“I’ll take a Pepsi,” you say, sitting in the barstool at Lou’s Diner. You’re the only customer in the diner, which you usually are this early in the morning.
Lou chuckles. “Isn’t it a bit early for a Pepsi, Y/N?”
You scoff. “Would you rather I order a milkshake?”
He throws his hands up in innocence. “Hey, I’m just trying to keep your teeth from rotting out.”
“Whatever, Lou. Goldie looks great,” you say, winking at the waiter. He smiles at you, wiping the tables behind you clean.
Lou scoffs and slides the glass of Pepsi in front of you. “Didn’t your father ever tell you how to be a proper lady? What lady says ‘whatever?’”
“What good is being a lady? Then all the girls would be exactly the same. I’m more interesting than that,” you say, taking a sip from your glass. Of course, it is true. You’ve been criticized more than once for that very reason. So what if you prefer pants over dresses? So what if you’d rather play with trucks than dolls? It never made any sense to you, even as a child, but it was out of your control.
“Y/N wouldn’t be Y/N without her sass, Lou,” Goldie adds.
“Well, I can’t argue with that,” Lou agrees with a chuckle.
You chuckle in response and take another sip of your Pepsi. You hardly notice as another boy walks in and sits a couple seats to your left. “Besides, the way I see it, I’ll get a more interesting boy the more I act like myself.”
Despite being different from other girls in many ways, you still share their infatuation with attractive boys. You’ve had crushes from school (that of course never went anywhere), random infatuation with strangers from the street, and of course actors, your favorite being a young Fred Astaire. However, your odd personality tends to drive guys away from you. Still, you haven’t given up hope.
“I guess you could look at it that way,” Lou replies, sliding the boy next to you a bowl of cereal. You recognize him as George McFly, and you nod at him, to which he turns his head away.
“Lou, how did you and your wife meet?” You ask, taking another sip of your Pepsi. Lou pauses his wipe down of the countertop that you’re sitting at and looks at you. “I mean, was it love at first sight? Did you hate each other at first and fall in love later? Did you ever cheat on her? Probably not. I bet she’s as beautiful as you tell me she is.”
Lou smiles a bit. “We met at a going away party right before the first World War. Her brother and my cousin were good friends, so they had a combined party. I was invited too, of course, since I was also about to be shipped out. I went and when I first laid my eyes on her, I couldn’t imagine any other woman as my wife.” Your smile grows as his does, and you put your chin in your hands as you listen with great curiosity to his story. “We got to talking and we decided to get married that night, the night before I was shipped out. When I got back home, we moved in together and we never regretted anything. We still don’t.”
You sigh dreamily. “That’s so romantic. Your relationship sounds like the perfect plot to a romance novel. Do you think that’s how it will happen for me?”
“Well, no, considering World War One is over, so you’ll never be able to attend a going away party before you’re shipped out,” Lou teases.
You roll your eyes playfully. “Come on you get my point.”
Lou laughs and just walks away, finishing up his work on the countertop.
Suddenly, the peace is interrupted by someone barging in through the doors. You turn around to look at him, and are shocked by what you see. He’s probably the most handsome boy you’ve ever seen. He’s about five foot five with a smooth face and hard jawline. His hair is long, about to the end of his neck, and he looks lost, almost desperate. Don’t do anything stupid, you tell yourself, trying to prevent hyperventilating.
“Hey kid, what’d you do, jump ship?” Lou asks, interrupting your thoughts.
The boy looks at Lou, confused. “What?”
“What’s with the life preserver?”
You know that Lou is just trying to be funny, but the boy looks genuinely confused, almost in tears, and you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He moves forward a little bit, his look changing to that of desperation. Quietly, he looks back at Lou and says, “I just want to use the phone.”
You look back to your friend to see that his face has also changed, though his into one of pure confusion. “Yeah, it’s in the back,” he says, and the kid nods in thanks.
Goldie looks at you and widens his eyes. “He’s a weirdo,” he mouths. You smile and nod.
“You like him, don’t you?” Lou asks, winking at you.
“What? No! I don’t even know him!”
Lou looks back at Goldie, and they share a knowing glance at your expense. The boy walks back out before you can respond, and you look back at him.
“Do you know where 1640 Riversi-”
“Are you gonna order something kid?” Lou asks him, getting annoyed with his weirdness.
The boy gulps. “Uh… yeah.” He sits down between you and George and you can’t help but notice that he smells like soda and weak cologne. It’s a strange smell, but it’s also strangely addictive to your nose, and you can’t help but want more of him. “Give me uh… give me a Tab,” he says, and you narrow your eyes.
“Tab? I can’t give you a tab unless you order something.”
“Okay… give me a Pepsi Free.”
You’re just as confused as Lou is. Something is up with this boy, and it can’t be anything good. Maybe he's a criminal? Boy, that would sure make for a story to tell.
“If you want a Pepsi, pal, you’re going to pay for it!” Lou says, obviously confused and annoyed.
The boy, clearly as frustrated as everyone else, gives up. “Look, just give me something without any sugar in it, alright?”
Lou scoffs. “Something without sugar…” He sets a cup of black coffee in front of him, and the boy throws down a bunch of random coins.
You stare at the boy, noticing that him and George are doing the same motion with their hands. They both have their hands on the back of their neck, their heads down. You squint your eyes, wondering if they could somehow be related.
Before you have a chance to ask, you hear the booming voice of the town bully, Biff Tannen. “Hey McFly!” You don’t even bother to turn to look at him, knowing he just wants attention, but both boys turn to look at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
You withhold a groan, not really in the mood to watch George get tortured today. “Biff,” you hear the strange boy mumble beside you, staring at Biff as if he’s surprised to see him. You look at him, both intrigued and confused. He must be new in town, right? Still, that wouldn’t explain how he knows Biff. It would explain his nervousness when he first walked in, but not his weird outfit or his confusing orders. I’m going to figure him out, you decide, not knowing where on Earth to start.
“Hey I’m talking to you, you Irish bug!” Biff says, walking over to stand behind George, the strange boy’s eyes following him. You all simply sit and watch as Biff tortures poor George, intimidating him into doing the bully’s homework. You try to get a better look at the boy sitting beside you, but he can’t seem to peel his eyes away from George, even after Biff leaves.
Why? What am I missing? You wonder.
Finally, George gets annoyed and throws his spoon into his bowl. “What?” He asks the boy staring at him.
“You’re George McFly!” the boy exclaims, making you even more curious.
“Yeah, who are you?”
Before the boy gets a chance to answer, Goldie slides over and tries to understand why George would let Biff and his posse push him around. Of course, knowing George, you know the conversation won’t make a difference to him. He’ll never change. Only a miracle could make that happen.
“No, sir! I’m going to night school and someday, I’m gonna be somebody!” Goldie says, still trying to convince George to stand up for himself.
“That’s right, he’s gonna be mayor!” The boy says, and you look over at him, really confusing you. How on earth could he possibly know that? And if he doesn’t know, then why would he say anything?
“Yeah I’m gonna be… mayor… now that’s a good idea. I could run for mayor!” Goldie walks away from them a bit, and George finally packs up his things and leaves. The strange boy doesn’t notice, as he’s too busy watching the conversation between Goldie and Lou. You look at his eyes. They’re a light blue, like a summer sky on a sunny day, but clouded over with a fog that you can’t find an explanation for. Worry? Stress? Concern?
When Goldie is finished, you’re about to ask the strange boy where he’s from when his spoon drops into the cup with a loud clink. He looks outside and watches as George gets on his bike and pedals away, ringing his bell as he goes.
“Shit,” he mumbles, jumping out of his seat and running to the door.
“Wait!” you call out, right as he’s leaving the diner. He looks back at you, and you gulp. “What’s your name?” You ask dumbly.
“Uh… Marty,” he says with a nod, before running after George, calling after him. You don’t hear what he shouts at him, as your mind is too busy racing with daydreamy thoughts.
Marty, you think. The name of an angel.
“Y/N?” Lou asks, snapping his fingers in front of your face. You blink and suddenly you’re back in reality, Marty’s lips no longer on yours.
Goldie smirks. “Somebody has a crush,” he teases.
“Oh come on, Y/N. We all saw how you were drooling over that boy,” Goldie continues.
You can feel your cheeks grow hot. “No, no. I don’t even know that boy.”
Lou scoffs. “Come on, we’re not idiots. It’s pretty obvious that you have a crush on him.”
Your cheeks grow redder, and you fold your arms over your chest. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” you insist.
The employees laugh. “Whatever you say, Y/N,” Goldie says, turning back to his sweeping.
With your cheeks still burning, you stand up and grab your belongings. “Where are you going, Y/N?”
“Nowhere,” you say, before running out of the diner to find a quiet spot to write about the love of your life.