It's been one of those inexplicably slow days, where it seems the universe has just decided that there's no need for anyone to have pie today. They get those, every once in a while. Ned takes it as a chance to stay in the back and create new pies, and Olive takes it as a chance to eat her way through the Pie-Maker's successful creations. While they're still in the oven, she passes the time by reading romance novels and daydreaming, in equal parts.
She's in the middle of imagining her and Ned on vacation at the beach, when the little bell above the door jingles and someone walks in.
Olive jumps up immediately, and stashes her book on one of the barstools. "Hiya! Welcome to The Pie Hole."
"Um, hi," says the man, slouching lower in his grey hoodie.
Olive gestures to the empty restaurant, and says, "Sit down wherever, I'll go grab you a menu."
When Olive comes back, the man's sitting in a booth, hunched in on himself a little. He only scans the menu for a moment before saying, "Uh, I'll have a slice of apple pie. A la mode, please? Um. Thanks." He scratches the back of his neck before handing the menu over.
Olive tilts her head at him and nods, says, "Sure, I'll be back in a jiffy!" and goes to cut him a slice of pie. She sets it down in front of him, and slides into the seat across from him. "So what's got you down?" she asks.
"Down? I'm not down. I'm perfectly, um, up. Very up."
"Honey, how many people do you think order apple pie in a place with at least twenty different kinds of pie?"
The man blinks. "Probably a lot," he says.
Olive crosses her arms, a little put out. Damn. She had gotten so many people to believe she could tell their moods by what kind of pie they ordered. "Well, yeah," she admits. "But most of them don’t do it looking like their dog just got ran over by their ex-girlfriend."
He shrugs, and shoves a piece of pie in his mouth.
"So what's your name, anyway?" she says, realizing she hasn't asked yet.
He swallows, and replies, "Billy."
Olive leans her head on her hand, and says, "Am I not bartender-ish enough, or something? Do I not look like someone you can spill all your troubles onto?"
Billy looks up at her, fidgeting a little. "No, no, you're fine. I mean. It's just." He pushes a stray apple around on his plate. "There's this girl," he says, finally.
"Ah," Olive says, nodding, a look of understanding on her face.
"And, I just. I mean. I really like her, and it's like. She doesn't even know I exist."
"Well, then you've got to make her know!" Olive says. "Step up to the plate. Have you talked to her?"
"Then go say hi! Here, just a sec." She starts fishing around in her pocket for something, and finally gets a coupon for two free slices of pie. "Say you got this in the mail, and don't know anyone who likes pie."
Billy looks at the card like it might bite him. "Everyone likes pie," he points out.
"That's not important." Olive shoves the card at him until he takes it. "Now go, go!" she says, shooing him out of the booth.
"Um," he says, "what about the bill?"
Olive waves a hand dismissively. "On the house, as long as you come back with the lucky girl." Billy leaves reluctantly, and Olive waves at his back as he goes.
She settles back on her barstool, lays her head on her arms, stares off into the distance, and sighs.