The sound of leaves crunching crisply beneath my boots fills the air with a beautiful autumn melody. The scent of the morning rain still lingers heavy in the air. This has always been my favorite time of year. Fall, with its bone chilling moodiness, it feels like the world is on the precipice of snuggling down under quilted comforters and falling in love over a hot drink and Dawson’s Creek reruns.

I found myself wrapped in my own world when I’m jarred back to reality with an abrupt bump. Crashing down from my daydream I’m tossed back into reality staring into an almost familiar face. I stumble to the right and murmur a quiet apology to the handsome man whose path I’d crossed.


I turn quickly at the sound of my childhood nickname. Nobody aside from my my mom has called me Charlie since the 90s. The man who I’d just run into was standing near a parked car, mouth agape in a half smile. “Charlie Granger? You don’t recognize me, do you?”

I swim through childhood memories, bobbing around trying to place any of his features on a ghost from my past. Deep brown eyes full of kindness, chestnut brown hair cut neatly, a slightly crooked smile. After far too long I come up for air empty, “No, I’m so sorry,” I say, wringing my fingers together, “Nobody has called me Charlie in years.”

His smile widens, his eyes twinkle a bit, “Oliver Evans? North Lake Elementary? I moved after 5th grade. You might not remember me but you never forget the face of your first crush.”

My face heats as a blush spreads across my cheeks. I purse my lips and tilt my head, “Oli Evans? Ms. Hanson’s third grade class? You had a crush on me?”

The symphony of leaves continues as I take two steps toward this vaguely familiar stranger. If I remember right he was a sweet, shy kid, who’s two front teeth were too big for his small face. Standing in front of me now was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome.

“Of course I did, you were definitely the prettiest girl in our school. What’re you doing in Midtown?”

“I meet some girlfriends here once a month for coffee. What are you doing here?”

He opens the passenger door to the grey sedan he’s standing by, grabbing an envelope and turning back toward me with a wicked smile, “I’m actually here for you. Charlotte Granger, you’ve been served.”