I let a sigh escape from my tired lips. I casually wiped a sticky hair past my eyebrows and back to where the rest of it was pulled back. The hot atmosphere of this beat up café that I was working in was affecting my brain. As my arm pushed back and forth on the dirty blue stoned floor, my mind pushed back and forth as well. I was having a very difficult time deciding what to do in my dilemma.
Beads of sweat graced my clammy pale skin; working in this place always made me feel so dirty and disgusting. Every day after work, I jumped into the shower and pelted hot water onto my skin, as if there was a disease resting on the surface from the grimy café. A rueful smile tugged at my pink lips when I recollected the viciousness in which I scrubbed my skin. I always came out looking like a steamed lobster, or so Drew told me.
Drew; my wonderful Drew. I remembered when I had thought about him as nothing more than a brother, and don’t get me wrong; I still do. But now, only one week later than that tragic occurrence, my mind was forcing me to think of him as so much more. A shiver ran down my spine, and it made me shudder; I let out an exasperated moan. I felt tears coming on, so I casually sniffed, making my mind think of other things.
The door to the small shop opened, causing the small golden bell to make a sweet, welcoming sound. I looked up from where I sat on the floor, scrubbing brush in hand. A tint of rose came to my cheeks when I saw who was at the door.
“Hi, Emma,” a deep, sultry voice greeted me.
My lips stretched into a joyful grin. “Hey Zach, what brings you here?”
The tall man let out a small chuckle, making my stomach produce fitful butterflies. “I thought I’d give you some business. Looks like this place needs it. Bad,” he said with a light frown. His eyebrows creased slightly and it made me want to giggle. Look at me, a full grown woman and I was acting like a ridiculous child. How immature.
“Thanks, that’s really nice of you, Zach,” I said, undeniably flirting whilst batting my eyelashes in accord.
The young man and I silently watched each other with gleaming eyes for a few moments more before he awkwardly broke the stare. “Well, I-uh- I’d better order something,” he stammered.
“Right, of course,” I grinned, pursing my lips and frowning dramatically.
Zach laughed at my face and then walked to the counter, smiling broadly. I felt a suddenpang of admiration for those eyes but then, instantaneously, my cerebrum pulsed with recollection of Drew. I growled in annoyance; this was ruining everything, any chance that I had with Zach would be out the window before I could even notice it flying away.
Annoyance tore at my insides, making my stomach churn with emotion. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. I just couldn’t marry my best friend! That’s all he was! My best friend…
A few minutes later, Zach received his order and he walked out of the dreary café with the raggedly curtains and the stained tablecloths. Before letting the door shut behind him, Zach paused and looked at my beaming features. He suddenly tossed me a wink, and then grinned whilst walking away into the afternoon.
I sat beneath that table for hours; it seemed, just staring at the threadbare curtain that graced the door. Suddenly, my boss screamed into my ear, making me yelp and spill the bucket of sudsy water all over the dry floor.
I watched the liquid trickling around me and my eyes flashed with anger. My face looked up to the face of Randy who was rolling his eyes at my clumsiness. “That’s what you get for daydreaming on the job, Emma,” the squeaky teenaged voice rang. “Next time stop ogling at men and listen to me when I call for you. And besides,” he added, standing up to his scrawny height of 5’9. “If you want to see a real man, then check out me, not some wannabe Ken doll.” Randy lifted his bony 19 year old arm up into the air, and tried to flex with the muscles that he didn’t have.
I rolled my eyes in annoyance and just muttered, “Whatever,” before trudging into the storage room to fetch a dry mop. It really was sadistic that stupid Randy got to watch me clean up the mess that he himself had encouraged. Much to my chagrin, Randy watched me clean the mess the entire time, and also decided to tell me how to clean it.
“If you want it to be done a certain way, then why don’t you just do it yourself, you moron?” I screamed at him. He was unbearable! More under the table, a little to the right, put some muscle into it, back up now, mop in circular motion; the list never ended.
“Because,” Randy sneered with a horny grin, “It’s much better watching you do it.” He then proceeded to wink at me, causing me to stick a finger into my mouth and gag.
He didn’t like this action very much, but I couldn’t care less. The only reason that I even put up with him and this despicable job, was so that I could pay for college and be out of this junky hellhole as soon as possible. With no job, that meant no money; not for gas, not for college and certainly not for a decent life.
And so I put up with it, day after day after day. My eyes suddenly flew to the clock above the door, and I saw that I was off of my shift.
“Yes!” I suddenly shrieked, startling Randy. My hands tore at my apron and I chucked it at Randy’s face. “Oh look, Randy,” I cooed, “Now you can do it just the way you want it!”
He glared at me from behind his black glasses, but it made no difference to me! I was off for the weekend, and there was absolutely nothing in this world that could keep that joy out of my heart.
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