By Jeannie Yee Davis
Jasper double-parked in front of Bob’s Creamery to deliver the last package on his route for Sentiment Gifters. With vacationers meandering about town, great for business, awful for drivers, Jasper fell behind schedule and drained but determined to make his last delivery.
He dashed into the Creamery and was stunned by a pretty petite in a pink uniform with a short auburn ponytail serving a customer. Her angelic features enthralled and rejuvenated him. “Can I help you?” Her words snapped him back to the moment.
“I have a delivery for Natalie,” Jasper glanced at his device then at the name ‘Natalie’ on the clerk’s uniform. Jasper placed the small package down before handing her his device. “This is for you, Natalie. Sign, please.”
“For me? Who sent it?” She signed, observing the box.
Jasper studied his log, “Anonymous.”
She squinted, furrowed her brows, and gave Jasper a ‘really’ look. Jasper shrugged, “Hey, that’s what it says.”
Natalie untied the ribbon, lifted the lid revealing a bowl of M&M’s with a card that read, “Monday’s M&M’s: Let these melt in your mouth and not in your hands to coat the insides of your heart until it expands. Your Secret Admirer.” She flipped the card over, “Hmm, no name.”
“You have a secret admirer,” Jasper smirked. He turned to leave and muttered, “Rats, she’s taken.”
Jasper’s heart danced when he saw another package for Natalie the next day. Natalie waved when she noticed him outside. He waved back and tripped on his own feet. She giggled. He felt his face heat up. He waited until she finished ringing up her customer before placing the package on the counter. She glanced at the name on his shirt. “Hey Jasper, you’re back! Is that for me?”
“If you’re Natalie, then yeah, this is for you.” He tapped the box and skimmed his delivery screen, “Anonymous again. What did you get today?”
She untied the pretty ribbon to reveal a treat bag and card that read, “Tuesday’s Twix comes in a pack of two. No more, no less, but there’s so much more for you. Your Secret Admirer.”
“Wow, that’s so romantic! Who is he?” a patron who walked in asked.
“No clue,” Natalie darted towards Jasper.
“Don’t look at me. I’m just the messenger,” he shrugged, and Natalie winced.
Jasper raced to his station the next morning, curious if another package awaited for Natalie. A part of him felt the joy of seeing her again, while the other part meant another gift from her secret admirer. His elevated spirits crashed to the ground in a flash.
Natalie pulled off the ribbon and read, “Wednesday’s Wacky Wafers with many flavors like our time together will never waver. Your Secret Admirer.”
“I’d fall for him if I were a girl,” Jasper chuckled. “Any clue who the guy is?”
“None. Is he you?” Natalie asked furtively, chewing her lip.
“Me? Nah! I wish,” Jasper blushed, shaking his head.
“Well, it’s fun. Something to look forward to tomorrow,” Natalie quickly changed direction.
The next day, Jasper raced to his station and looked for Natalie’s package. At first, he didn’t see one. It was buried under some other packages. He let it ride shotgun. Natalie, her coworker, and the patron from the day before awaited his arrival. They were almost more eager than Natalie, and Jasper, to see what the secret admirer sent today. “Thursday’s Twinkies cream and cake were meant to be. Just like you and me. Your Secret Admirer.”
“Oh, whoever he is, I’m in love,” Natalie’s coworker said whimsically.
“You and me both,” Natalie peeked at Jasper and asserted, “Where’s he taking me?” Her words cut into Jasper’s core, not certain he wanted to know the answer.
Anticipating Natalie’s delivery became the thing they all did. Today was no different. “Friday’s Ferrero Rocher is a ball of fun when nuts and chocolate rolled into one. Just wait ‘til you see what’s in store for you and me. Your Secret Admirer.”
“That’s it,” Natalie exclaimed, “I’m marrying him.” Everybody laughed, adding they would marry the guy if she didn’t.
With all eyes over her shoulder, Natalie read her next gift, “Saturday’s Starbursts are to be expected. Just wait and see. When you say yes to, ‘Will you marry me? Your Secret Admirer.”
“Here’s your chance,” her coworker nudged her.
Natalie gasped. “I was joking!” She turned to Jasper. “You sure you don’t know the sender?”
Jasper showed her the delivery log, and she skimmed it. “Wait! This isn’t for me. I’m Nataleigh. I replaced Natalie. The boss insisted on reusing uniforms.
“Nice. Maybe I can ask you out sometime then?” Jasper gushed.
Natalie smiled. “I kept hoping you were the sender.”
“You and me both. Since I first saw you, I knew you’re the one for me.”