She smiles at me in recognition when I see her. She knows my personal life, just by ringing up the things I pick up now and then. A name tag is pinned on crookedly to her red uniform, reading the name "Tamiya".

"That'll be $19.77," she tells me, and I fumble for my wallet. She's watching me, always giving me a strange kind of look, like she's about to say something but it never reaches her lips.

The first time I saw her, I was with my dad at Smart&Final, and as she rang up our large amount of groceries she kept peering at me. I felt naked, like she could see through my fake smile, and after glancing at each other awkwardly under our eyes we both began to laugh. Still now, I'm not sure why we did, but a tension filled the air I couldn't quite place, and she'd flash me a smile that looked somehow out of place on her somber face.

The last time I saw her, I went alone, even though the Vons is closer and would have been more convenient. She wasn't there at the cash register as usual, and I nearly left without getting the things I thought I came for. But as I strolled down the aisles there she was, high upon a ladder stacking some boxes. A smile greeted me and all I could manage was a muffled hello before darting down the aisle.

When I got to the register she was there, and no unnecessary words were exchanged. I finally got a hold of my wallet and handed her the money. Handing me back my change, her fingers softly traced my hand from my palm to the tip of my middle finger. I only smiled and blushed and fumbled with my plastic bags before leaving.

Nice fucking softlinks. :P