Life, part II

Fiction By Mairead // 2/25/2011

    Well. It's a good thing I didn't get my hopes up about the job at the horse farm. The woman never called me back. When I finally called her, she said that the position was already filled by a young man, but thanked me for my interest. That was nice. Thank you for your intrest. My interest was to get the job and get the money from it. I had hung up the phone and looked down at it wryly. And I knew the kid who got it was probably the one who got his truck stuck in her driveway. It would figure. Anyway, then I had to look for something else.
     If you would have told me at that point that I would have a job at the local grocery store within two weeks, I wouldn't have believed you. It was the best, most professionally run food businesses around. I'm still trying to believe it actually. And then, only after a week of working there, things began to transpire. Things totally unexpected....    
    
    It was a warm and sunny day and I was just starting to get into the constant motion of a regular work day. 8:00 to 5:00.
     I went quickly around all of the back shelves, passing the pet aisle, the higene aisle, and the beauty and hair products. It had become my regular path and was no so used to it that I thought I could walk with my eyes closed. My stomach growled angrily at me seeing as it was 1:00 and I was just now taking my half hour lunch break. I made my way through the maze of wines, as usual, and on to the break room.  I smiled as I read the now familiar sign on the door, "Do not bring any items into the break room without a valid receipt". I opened the heavy door and immediately smelled the smell of food and coffee mixed with musty cement basement. I wrinkled my nose; chicken soup, coffee and mold together wasn't a pleasant smell.
     I sat down at the communal computer to check my pay statements, but surveyed the inhabitants curiously before opening the document window. There was a middle aged man at the first table with his back to me. His nose was stuck in some kind of Investment studies magazine and he was eating some kind of chili meal that his wife must have made him. I smiled. There was an old lady who appeared to be in her 80's, but was probably younger, shaking as she tried to eat her micro-waved chicken soup. I noticed that when her beaded glasses began slipping down her nose slowly she would push them back up to her brow. It happened a couple of times.
     I looked past the always unoccupied far corner, knowing that no one would be sitting there, but stopped short as I noticed two people inhabited the small circle table. A young guy was sitting talking to a middle aged woman. He was wearing a red baseball cap and a red t-shirt. He looked up and caught my eye. His brown gaze was curious and attractive. A smile curved his lips sowly. I turned hurriedly to the computer screen and focused.
     Diligently I read through my statements, well aware that he continued to glance my way. It was slightly unnerving but I completed my overlook and had to give in to my stomach and finally eat something. Deciding not to think about where to sit exactly, I chose a seat across from the group of talkative cashiers who had just entered. It would be easier to have a conversation with them than with anyone else in the room;  it was always awkward not to talk on break; you had to come up with some kind of topic to discuss. I set down my purse and took off my sweater. It was always too warm in the break room. 
     An older woman, in her fifties, smiled at me while she unwrapped a sandwich. "You're new," she observed, "But I can't read your name tag from here....what does it say?"
     I looked up from my packed lunch and noticed that her name was Pauline. "Margerie," I answered, glad that I actually didn't have to start a conversation this time.
     "Oh, that's so cute! I love it. Really, I do."
     I wondered if she was serious or just trying to make me feel like I fit in. I had noticed that most of the people that worked at the company were at least 40 or older since I had been hired, and had been feeling kind of out of place.
     I cocked my head at myself, wondering for a moment if the young guy in the corner actually worked there.....
     "So what department do you work in, Margerie?"
     I was awakened from my thoughts. "The flower shop," I began, setting aside my apple, and opened my salad. "I really like it there." I tried to sound enthusiastic because I really did enjoy it.
     She nodded expectantly and all of the cashiers agreed that the floral crew was really nice and welcoming. "Jane is your boss then, right?" Pauline continued.
     "Yeah." I smiled to myself. I wasn't going to tell her that I didn't get along with Jane at all so far.
     "That's great." She sat up a little straighter and sipped her Nestle ice tea.
     There was a pause and everyone focused on their lunches. Then one of the other cashiers, Ronda according to her name tag, asked who else worked with me. She was one of the only younger women in the store. She had red hair and the brightest blue eyes I'd ever seen.
     I swallowed my bite of apple, and counted them on my fingers with emphasize. "Kenny, Nelly, Sarah, Beth, and...Lonnie."
     Ronda nodded. "Fun people." She had a funny smile on her face. "All characters."
     "They're great," I said, shrugging, I tucked my hair behind my ear.
     I glanced over at the round table and caught the guy's gaze again. He stared right into my eyes purposefully and unnerved, I looked away. A shiver went involuntarily down my spine and left bumps on my arm. I rubbed my skin quickly and took a bite of my salad.
     "So. Why the flower shop? It's one of our most concentrated departments...have you done something like it before? You're kind of young." She didn't say it meanly, and probably meant it as a compliment. 
     I nodded. "Yeah, my mom used to do flowers when my parents first got married, and then once she started having kids things slowed down a little. But now that we're mostly grown, she's started picking it up again and I've been helping her. Plus, I'm just a really creative person and enjoy creating and arranging the flowers and everything."
     She smiled a perfect little smile. "That's so sweet. I'm glad you've found such an excellent job that you are so perfect for. Or so it seems."
     All of the other chatter lulled for a moment and I found the guys eyes on me again. Smoothing my eyebrow out of habit, I finished my salad and took out three large strawberries, determined not to look back at him again, and determined to appear aloof.
     If he does work here, where does he work? Maybe he's just not scheduled today. Then what's he doing in the break room? I was under the understanding that you couldn't go into the back unless you had your nametag on and were on the clock.
     I knew I wouldn't look at him again, though. I didn't want him to know that I had really noticed him. He probably already knew that, but I didn't want him to assume that I was curious or interested in him.
     "Well," Pauline said, "It was nice talking to you. I really had a fun time. But, cashiers have no down time. Always going, going, going!"
     I smiled politely and agreed that it was nice to meet her.
     Most of the other cashiers were packing up their belongings too.
     "I hope to see you around!" Pauline said, as she threw out her plastic ZIP-loc bag. She turned and waved her hand to me while she slipped out the door.
     After awhile the only people left in the room besides myself were the middle-aged man with his newspaper, and the young guy in the far corner. Looking at him a little closer, I saw that he wore jeans, his shirt was sleeveless, and he had a 'Livestrong' bracelet on his wrist. Hmm.
      I rose and put my bowl away in the refrigerator. I noticed that the man had followed my example and stood up to throw his plastic dish and spoon away. He started packing up his cookies and his magazine. The young guy got up then too, and came toward me. I turned and picked up my sweater and purse. He went to the vending machine and stood casually with one hand resting against it, looking over his options. I started for the door. My break wasn't done, but if the man was leaving I wasn't going to sit in that room with the young guy alone; just him and me. I glanced into the vending machine for a minute, wanting a candy bar, but when I met his eyes in the reflection I kept walking to the door. Opening it, I slipped through, hesitating, holding it open. 
     "You guys have a great rest of the day." I smiled quickly, and then walked away without waiting for either of them to reply. The smile stayed on my face as I walked back to my department.
 

Comments

Def. what could happen in real "Life"!

And aw, I like how it ended. That was brave of her. :-)

I forgot if I commented on Part I, but I meant to tell you I like this story a lot, Mamie! It's really realistic!! I could totally feel the shiver down my spine, too. ;-)

Sarah Bethany | Sat, 02/26/2011

:)

 I don't think you did......but thanks for your comment here! :) Yeah, I just like to write really realistically. It can make a perhaps uninteresting story well written and interesting. :P

Mairead | Sat, 02/26/2011

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"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

This is so refreshing :) it's

This is so refreshing :) it's very real. There isn't a huge issue to resolve, and it's not an epic, but your characters are really well fleshed out and interesting. The descriptions are also very vivid and left shivers on my skin, which is amazing since it's only describing the normal things! Gah. I'm awaiting the next installment eagerly :) 

Erin | Sun, 02/27/2011

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thanks!

 Good. I'm glad you are enjoying its reality and simplicity. Thanks for commenting......Part III will be coming soon. :) 

Mairead | Sun, 02/27/2011

_________________________

"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

ooh!

I really liked this, Mamie! I am soooo excited to read part III!

Elizabeth | Fri, 03/04/2011

************

The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine

I can't figure out if he's

I can't figure out if he's going to be her friend or something later on, or if he was just a creepy guy who was watching her.

Bridget | Sat, 03/05/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

 That's kind of the point. ;)

 That's kind of the point. ;)  Margerie doesn't know what to think yet either.

Mairead | Sat, 03/05/2011

_________________________

"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

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