“Khris, you gotta go with me to smoothie store in mall, it’s so good,” Giannis said excitedly. “My head almost blow up when I tasted for the first time.”
Khris Middleton looked amused at Giannis’ childlike enthusiasm. “I don’t know, man. Are they better than the ones I make at home?”
Giannis’ eyes nearly flew out of his head. “At home? You saying to me that you make smoothies by yourself and not buy them from the mall?”
“Yeah,” Khris said, now looking a little surprised that Giannis hadn’t realized that smoothies could be made in the comfort of one’s own kitchen. “Just blend up some fruit and some milk and some ice, bam, smoothie.”
“Blend? I don’t know what means, blend.”
“You know, with a blender?” Khris said, pantomiming the swirling motion of a blender with his hands. “Do they not have blenders in Greece?”
Giannis smiled sadly. “Probably they did, but my family, not having money to buy nice things.” He paused, as if working something out in his head. “Hey! Now that I rich man, I can buy blender of my own and use to make smoothies!” He turned towards John Henson, who was standing on the opposite end of the locker room. “Hey John! Tomorrow before game, me and you go to mall to buy blender!”
John gave a thumbs-up and resumed his conversation with another teammate. Giannis beamed. “Smoothies all the time…wow…” he said to himself, still marveling that such a thing could even be possible. “God bless America.”
Giannis walked out of the department store proudly carrying a brand-new, in-the-box blender in his arms. It had been the most expensive one in the store.
“You should have taken that lady up when she offered you a bag,” John said. “Now you have to lug that thing across the whole mall.”
“Everybody will knowing that I am a blender master,” Giannis replied. “I see that they are jealous.”
“Hey, where are you going? We parked over on this side,” John said suddenly, pointing in the direction opposite the way they were walking.
Giannis giggled. “Just because I now make smoothie at home, you think I not going to smoothie store?”
John grinned and shook his head. “You’re an addict man. Straight up.”
When they finally arrived at the food court, Giannis walked over to Smoothie Express while John went to acquire what he called “extra Chipotle for being such a good friend.” Setting the blender box at his feet, Giannis was surprised to see a different employee than Rachel, the one he was used to.
“Where’s Rachel?” he asked the middle-aged man whose nametag read “Todd”.
“It’s her day off. She’ll probably be back tomorrow,” Todd replied with a slight hint of annoyance. “Can I help you?”
“I”ll have a large size banana-strawberry smoothie please,” Giannis answered. He was still excited at the prospect of drinking a smoothie, but he was a little disappointed that the friendly and talkative Rachel wasn’t there to take his order.
Todd also seemed to be a little slower when it came to producing smoothies, and by the time the drink was in Giannis’ hands, John was already halfway through his first burrito. “Yo dude, you don’t seem as excited as usual. What’s up? They out of your favorite flavor?” he asked, pushing his half-chewed food to one side of his mouth in order to speak.
“Rachel wasn’t there today,” Giannis replied simply, taking a large slurp of the smoothie.
“The girl who working at the smoothie store. Today it was some man with bald spot.”
Smiling, John said, “Man, it’s really got you bummed, not even the smoothie can fix it. You must really have a crush on her.”
Giannis knew what “crush” meant in this context, and he felt his cheeks grow warm. “No I don’t. She’s just friend.”
“I can totally tell! You’re totally crushing on her!” John half-yelled, laughing uproariously. “Rachel the smoothie girl! I bet you want to drink her smoothie, don’t you?”
“No.” Giannis tried to keep a straight face, but he began to laugh at John’s antics. “Okay. Maybe a small crush.”
John pounded the table with his fist, drawing the attention of a few nearby diners. “You admitted it! Hahaha!”
Giannis had finished his smoothie and stared with impatience at the large amount of food still on his friend’s tray. “Hurry up with burritos. I want to take new blender home and making smoothies myself. And no more talking about Rachel.”