Secret Admirer by Ally Hayes

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  • Andi’s new to town and looking for a fresh start in the dating department. She’s attracted to the guy she sees each morning, but begins flirting via text with Garrett, a friend of her new co-workers. Despite many attempts and determination, she misses opportunities to introduce herself to Cute Coffee Shop Guy or actually meet Garrett in person. With Valentine’s Day approaching she succumbs to the sugar rush of Candy Hearts and when ‘Secret Admirer’ continues to appear in the messages, she takes it as a sign to decide which guy is her real Secret Admirer.


    I pulled my sporty hybrid into a spot right in front of the aptly named Fresh Start Café. The irony did not escape me. A loud overhead door chime announced my entrance. Though still not quite perky, I gave a weak smile to the few people who instinctively turned. I ordered a large cup to go and walked past the glass case of pastries toward the counter along the far wall offering the requisite sugars, creamers, stirrers, and lids. I only needed a lid, but that proved to be more challenging than I could’ve imagined. I struggled to secure it while avoiding a spill, but I couldn’t produce a seal.

    “They are a bit tricky, but the upside is once they’re on, they’re on for good.”

    Upon hearing a sexy—yet friendly—male voice, I looked up and blushed upon discovering the face matched the voice. He had medium length, messy, brown hair and soft blue eyes framed by amazing eyelashes. I caught myself staring and quickly looked away and resumed my mission with a renewed effort.

    “Yes, snug I guess. You’re right.” Thankfully the lid made a satisfying pop at that moment indicating my victory in the lid battle. I quickly straightened, my hands shaking in time with my racing heart. I wasn’t expecting to run into a cute guy first thing in the morning. The combination of surprise and attraction woke me better than any cup of French Roast could.

    The cute guy finished preparing his coffee and tossed his wooden stir stick into the open trash can. “Have a good one.” He walked away, humming an upbeat tune.

    I envied him. I wanted to be a happy, humming morning person too. Maybe if I saw his welcoming face at the start of each day I could be. I hoped this was part of his usual morning routine; buying coffee at the Fresh Start would certainly be mine. A cute guy like that could do wonders for my mood. I imagined seeing him again and kept grinning during the remainder of the commute.

    Five minutes later, I arrived at my new office building. My heart rate increased once again at the anticipation of a new job. The building itself was a bland, beige, brick and identical to the others in the office park, but the construction was recent and inviting. I stood outside the exterior door before entering the building for a moment to compose myself and take in the enormity of what I was about do—start over.


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Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer

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