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Crush Phase

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“Hi, um, can I get a Lychee tea please?”

The small shop had been primarily unoccupied throughout her shift, making Jaida jump slightly at the presence of a customer. She looked upwards from her cellphone, and her eyes had no intentions of looking back down at the screen, once they took notice of a petite blonde across the counter.

Lychee milk tea girl was a head or so shorter than Jaida, in a little lilac colored sundress that grazed across the warmly tanned skin of her thighs. Waves of messily curled blonde hair that had clearly been haphazardly thrown into a side pony, looped through a thick scrunchie. Her nails were cohesively colored in glittery purple polish, almost too bright for the mood Jaida had set herself into for the day. She had taken the liberty of volunteering her time for the Friday shift, after Heidi had bailed on her to hang out with her most recent boyfriend yet again. Sitting at a little corner boba shop all alone, and getting paid for doing virtually nothing was a better option than sitting at home, doing nothing for her own amusement rather than receiving a paycheck.

Nodding, still feeling slightly starstruck, Jaida pulled a premade to-go tea from the little fridge behind her. She had already begun to press buttons into the register in front of her, only to realize the girl had her cellphone held out to her, Venmo code present on the screen. Letting out a small laugh, she scanned it quickly. “Looks like you’re more prepared for this job than me, huh?”

 

The blonde grinned, something about her little smile, all white teeth and glossy lips making Jaida’s insides melt. “I’m kind of a regular, which means you must be new since I’m here like three times a week and haven’t seen you before,” she rambled, stirring around the tapioca pearls in the bottom of her cup as she did so. “Not that I like, don’t have a social life. I mean yeah, I totally do with soccer and drama club and the school musical, just, boba? I’m gonna stop talking now because I’m making an absolute idiot out of myself,” she sighed, her freckled cheeks pinkening with an embarrassed blush as she took her lower lip between her teeth.

Jaida couldn't help but find the stranger to be nothing short of scarily endearing and adorable. “It’s all good, cutie, and yeah, I’m new,” she explained, sliding her phone back into the back pocket of her jeans. “I’m Jaida, my friend Jackie, the store manager, just set me up here after I moved to town a few weeks back.”

Pulling her lips away from her straw, Jan spoke cheerfully, clearly excited at the mention of the brunette girl’s boss. “Yeah, I love Jackie! She’s actually my best friend, kinda why I always pop in so much,” she explained, a toothy smile forming on her face. “Outside of my sugar addiction, that is. I’m Jan by the way.”

“Didn’t see you as the type of girl who’d hang out with someone as…..Jakcie, as Jackie,” Jaida laughed, reminiscing on the argument she had with the older girl only a few days ago. The term opposites attract really did apply to the girl and her supervisor, especially considering how often the two butted heads with one another over things like forgetting to refill the napkin holders or sweep the storefront. The nineteen year old Persian girl, whilst being extremely kind-hearted and considerate, was extremely dorky, on top of being a massive control freak. It was hard for Jaida’s brain to summon up an imaginary image of quiet, calm Jacqueline spending time with someone as bubbly and seemingly type-A as Jan.

Jan shrugged, having sat down on one of the little stool’s at the counter to continue conversiving with the girl behind the register. “As Jesus once said, us lesbians have to stick together,” she teased, twisting and untwisting a loose curl of blonde hair around her finger repeatedly. Jaida had barely known her for ten minutes but had already made a mental note that Jan was extremely excitable, and fidgety, reminiscent to that of a golden retriever moreso than a teenage girl. Her fixations had varied from fiddling with a small opal ring on her pointer finger to picking at her cuticles, the behavior coming across as it was clearly a part of Jan’s second nature.

Jaida felt her mouth dry, as she took in the blonde’s speech. “Wait, so you’re-“

A giggle escaped Jan, who seemed to be tickled by the evident appearance of shock on Jaida’s face. “Yes ma’am Pam, I’m about as gay as it gets around these parts. Unless Jackie’s already introduced you to Crystal? I mean wowie, that girl is a lesbian poster chil-
Sorry if the nails were misleading, by the way, they’re just press-ons for fun,” she revealed, popping off a nail from her square-shaped manicure to reveal a not as visually appealing but much more honest set of fingers, nails having been bitten down to the flesh. “That’s why I stopped by actually, I was hoping to interrogate Jackie about that french-exchange student from my English class she’s got it so bad for,” she rambled on, closely investigating the small lavender nail she had peeled off of her pinkie. Looking up, meeting Jaida’s slightly widened eyes, the girl backtracked. “Are you all good gorg? You look like I just totally melted your brain or something, but you’re way too pretty to be a homophobe so-“

“Oh my god,” the taller girl cried out, realizing Jan had most likely mistaken her silence for disapproval of some sort. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no! I, um, I play for the same sport as you,” she stumbled, this feeling of being so flustered was new to her, and she felt like a blubbering idiot. “I-I mean, the same team,” Jaida coughed, attempting to fan the heat off of her face.

The blonde propped her head up on her hand, batting her lengthy eyelashes at Jaida, who felt as if there were anymore butterflies fluttering around in her stomach she’d explode. “You’re really pretty... and you being this flustered is adorable, by the way. Can I get your number?”

Jaida, so caught up in the flirtatious girl’s antics that she hadn’t heard the little dinging of the entry bell above the shop’s door, stumbled through a response. “Yeah, sure for su-”

“Jannifer,” Jackie yelled from the entryway, “Stop simping for my coworkers!”