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Will watched as the girl entered the coffee shop, mesmerized. Her short dress swished as she walked, kicking up the multitude of pastel layers like she was a fae, caught in a world of harsh lines and bold colours. She laughed with the barista at the counter, her voice echoing towards Will like the sound of a crystal wine glass being clinked. As she collected her order and headed towards the back of the shop, Will smiled to himself, admiring the way she walked, with a slight twist to her step to best set her hips swaying.

“You’re staring.” She said as she walked past his table. Will broke out of his reverie with a slight shake of his head.

“I’m sorry, I was just… Waiting for someone.” The girl beamed a smile towards him.

“Well I’m meeting someone. Perhaps it’s you?” She said with a wink. Will smiled back at her, straightening out in his seat.

“Perhaps it is. Are you Dianna?”

“Call me Dia, only my mother calls me that.” She said as she plunked herself into the spare seat. “So Mr. William Cooper, we meet at last.”

It was Will’s turn to laugh. “Please, call me Will. Only my father calls me William.”

“Will then.” Dia said, taking a sip of her whip cream and sprinkle covered drink. Will stirred his coffee, two sugars, two cream, and realized that all the conversation topics he’d prepared for this date had flown clear from his brain. He sipped at his coffee to stall, suddenly panicked at the idea of talking to this woman with hair like spun gold.

Dia put down her drink, taking in Will in his off-white dress shirt and beige pants. “So Will, what do you do for a living?” Will hastily swallowed his coffee.

“Oh, I’m a business analyst at a tech company. We work just down the road, making software that helps stores order and ship new stock…”

“Oh!” Dia said like she’d worked out a puzzle, “Did you just come from work then?” Will felt his cheeks grow warm. He self-consciously glanced at his outfit that he’d spent all morning agonizing over.

“I… Yes, I did.” He rushed his way to a new topic, “What about you, what do you do for work?” Now it was Dia who seemed self-conscious.

“I work at a used bookstore down on Main Street, but on weekdays I’m a waitress.” She replied. “The bookstore is really cool, I’d work there full time if I could, but there’s never enough hours. You know how it goes.” Will nodded along, stopping himself at her last words.

“I guess… I mean, I’ve never really had that sort of job. Unitech hired me right out of University, I’ve been working there since.” Dia pursed her lips, and Will stumbled in his words.

“Uh… Pets!” His brain latched onto a new conversation topic, vaguely recalling the list he’d looked up over his lunch hour. “Do you have any pets?”

The lights turned back on on Dia’s face, as she clasped her hands together near her face.

“Yes! I have the cutest little cockatiel at home! I named her Pearl, she’s super affectionate for a bird. She always wants to come out and cuddle with me when I’m watching TV.”

“So you’re a bird person?” Will said with a smile. “Does she sing for you?”

“All the time. I can barely get her to shut up most days, she always wants to sing along to the commercials. What about you?” Will spread his hands.

“I just have a dog. Her name’s Gabriel, she’s a bit of a handful.”

Dia laughed. “I should have guessed you’re a dog person.”

“What’s that mean?”

“It’s just a safe pet.” Dia said. “A safe pet for the guy who works a safe job.” Will pursed his lips.

“Are you saying I’m boring?” He asked.

“You’re just very… average.” Dia replied, “Not that average is bad, but it’s just not very exciting. I should have expected Becky to set me up with someone like you.”

Will looked Dia up, taking in this brilliant gem of a woman who’d walked into his life. He could see this date slipping quickly downhill, just like his last 6 dates had gone. He couldn’t let this one slip away too, not this woman who’d so captivated his eye. He looked into her twinkling eyes as he got up from his seat, pulling her towards the door with a mischievious smile.

“Come. Let’s go do something more exciting then.”