He was just a normal young man who worked at a grocery store. Day after day he stood there behind the cash register, he listened to customers complaining about things like impractical placement of cheeses, watched the endless rivers of products flowing by him on the conveyor belt. When he had started working there he thought it would be interesting, getting to see different kinds of people, but in the end all he saw was faces in the crowd, melting together into a big ball of goo. That ball of goo and every person inside it was called customers. Just customers. No real names, nothing individual about any of them.
That's why he didn't pay any attention to Don either. Don walked into the store one day, it was the first time he had been there. It wasn't exactly his neighborhood store but that day he had walked past it on his way home and decided to stop by. Don found his way to the right shelf and carefully chose the best looking one from a big pile of green apples. That was all he wanted, an apple. But when he was about to go pay for it he noticed the boy at the cash register. The boy's movements looked mechanical as he passed on the groceries on the conveyor belt. He had short mousy blonde hair with slight angel curls that made him look younger than he probably was. From a distance he didn't look too striking in his tasteless store uniform but when Don got closer he had a short and meaningless eye contact with him. During that one second he could see the deep look in his greenish eyes and he knew he wanted to know that boy better. He dropped the apple on the conveyor belt and while he stood in the line waiting for his turn to pay he couldn't stop staring at him. There was something about him that made Don think the boy had something to do with his life, that the boy was important. Who knew if he really had a hunch of what was going to happen or if it was just love at a first sight.
But the boy didn't seem to notice anything. As Don's turn came they shared another short eye contact and the boy smiled at him quickly. It wasn't a real smile, it was a smile that had been nailed on his face to please the customers. Don couldn't think of anything else to say than simple "hey". The boy answered and told him the price of the apple.
"Do you wanna keep the receipt?" he asked, Don said no and in a few seconds he stood outside the store again. He felt like he should have said or done something more. But what? He couldn't have done anything without seeming weird or desperate. "Hey, what's your name, I think we should be friends." He decided to just stop thinking about it.
In a few days Don had forgotten it all. He wasn't the kind of person who hanged on to little things like that. And he was good at forgetting. He was practical, he had his life to live and he didn't want to let unexplained but meaningless things bother him too much. Every once in a while the boy came back to his thoughts, he wondered what more he could have said to him. But the thought of going back to the store never crossed his mind.
And so it took about a year or so before Don met the boy again. When he saw him he knew he had seen him somewhere before but he couldn't remember where. And he never remembered before it was too late.