There was a private picnic table behind Red's Tastee Freeze designated for workers when on break.
Jessica Bannon was seated at the table with her hand buried in her cheek as she sipped on a lemonade. Her co-worker Bruce Davis emerged from the rear door and he took a seat across from Jessica with a coke in his hand.
"You don't look very happy," he noticed.
"I'm fine," Jessica said with a sigh, her red hair flowing in the summer breeze.
"You sure?" Bruce asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I don't know," she admitted heavily. "Did you think we'd still be working here our third year in college?"
"Never really thought about it," Bruce replied with a shrug. "I mean, it's a job we know well. We've been doing it since high school."
"That's exactly my point," Jessica complained. "We're in college!"
"It's a good job," Bruce reasoned.
"With a tip jar on the counter for our college fund," she said, rolling her eyes.
"What's bugging you?" Bruce wanted to know.
"Nothing," Jessica muttered. "I guess I'm living a fake life, that's all."
"What do you mean?" He asked, studying her with interest.
"I'm about to be a junior at Wellesley College, a prestigious women's institution, and I'm still serving ice cream cones."
"You came back to this job for a reason," Bruce remarked.
"Yeah, because it's the only thing I know how to do," Jessica grumbled.
"Again, I ask, what's got a hair up your ass?" Bruce wondered.
"I bet I'm the only Wellesley student who's sloshing ice cream this summer," she said unhappily.
"Oh, so you now think this gig is beneath you because you're a big deal collegian at a prominent school?"
"No," Jessica said, slightly embarrassed. "I realize the only reason I'm there is because some great-aunt I never met willed her house to my parents and they used the funds from that sale to pay for most of my tuition," she said. "I'm just a normal middle class girl from Hillsboro trying to fake her way through."
"There's nothing wrong with that," Bruce assured her.
"Except that I may have inadvertently falsely expanded my portfolio," Jessica sheepishly admitted.
"In what way?" Bruce asked with curiosity.
"My roommate Ashley thinks I'm dating Hanson Devlin and working for his family's business," Jessica revealed.
Bruce burst out laughing. "Seriously?"
"It's not funny," Jessica pouted.
"You told your roommate that you're dating the richest most stuck up kid in Blue County?"
"He went to Sun Rise Lake School For Boys prep school," she pointed out. "He lives in the nicest house on the hilltop. Devlin Industries is internationally known."
"You barely know the guy!"
"I went to his birthday party in sixth grade," Jessica argued defensively.
"Oh well," Bruce said sarcastically. "That covers it!"
"Shut up!" She said with annoyance.
"Don't worry, she'll never find out," Bruce predicted.
"She invited me to her family's summer house on some lake in New Hampshire this weekend," Jessica said unhappily. "She invited Hanson along too."
"Ah, so that's why you're sulking."
"I'll have to come up with some lame excuses to blow her off for the rest of the summer," Jessica said. "Either that or show up stag like the loser I am."
Bruce could see how dejected she was. "Actually," he said after a few moments of thought. "There is another solution."
"What?" Jessica asked hopefully.
"I could be Hanson Devlin," Bruce told her.
She looked at him blankly. "You mean pretend you're Hanson Devlin?"
"Has your roommate ever seen pictures of him?"
"Of course not."
"Well then," Bruce said easily.
Jessica stared at him for a long moment. "You want to pretend to be my boyfriend? You want to pretend to be Hanson Devlin?"
"Do you want to go to the lake or not?" Bruce grinned. "Do you want to keep the fake news alive or not?"
"You went to a public high school, just finished community college, live in a house in the flats, and cook hamburgers and hot dogs at an ice cream stand," She frowned. "As if you could pull off being Hanson Devlin.
"You went to a public high school, live in a similar house three blocks from me, and serve ice cream," Bruce pointed out. "You thought you could pull it off. Besides," he added, "I'm starting Green College."
"It's probably not a good idea trying to fake it," Jessica concluded.
"Look, you're worried about your image when you get back to Wellesley," Bruce said. "You might as well keep faking it now."
"I just want to fit in," She said quietly.
"Let's go fit in at the lake," Bruce proposed.
She considered his plan for a moment. "I don't know," she sighed.
"What do you have to lose?" Bruce asked.
"Only my dignity, my credibility, and my reputation," Jessica remarked.
"You already started the lie," Bruce said. "You might just as well continue it."
"Do you really think we could pull it off with Ashley and her boyfriend?" Jessica asked.
"I'm willing to give it a try," Bruce let her know. "If you are."
She rubbed her chin in thought. "We need to get back in there," she said, gesturing to the ice cream building. "Let me think about it for a while."
"Sure," Bruce agreed. "Let me know and remember that I'm all in."
They both left the table and went back inside to continue their summer job.