chair and began rolling the pungent herbs into brown

leaf, it was huge. He lit it at the end and took in a deep breathe pulling my head towards him and

opening my mouth. He breathed the smoke into my mouth his lips barely touching mine. I

cringed at the foul taste and coughed wildly. He looked at me and laughed, it was as if he was

amused by the pain in my lungs.

“Um, I’m good...” I said to him pushing it away. He rolled his eyes and took another

drag. A weird feeling started in my throat and made my lips turn dry. I looked at Danny now and

felt something else, looking at him made me want to look away. I just sat there in silence playing

with the cool white sand under my feet. I crinkled it through my toes, mom used to tell me that

sand was good for your feet, and that if you lived on the beach you would never get dry skin. I

dug my feet deeper, feeling the it run in between my toes. I tried to picture my mom next to me

instead blowing bubbles into the sunset like she used to, my lips curled into a smile thinking

about this. I missed those moments. My memory was disrupted by Danny’s hand touching my

thigh, his fingers tickled me, and I let out a small uncontrollable giggle. I didn't mean to, and I

didn't want to, but it just slipped out. I guess he took this as a sign to continue and he moved

closer to my face, his lips were puffy and chapped, as if he had never heard of Vaseline. I noticed

the little mustache hairs he didn't care to shave. Before he picked me up, I spent twenty minutes

making sure I didn't have those. The feeling of disgust filled my stomach and I pulled my face

away, no way I was going to let him kiss me with lips that like a dehydrated fish.

“What is your problem?” he spat looking down on me, it made me feel like a child, like

just because he was older, I needed to obey him.

“Nothing” I buried my face into my knees, the tears burned in my eyes and I longed for

my mom to be there with me, I wanted her to come out and tell him to leave. “I just...” I stopped

myself before saying anymore. I didn't owe him an explanation.

“You just what? You’re just a fucking prude that is what.” The anger in his voice

vibrated my rib cage and I could hear the sand churn under his feet as he stood up. I looked

towards him, half wishing he would turn around and say he is sorry, he could say that he rushed

into things and we could take it slow. But he didn't turn around and I watched his dull brown hair

bounce as hes stomped up the wooden stairs. The words wait almost escaped my throat, but I

quickly shoved my mouth onto my knees, hot tears probing my eyes. I paused before turning on

my phone, I have never been religious but in that moment, I prayed to any god that would hear

me. All I wanted was to see her contact flash on my phone and know she was thinking about me

even just a little. But like usual there was no text and I could feel the tears drops drip. I looked

towards the rock where we laid her ashes last summer and could feel her motherly energy

caressing by way of the air. The beach was my spot for peace, I should have never let anyone