“Aw, man!” Ellie exclaimed as she dashed into the MouseGear gift shop, using her bag as a makeshift umbrella. She shivered a bit, despite the store being room-temperature, and set her bag down upon an open shelf. After wiping her hands on her trousers, she pulled off her sneakers in two fell swoops, “Now where did that come from!?”
A man donning a black polo shirt and khaki trousers stepped out from behind one of the shelf displays, his hands stuffed into his pockets, “The rain? Well the sky, of course!” he grinned.
Ellie shot the stranger an unenthused glance, “Gee, thanks. Like I didn’t know that much.”
“That’s always been a peeve of mine,” he said, watching her slip off her damp, pink ankle socks and fold them into themselves.
She sighed in exasperation, “Rain or wet socks?”
“Oh neither,” he replied, waving a hand, “More like the public’s complete lack of awareness when it comes to weather. I’m a meteorologist, you see, board-certified and all you may have heard of me: Arnie Davies, BritTen News). Anyway, if the average Joe knew how much time and effort we put into our broadcasts and forecasting, they would know better than to not carry an umbrella on a day when the rain chance is high.”
Ellie sized up the man standing before her and pursed her lips, “Is that why you’re wet?” she gibed.
Ellie clicked her teeth knowing full well he heard her remark, “Is that why you’re wet, I said. Look at you! Your clothes are practically two-toned! And—” she peeked around him playfully, “I don’t even see an umbrella.”
Arnie reluctantly looked down at himself and scoffed, “Well, erm—”
“Yes?” she smirked.
“Well, I—I forgot,” he said, hanging his head in shame, “But at least my shoes weren’t soaked through!”
Ellie slapped him in jest with her bundle of socks.
“What was that for?!” he grimaced, brushing off his arm, “I don’t control the weather! Or your choice of attire, for that matter.”
“Yeah, but,” she batted her lashes and adopted her best American southern accent, “Would you really let lil’ ol’ me walk around this big ol’ park with these sopping wet shoes?”
Arnie raised a brow and took a minute deciding on how to respond. She was a rather beautiful woman with a very sweet voice. A bit sassy, but not obnoxiously so. And...alone? His eyes darted around looking for anyone who could possibly be here with her. The place was certainly chock-full of guests, but none seemed to pay any mind to either of them. He turned back to the young woman whose hand was firmly positioned on her hips and who wore a coquettish little smile.
It would be a shame for her to carry on squishing about for the rest of the day...
“I—I—no. No, I wouldn’t.”
“Good!” With a single finger she beckoned him over to the rack carrying a myriad of colourful, Disney-branded flip-flops and began to browse through them, “Hmm... Minnie or Daisy?”
“Daisy,” he asserted, despite not having any real opinion either way, “Oh, and what is your name, if I may ask?”
“Call me Ellie,” she smiled, and made her way to the cashier.
As they stepped out of line, Arnie slipped his wallet (and hand) back into his pocket. His keys jangled about as he fidgeted with them, “This is certainly the quickest I’ve ever paid for someone I’ve just met, but uh—”
A boom of thunder reverberated through the shop, making a poor baby wail at the sudden noise.
Arnie pulled out his phone and began scrolling and pressing methodically at the screen, his face hardened. In the meantime, Ellie slid on her turquoise and lavender-coloured flip-flops accented with a tiny Daisy Duck emblem and placed her bagged shoes and socks into her knapsack.
“You want my number?” she asked.
“Hm? Oh, no, I was checking the radar,” he leaned into her and pointed out the various features, “We’re here—that little white pushpin—and you can see the large expanse of rain that’s all around us. Going eastbound, see? At about ten miles per hour or…oh, sixteen kilometers? With a gust of about twenty. Luckily for us, the bands are mostly coloured green and yellow, with relatively small blotches of orange and red—a typical summer storm that should cease in about thirty minutes to an hour.”
Ellie nodded and made a hum of intrigue, “Fascinating. You really must tell me more, Arnie…”
He slipped his phone back into his pocket, “Is that sarcasm I detect?”
“Oh, not at all…,” They both gazed longingly into each other’s eyes. Elenya Brown’s cheeks softly flushed with pink. Admittedly, she was already keen on Mr Davies even before their fortuitous meeting at Disney World. It was rather defecting of her, a reporter for a rival station, to get her news from BriTen, but there was no beating Arnie’s style of weather broadcasting. How he could get away with such eccentricities on air was beyond her, but it was all completely endearing nonetheless.
“Good, because...we might as well settle in, wait for the rain to pass,” His face beamed, “The Electric Umbrella is right next door, and I think I could eat a horse right about now. How about you?”
“I’m absolutely starving.”