The boy was never alone, he always had a girl and another boy with him. Either alternating or a conglomerate trio, the blond boy with the far-off stare was always with someone. Kale assumed the group were friends who all lived close to one another. Maybe went to the same school. When he first saw him, Kale thought the dark-haired girl was his girlfriend but after about a week of benign observation, that was very evidently false.
At first it was subconscious, at a certain time, usually early afternoon, the trio would stroll past Kale’s store-front. Like Pavlov’s dog, the stroke of 2:30 made Kale glace up towards the street from behind his counter every few minutes or so until he heard the girl’s familiar voice. While a bit on the loud side, it wasn’t unpleasant. Or, if it was the taller boy’s voice; booming with assurance and positivity. That one Kale wasn’t sure he could stand for too long but then again, he was likely much older than them. Unfortunately, that was usually the case. Nearing 30 is a shitty age to be single.
The group would pass almost every day around 3 in the afternoon. And then, Kale’s craving for a cigarette seemed to sync up with that event. But, like always, the blond was with his friends. And while Kale’s people skills tend to be o the above-average side of things, approaching a group of younger adults with the intention to pursue one of them was most certainly not in his repertoire.
To say Kale has a crush on the nameless, voiceless blond man is perhaps a bit too presumptuous. The jeweler does not feel affection quickly or easily but fascination and intrigue are emotions with which he is very familiar. And fascinated by that person Kale very much was. To the point where one day he heard the girl say something about ‘Daniel’s birthday’. Then, and only then, did Kale hear the blond’s voice pipe up through the glass windows of his shop and object to the idea of anyone getting him presents. What a serendipitous way to learn someone’s name. That night, Kale got to work on a gift.
It’s simple. Boring even. But Daniel didn’t strike Kale as someone who preferred flashy and expensive jewelry. A simple brown leather bracelet with two charms dangling from small loops; the symbol of the Pisces zodiac and a chip of aquamarine. For days Kale left the box sitting out on the sidewalk just outside of his shop, waiting for one of the three to notice it. Two days went by and not even a glance at the admittedly unassuming box. Then, Kale got the bold idea to get a balloon, get it filled with helium, and tie it around the box and leave it for them a third time. Finally, it was noticed. By the girl, Kale watched subtly from the safety of his shop. He hoped today was Daniel’s birthday and fate had given him a nod.
The box was opened by the girl but was quickly shoved at Daniel whose face got pink. Kale’s only guess could be that she saw his very simple ‘Happy birthday’ note on the inside of the box. The other two looked around for a culprit while Daniels fiddled with the bracelet. Maybe one of them would put together who it was. Maybe they wouldn’t. In the end, Kale felt it wouldn’t matter much. All he cared about right then was that the withdrawn blond boy liked his gift.