Frankie sometimes thought he was invisible, but Vada did make him think he was truly her brother. He gave her a quick wave and soon they were dropping him off at the University.
He didn't have his own car as of yet. He'd never really needed one. Frankie had his driver's license, but he never had any use for it, until now.
"Call me, when you want to be picked up." Henry's mother said as he was about to go.
He gave her a nod. Her number was in the contacts of his phone. It wasn't long until he found the Bookstore and went to the back. He'd reported there the last couple of days. All he did was move merchandise. And sometimes, he'd get things off the tallest shelves for clerks or people browsing.
It wasn't a hard job. And he never talked unless someone asked him, but usually, he was busy for the next six hours. He'd clock in. Work. Clock out. Call home. That was his day.
But there was some peculiar girl, smiling like she might be the president of his fan club that he didn't know he had.
"Do you work here?" She wanted to know.
He nodded ever so mute. She kept staring at him.
"Is it true, your name is really Stewart." She'd seen him yesterday.
"Um..uh.." He couldn't lie. "No, its not." He fumbled with the black name tag. They didn't have a Frankie name tag, but he was given this one until they could make him one.
"Well, what is it?' She pressed.
"Uh." Frankie thought for sure his eyelids were going to fall in the back of his head, and he'd be in the floor sputtering around just like he saw Henry at the salad bar that time. He put his hand on the back of his neck to calm himself. "Frankie" His voice cracked.
"Frankie!" Her smile was open. "I love it!" She rushed in and hugged him so hard. Frankie wasn't sure what to think, but the weight of her almost took him to the floor, and yet he maintained strong without incident.
Lottie sighed, feeling free and all excited about being on her own at the University. She couldn't help to think she'd found her true love at the bookstore.
Frankie and Lottie May. She rolled the words again and again in her head into almost a song as she looked up and studied his face. He was beautiful.
She wanted to tell him there were no beautiful boys in her small town. Just rough farm boys, who'd rather have a knock down dragged out fight at the feed store (she'd actually seen a couple in her day) She was from Alliance, Nebraska. She bet he had no idea where that was.
"Its just, your name..it goes so well, with mine. Frankie and Lottie, doesn't that sound..you know, amazing?" She smiled.
Frankie only cleared his throat and unwrapped her arms from his waist.
"Uh, do..do you..work here?" He winced as if he hadn't heard a word she said.
"OH." She nursed her bottom lip.
"I mean, I ..work...here..and..well..I..should work." He was ever so serious, and she loved staring into his intense yet endearing dark eyes. He pressed a smile that was soon a straight lip.
"Well..I...uh.." Now she was stumbling in his exact speech pattern. Oh, how easily she could become, who ever anyone wanted her to be. She sometimes wondered if she were a chameleon or just a comedian. Because seriously, who could like a farm girl like her? She nodded, seeing he didn't take much to her smile, anyway. Evidently.
Just her luck he was gay. There were gay people here. Not that she knew any, personally, but she'd seen their flyers to join the LGBTQ club. In fact, she'd almost bought one of their rainbow shirts until her roommate told her not too.
"Yeah, I'm going to be a clerk." She couldn't help to sound silly about it, "But..I just started folding T-shirts yesterday."
"Where's your name tag?"
"They only had a Damien or a Devon and well, I'm not really you know, the devil kind." She winced.
"I see." He nodded, finally a smile gave way. "Well, nice to meet you, Lottie." He shook her hand.
She only stared at his hand on hers. She didn't want him to let go.