I WAS ONLY THERE for lunch but when I saw her for the first time, I knew there was a higher purpose.  She was wearing what all the other waitresses were, a pair of black slacks grayed from too many washings with a white dress shirt and pair of black shoes.  She was immaculate except for her shirt which had a bright yellow mustard stain on the left side of her chest.


      Her hair was long and walnut brown, pulled back sternly in a ponytail that was slightly off-center.  Bright azure-blue eyes sparkled in greeting as she moseyed up to my table.  She smiled in a way that made me feel like I was truly welcomed, like I was her only table, the only customer in the whole restaurant.

      At that moment, I was hers forever.

      "Hi!  Welcome to lunch at Fizzby's.  What can I get you to drink?"  Her voice was perky but not bubbly.  Her smile stayed intact while she waited for my answer, her head cocked slightly to the right.

      "Water will be fine," I answered, still lost in her eyes.

      I watched her walk away to get my drink.  I wanted to follow.  There wasn't anything sexual about her lure, although that was definitely there also, it was something deeper, more primal.

      "Here you go," she said as she set the glass down on the table.  She had put a nice fat lemon wedge on the lip just for me.  "Do you know what you'd like to eat or do you need more time?"

      There was that smile again, as brilliant as before like it was the most natural thing in the world for her to do.  She had dimples set into her cheeks I hadn't noticed before, and tiny little brown freckles on her nose she'd tried to cover up with a little make-up.  She wore a thin sliver of eyeliner and some basic eyeshadow, the lightest of sky blue that served to accent her eyes perfectly.

      "Um … how about anything without mustard?" I answered.

      Her forehead wrinkled slightly, then a smile spread across her face and she glanced down.  Her laugh was intoxicating.  "Had a little fight with the mustard bottle this morning and lost," she said with a smirk.

      "Yeah?  It looks like it."  I searched for something witty to say.  "I hope you weren't mortally wounded."

      She laughed again.  "No, but you should see the mustard bottle."  I chuckled.  She looked to be around my age, late twenties or so, judging by the tiny crow's feet around her eyes.  She barely wore any make-up, her beauty was natural.

      "Isn't your name French?" I asked, looking at her nametag.  It read Shermanne.

      She smiled in surprise.  "Yeah!  How did you know that?"

      I shrugged.  "Had more French in school than I care to know.  Pronounced sher-MAIN, right?"  I put the accent on the second syllable.

      Her face brightened.  "Yeah, it is.  I think you're the first person not to call me Sherman, like the Civil War General."

      I grinned and said, "So, there must be a story behind such a beautiful name."  See how I snuck that in there?