Beth stared at her reflection, a smile on her pretty face. "This will get their attention," she assured herself. She was tired of going unnoticed – of being invisible next to her perfect sister. But no one could miss her now that she was wearing an ultra-bright pink and blue puffy dress with matching converse and pink gloves. She even went to the extent to dye her once glossy chocolate brown hair pink and blue. Now people would pay her a second glance.
She laughed, grabbed her purse, and headed out the door to work. As she was walking down the sidewalk, she saw people doing double-takes at her. That's right, she thought. Now you notice me. She strode into the restaurant she worked at with her head held high. Her boss stopped her on her way behind the counter. "Sorry, miss, but only staff members are allowed back here."
"Dan – it's me! Beth!"
A look of shock and disbelief crossed his face, then uncomfort. "Oh... well, er, get to work then."
He walked away, but Beth could feel his gaze searing into her back. She walked behind the counter and was putting her stuff down when she heard a rude, young, male voice snap behind her, "Hey! Cotton Candy! Some service over here?"
She turned around and glared at the man and his friend. "It's just Candy, actually."
"As if the outfit wasn't enough! Come on guys, let's try to find someone to help us who isn't totally insane!"
Even though Beth knew the guys were jerks, she still felt her eyes getting wet. She whipped around and dabbed at them with a napkin.
"Candy, huh? I like it."
Beth jumped at the new voice. She turned back around and her eyes widened. The new guy's outfit matched her's. He had on a pink and blue suit, and his hair was a frosted light blue. There was an odd twinkle in his eyes.
"Uh... no, unfortunately," she replied. "My middle name's Candice and when I was five some of my friends called me that, but I really just said it to piss that guy off. My name's actually Beth."
The guy frowned. "Oh, too bad, Candy's a personal favorite of mine. And you seem like someone I could get really close to."
"Seriously? Even with the way I'm dressed? I'm starting to rethink it..."
"Don't!" the guy said seriously. "I think you look good enough to eat."
Beth felt her face heating up.
"Besides, if it's about those guys, I can assure you they were just Dum Dums." He pulled something out of his pocket and slid it across the counter.
She looked at it and laughed. Dum Dums. "How'd you do that?"
"It's a gift, Dove." He handed her a dove bar.
Beth giggled. "You're good. So what's your name?"
"Well, SweetTart," another candy was passed, "you can call me Sweet Tooth."
She smiled. "You got it, S.T."
Sweet Tooth grinned. "Well, as much as it is talking to a Hot Tamale like you – I've got to go."
Beth felt a wave of disappointment. "Oh. Well, hopefully I'll see you around, Sweet Tooth."
"Yes, we'd have a Spree, wouldn't we, Beth?" Sweet Tooth got up and started to leave.
"Wait!" Beth called after him. And she didn't know why but suddenly she was blurting, "You know, going by your middle name is all the rage now. I think I'll starting going by Candice – Candy for short."
Sweet Tooth looked at her seriously, but the corners of his mouth were twitching up. "Well, Candy, I sincerely hope we see each other soon."
And with that, he was gone. Beth – no, Candy – grabbed all the sweets off of the counter and stuffed them into her purse. Sweet Tooth... he'd been so strange, and yet she'd felt so drawn to him. But what if he never saw him again?
Little did she know that he would change her life forever.