Tom delivers packages. That’s what he does for a living. He drives a large brown van and hates any building with stairs. He hates dogs, he hates people who answer their door wearing nothing but underpants, and he hates people who ask him what’s inside the box. (They ordered it, they should know.)
It’s twelve-thirty, it’s 90 degrees outside, and he just wants to stop for lunch, but there’s one last box in the back of his truck that needs to be dropped off before he moves on to the next city over.
He doesn’t recognise the name, but the house he pulls up to has a police cruiser in the driveway. He wonders for a second if there’s an arrest taking place inside, but then a man steps out onto the porch, holding a sandwich bag and a stack of folders, looking ready for work. He stops to wave briefly at Tom before unlocking the car and driving off.
If Tom has to leave the box on the doorstep because the sheriff couldn’t be bothered to wait five seconds, he’ll be angry. He reaches around into the back of the truck for the delivery and hops out of the cab. When he knocks, there’s a muffled thud and the sound of someone running.
“If you’ve forgotten your keys again, Dad, I swear to God,” comes a voice and the door flies open, to reveal a kid, probably no older than twenty. She blinks at Tom in surprise and then seems to change tactics altogether. “Can I help you?” she asks, lounging against the door and smirking in a way that’s probably meant to be sexy.
“I have a package for A. Samson?”
The woman lets out a bark of laughter and rakes her eyes down Tom’s body.
“I bet you do, buddy.”
Tom hates people who flirt with him. He’s just doing his job.
“Are they here, or not?” Tom asks, patience wearing thin.
“That’s me! I’m A. Samson.”
“Great,” Tom says, not caring at all. “You need to sign for it.”
He holds out the electronic signature pad and Samson takes it with a grin. When she hands it back, Tom glances down and finds childlike handwriting spelling out Annabelle Samson.
“Here you go,” he says, holding the box out and Annabelle holds it under one arm like a football. Tom definitely doesn’t let his eyes wander to the shadowed darkness down the front of her loose shirt. “Have a nice day.”
He turns to leave, but Annabelle steps out as though she’s going to follow him, despite being barefoot.
“Hang on; what’s your name?”
Tom pauses and tenses all over.
“If you have a complaint to make, you can call customer service and file a grievance against employee number 06293.”
“Do you have a proper name, 06293?”
“You have no need of it,” Tom grits out.
“But what if I want to ask you out, 06293?”
He walks away, his electronic clipboard stuffed under his arm and in serious danger of breaking if he doesn’t stop squeezing it.
“You know,” Annabelle yells to his back, even as Tom begins climbing into his truck. “All I need to do is order another package and you’ll come right to my door. Maybe I’ll buy flowers and it’ll be just like a real date.”
Tom glares over his shoulder, but Annabelle just shrugs nonchalantly and waves.
“See you around,” she says before stepping back into the house, leaving Tom to thump his forehead against the steering wheel and pray that the day will end already.