For My Patrons 🔒 : Meetcute at the Dish Pit

The girl standing at the door was completely incongruous with the surroundings of the old-fashioned dish pit, and in an addled Turkish-coffee-and-sleep-deprived moment, Shea forgot that it was rude to stare.

For My Patrons 🔒 : Meetcute at the Dish Pit
Photo courtesy of Işıl.

These two characters have their very own Spotify playlist.


Shea was at the large sinks, cleaning out the last of the huge stock pots. Ze wore a ratty old apron wrapped around zeir waist, and zeir arms were elbow-deep and bright red in the scalding water. Atop zeir head, ze wore a faded pink baseball cap (it had once been red, a decade ago) turned sideways, to keep unruly hair safe from the steam.

Shea had been working at this hole-in-the-wall deli next to a tube station since the beginning of summer. It had been pretty good so far, even if the hours weren’t great. On top of keeping the walk-in organized and diving into the dish pit at the end of the day, ze was a half-decent prep cook. The owner, Nicki, never gave Shea a hard time when ze showed up to nearly every single shift 5 minutes late, sweaty and exhausted. Nicki’s oldest daughters, who managed the deli counter, were sweet to everyone, affectionately worrying about Shea every time ze asked for a third or fourth cup of coffee a shift.

“Shea!” called out Tali from the front counter, “I’m leaving early to run an errand for Dad. Do you need anything before I go? Will you be all right closing on your own?”

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