A Generous Tip
By James Guin
James E. Guin’s fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Romance Flash, Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine, Metro Moms: Metro Fiction, Alternate Hilarities Anthology Volume 1, and Alternate Hilarities Anthology: Vampires Suck. He received an Honorable Mention in the 2nd Quarter of the 2014 L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest. James can be found on Twitter , Facebook or at jameseguin.wordpress.com
When I swung open my front door, the summer breeze blew the smell of cheese into my nostrils and the rising steam from the sides of the box onto my face. The red pizza logo on his black cap jumped out at me, but when he lifted his head, all I could concentrate on were his dark, absorbing eyes.
"You ordered...," like the adults in those Charlie Brown cartoons, "...Wha, wha, wha..."
I had expected some kid, but then I had only wanted to satisfy my appetite.
"Yeah," I said.
Attempting to read his emotional reaction to my plain-vanilla attire, I strained to take my attention away from my homely reflection in his eyes. We just stood there smiling until I realized why.
I giggled, thrust a wad of cash in his hand, and said, "Oh, keep the change,"
His eyes dancing with the summer breeze, he said, "Thank you, ma'am," and sprinted energetically to his car.
Immobile, I watched him from my doorway. The loose uniform couldn't betray his fit body. In my fuzzy memory there was a nametag below those sensual eyes, but I couldn't read it.
Ordinarily, I don't pay attention to the pretty women at the houses where I deliver. I mean, I don't know if they're in a relationship, married, or what, besides nobody wants the delivery guy checking 'em out.
I was reading the receipt, because I like to confirm the order: "Ma'am, you ordered a large thick crust, creamy sauce, spicy...that'll be $10.59," or whatever.
I heard her open the door, so I recited the order. When I looked up, she just stared into my eyes like she didn't' hear a thing I said. I checked her out from head to toe. Tapered, shoulder blade length hair, she was wearing an untucked white blouse with yellow stripes that hung over an ankle length hippie skirt. Both hugged her figure like the leaves dangling on the tree limbs in her yard in the summer breeze. And she had well-proportioned erogenous feet.
She jerked the pizza box out of my hand, and squeezing a wad of cash with the other hand, she continued glaring at me. We stood there so long I was worried the cheese on her pizza might harden. I was so in awe of this stunning lady in the doorway of a lovely house acknowledging my existence, all I could do was smile.
She laughed a sensual, flirty laugh, shoved her cash into my hand, and said "Keep the change." I didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable, so I turned and shot back to my car. It was the biggest tip anyone's ever given me. When I returned to the store, I looked on the driver dispatch screen for her name.
The next time I ordered, I got a college boy; the next time, a woman around my age; and the next, a nice, polite older gentleman. On the fourth stab, he came. The anticipation made me nervous. I had spent so much energy planning what to wear, what to say, and how much to tip (I didn't want him to think I was desperate.) that I almost forgot to read his name tag.
Our store dispatches drivers in rotation. It's fair. I've never thought otherwise until I saw Randi's address come up. It seemed silly, but I wanted to ask the other drivers to let me make that delivery. I must admit, though, I was a little nervous. She either really enjoyed eating our pizza, or she wanted to see me which I hoped was the reason she had ordered so much this week.
At the end of the week, I was dispatched to Randi's address. All the way there I wanted to comb my hair, but I wore a silly hat, and spray some cologne, but no matter how much cologne I could spray, I would still smell like cheese.
It took a few minutes for her to come to the door-not a good sign. When she opened the door, she was wearing a faux wrapp red knee length dress. God she had firm lower leg muscles which rose out of crème colored platform sandals. A little over dressed for pizza-didn't know how to unravel that.
We went through the same ordeal as the first time, staring, standing, and smiling.
"Thank you, Charles," she said.
I grinned, spun around, and dashed to my car. I drove down her street, turned around, and passed back by her house. She was hanging out in the doorway-good sign.
After I had figured out his name, I waited a couple of days and asked for Charles. Hoping to disguise my embarrassing obsession, I spit out a slew of modifiers: "Charles is prompt, timely, fast, polite, and courteous." I left out fit body, firm ass, sexy dark eyes, toned forearms. Everything a girl wants in a pizza delivery guy.
"Hi Randi, thanks for requesting me," Charles said when I opened the door.
He knows my name? I thought and then realized it was on the receipt.
"Hi Charles," I said and brushed my hand across his rock solid upper arm.
"Not to intrude, but you sure do have a nice figure for someone who eats so much pizza," he said.
Deciding to snatch the moment, I said, "Well, I actually gave the last few deliveries to neighbor kids. I was really more anxious to see the deliver than his package."
If I made a fool of myself, I wouldn't order pizza anymore.
"Well, since the packages I deliver is not your thing, how about I meet you in a few minutes at the café at the end of your street," he said.
Respectful of space. Not too intrusive, I thought.
"You get off work in a few minutes?" I asked.
"No. I clocked out before I left the store. I paid for the pizza myself, so there's no delivery fee. A generous tip would be spending the rest of the afternoon getting to know you."