Dayna was parked outside the school, waiting for Clarissa to burst out of those front doors any second. She yawned briefly, having just woken up from a much needed nap. Finally, she could see Clarissa running towards the car with an ecstatic grin plastered on her face, dodging kids left and right. It was an amazing sight. Once those doors flung open, it was like a flood of children pouring out over the sidewalk. Clarissa managed to reach Dayna's car without being trampled. Once the duo arrived at the ice cream parlor, Clarissa viciously gorged down her hot fudge sundae with no pause to breathe in between bites.
"Slow down there, girly! What's your rush?"
"I just wanna go home and read over my lines. If I do really, really good, I'll get more parts and before you know it, you'll be checkin' me out on the big screen!"
Clarissa had received the good news earlier that day that she would be playing the lead role of Cinderella in the school's upcoming production of 'Prince Charming', an original little musical the kids put together about Prince Charming's conflicting love life. Clarissa had been talking about it ever since she got in the car and Dayna could already tell she wouldn't be done ranting on and on about it for a long while. She didn't mind, though. She loved kids and she sort of saw Clarissa as her own to share with Jasmine. She could be nothing but proud of her niece. After all, it is her job as the aunt to encourage nothing but the fun things in life. Fun and safe, of course. So she would make sure that Clarissa stayed on that high for as long as she could keep her there, full of confidence and drive.
"Ugh, the only downside to this whole thing is that Penny is playing Snow White. The script isn't finished, so no one knows who Prince Charming will end up with."
"Love triangle, huh?"
"Yeah...do you think I'll do good, Aunt Dayna?"
"Do I think? You could totally stink and it would all seem good to me. You can do no wrong, kid."
"Sheesh, can't I ever just get a straight answer from you?"
Dayna's eyes shot open and her jaw dropped slightly in mocking offense.
"Yes, I personally feel you will make a fabulous Cinderella."
The two shared many laughs, talked about nothing but the upcoming school play, and finally left the parlor with sticky fingers and full tummies. The rest of the day was spent mostly at home and when Jasmine came home from work, all three of them went out to Clarissa's favorite restaurant, The Pretty Pirate, for dinner. Dayna, not being a huge fan of sea food, saw it as bit of a sacrifice, but those are the things you do for family. Overall, they managed to make a Monday feel more like a Friday.
"Order's up, Dayna!" Ronnie, the cashier at the diner called out. Since it was another day off and she couldn't think of anything else to do with her morning, Dayna decided to stick around a little longer than usual and eat a nice plate full of bacon, sausage, eggs, and biscuits along with her usual coffee.
"How's life treatin' ya, sweetie?" Ronnie had been on vacation with his wife for 3 weeks, sort of like a second honeymoon to congratulate his son graduating high school and moving out to go to college, so it was time he catch up on the happenings of the regulars.
"Oh, you know...same old, same old. Clarissa's going to play one of the lead roles in her school's musical."
"Really? That kid's on her way to being the next big thing, I tell ya."
"No argument there."
Dayna sat at a table by the window while Ronnie went back to work. She noticed the same man sitting on the bench reading his morning paper like he does every morning. Or at least every morning she stops by. Liza had said that he only reads his paper in that spot on the days she comes, but Dayna found that unlikely. Chances are, Liza is just over reacting or making radical assumptions, which would be quite true to her fiery personality. She quickly turned away and continued chewing on her bacon. She found herself strangely day dreaming about the possibility of a secret admirer and for a moment, convinced herself that Liza was right and that he had been building up the nerve to stand up, walk across the street, and talk to her for some time. She quickly swallowed that idea along with a fork full of scrambled eggs. Though she told herself to stop, curiosity got the best of her yet again and she glanced back at the man and just then, he threw down the paper from his face and stood up from his bench. She snapped her head back in the opposite direction. Much to her surprise, he was walking up to the diner. Not that that was anything odd, because he has every right to come in and buy himself breakfast. No, nothing strange about that. However, what came next was almost unbelievable.
"Hello." Dayna Slowly raised her head to see the man standing right over her.
"I don't mean to bother you, but I've seen you here before. You usually don't stay around long, though. So, I thought I'd take advantage of that."
"Oh, you're no bother! Really! My name's Dayna." She held out her hand for him to shake.
"Dayna, my name is Lucas." He shook her hand firmly and boldly kissed it, making her blush. Though she tried her best to conceal it, she couldn't hide the big, cheesy grin that accompanied it.
"I want to ask if you'd like to get coffee with me sometime, but I feel like that would be a bit dumb, considering that's what you're doing right now. So, how about dinner?"
Dayna was stunned at the sudden interest Lucas was showing in her. Liza was right, apparently. He had been watching her for a while.
"S-sure! Sounds great!"
"okay, meet me here tonight at 7?"
"Oh, well I was thinking more like exchanging phone numbers and planning a date, but that works too, I guess."
"Well I've sort of been waiting a while to catch you when you weren't busy, so waiting any longer just seems nonsensical to me. What do you say? Are you free tonight?"
"Yes, yes I am."
"Great. I'll see you tonight, Dayna."
And just like that, he was out the door. She didn't move for a while, she was completely speechless about everything that had just occurred. She had never seen a more straight forward approach from a man in her life, and she liked it. Finally, she smiled brightly, brushed her straight, dark hair behind her ears and finished up her last piece of bacon. It was going to be a good day, she would make certain of it.
Alright, it's starting to come together! You can probably already sense the subtle fairytale elements in there. That will continue throughout the story and eventually play an important part in tying in the moral at the end. It will be fabulous!