Image by Kimberley Blazon (no attribution link)

“Don, “I’ve got crabs” should never—I repeat—never be used as a pick up line.” I dropped my bag for a moment, figuring Don’s shack was as good a place as any to rest for a few minutes. I’d used my extra-big reusable shopping bag, thinking it would make the 3/4 mile walk to the store easier, but just one jug of Arizona sweet tea was heavy no matter what size bag you put it in. And they were buy one, get one free today.

“It worked on your sister…” His grin was infectious. It was so hard to keep a straight face with him.

“The sound of the velcro on your wallet opening is what worked on my sister. She already had crabs.”

Don laughed. His short-lived relationship with my sister was certainly laughable, as were her relationships with half the crabmen in Juneau. “Hey Daph…” he gestured to the tramway climbing the mountain behind me “…ever do it on the tram?”

I gave him my best disapproving look. A smoothtalker, he was not. Sweet, sure. And funny. But he was better at interacting with crustaceans than with women.

“Seriously Daph. How come you never give me a chance?”

I had to think about that one. It wasn’t that I didn’t know the answer, it was that I didn’t really want to tell him the answer.

The truth was, I’d thought he was adorable from the first day I saw him. I’d left small town Alaska for Juneau the day I graduated High School. What I hadn’t expected was that, one year later, my little sister would follow me.

I’d only met Don a few months before. Well, not actually “met.” We bought some crabs at his shack to celebrate my friend’s engagement, and I’d found excuses to run into him here and there. But when Slutvinnia decided she was going to move to Juneau with me, I became invisible. No one, especially no male, notices me when Slutvinnia is around.

Don put the crab down, and he stood over me, kinda protective-like. His hand was on my elbow, and his eyebrows scrunched together. I’d never seen him serious. “Hey, Daph, what’s wrong? Really? Did I do something?”

I took a deep breath, pretending it was a sigh although it was really my defense against tears. Tears were Slutvinnia’s tool, not mine. “Are you really flirting with me Don?”

I have no idea where the words came from. It certainly wasn’t what I meant to say.

“Well, duh. Yeah. Of course I am! I’ve flirted with you for two years, even though all you ever do is laugh me off or roll your eyes. What is it?” He sniffed his armpits dramatically “Do I stink or something?”

I rolled my eyes and I laughed. “No. You smell like… salt. That’s all. It’s a good smell.”

“Then, well, how about it?”

“How about what? You were asking me if I’ve ever “done it” in the tram! That’s even worse than “I’ve got crabs” as a pickup line.”

He had the decency to look chagrinned. “Point taken. So…” he looked down at his boots, shuffling them on the muddy floor. “…how about a date? A real one. You and me. I mean, nothing fancy, but… I could afford Denny’s, and a movie. Give a guy a chance?”

If you’re wondering, I did say yes. But now that our kids are asking about how we met, I’ve really got to think up another nickname for their aunt…

This was written for today’s flash fiction prompt.

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