The old-fashioned bells my dad refused to take off the front doors rung as the glass door opened. Seeing as we weren’t due to open for another thirty minutes, I could only guess who had walked into the door. My beating heart certainly knew.
“Mr. Rossi?” The familiar voice was like a melody. It reminded me of an old favorite song that you hadn’t heard in years, but were still able to recite line by line with ease. Despite the years of silence, I still knew that voice so well.
“Over here, Jesse.”
My palms instantly moistened. Taking a deep breath, I wiped them against my faded jeans, unsure of what to do with myself. Trying to appear calm, I leaned my forearm against the counter and shifted my weight so my hip was sticking out. Realizing how stupid I looked, I straightened myself and crossed my arms over my chest.
“What the hell am I doing? Am I drill sergeant?” I shook my head, reminding myself he was just an old friend. Granted, a best friend I used to love, but still. Finally relaxing into a somewhat decent pose, I looked up in time to see him round the corner towards us.
He instantly took my breath away.
It had been five years since I had last seen him. Having always been the conspiracy theory type, he never even owned an online profile and believe me, I looked! For the last five years I had relied solely on my memory whenever I thought about him. In my mind, the name Jesse conjured up images of a handsome boy—tall, skinny, with a flop of messy dark hair. The man standing in front of me was not the Jesse I recalled. He was much, much better.