Rosanna -by Charles Hambley

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an unfinished story of a complex man who lives a lonely life, who feels threatened if his space is entered, but at the same time pathetic.

Submitted: January 01, 2013

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Submitted: January 01, 2013

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Rosanna

Barry on his way home often liked to stop under the apple tree in Meadows Park, there was a bench in memory of his father, Sir Phil Lewis. He was well known in the village of Kilo, Sir Phil Lewis devised a charity for the homeless, he got the village together to amend their poorly maintained roads and even helped building the local church, not that he was religious, he liked to believe in afterlife and spirits. It suited his demeanor really; he was the sort of person that didn’t believe anyone, to gain his trust you almost had to save his life. Although Sir Phil Lewis did go out every day helping and contemplating the things that needed doing, he was not the sort that liked parties, festivals and such like; he would ignore the invites and would sit on his armchair thinking about his place in this world. Barry remembered lying on the lush blue carpet. Barry often wondered why he sat so still and why he seemed to be oblivious to the world around him.

Barry liked Sitting on the bench, across the stony footpath was a rather large pond, but too small to be called a lake, he enjoyed feeding the ducks and reflecting on his day. He was fascinated by the different animals in the park and watched the occasional squirrel scurry up a tree, or the dogs playing whilst their owners hurry after them. He knew why he liked staying under the apple tree, not only does the sun’s rays shine down through the gaps in the tree’s filled branches; it always gave him a sense of freedom, the chance to relax and enjoy the evening.

He had just come from work, a little business, which sold mostly items under 1 pound, he enjoyed his job, probably because of the simplicity, much like himself, he has never fallen for a women, (or a man for that matter), no at 28 he wasn’t at all interested in relationships, they were far too complicated, he loved to work on his own, in his own special way. Another person would be just another thing out of his control.

Putting the keys on the Dining room table Barry had arrived home. He walked along the corridor of his 2 bedroom bungalow with the destination set to the master bedroom. Once in his desired location he took off his uniform and replaced it with a grey shirt and black trousers, he has 7 sets of clothes all set out for the next day, his uniform would go straight in the washing machine to be taken out in time for bed and the following day dried. He had always been this way, preparing things for the next day is all he did when he got home, he has no television as the programmes that were on never suited him, instead he has his father’s radio to get the updates from, it’s a welcomed sound to Barry with its organized shows and the same voices reading the news. He enjoyed listening to the daily stories, none of which were fiction and most were based on true events.

The next thing on his to-do list is to cook him-self a dinner, he had never been taught to cook, with his father dying when he was 16 and mother dying at birth, but he did manage to teach himself a few things, the first time he attempted to cook sausages he ended up setting the cloth beneath the gas stove on fire, making the situation worse by chucking water over the whole stove expecting the fire to be abruptly stopped, he learnt not to throw water over oil. Then he decided to try his hand in making chips and egg by putting them in the microwave, needless to say the egg exploded and the chips did not survive. He learnt not to microwave eggs, especially boiled eggs. The microwave pinged and so, his dinner was ready, a tasty Chicken Pie, Chips and pea’s, with no complications he sat down at the table for two, and politely nibbled at his choice food until the plate was spotless.

Barry sat for another hour listening to a collection of short stories before clearing the table and putting everything in the dishwasher, turning it on and with it ready to be emptied tomorrow, he went upstairs for a shower and got ready for bed 5 minutes earlier than normal, 8:55pm. Pleased with himself he set his alarm for 9:00am and tried to get to sleep. Darkness comes soon and Barry is in the imagination only he can have.

Barry opened his eyes just as the alarm started its melodic ringing. He sprang out of his King sized bed and immediately went to the wash-room where he completed a 2 minute brush of the teeth, and a quick facial wash, after completing the above he walked directly to the master bedroom and got dressed in the appropriate uniform, he hated weekends, no work means he has to think of things to fulfill the rest of the day. Putting this aside Barry finishes his Breakfast meal of Tea and Cereal and hurries out the door not wanting to be too late.

Living only a mile away from work Barry walks on the other side of the fence which separates the park from the street. Wishing he could be sitting under the apple tree feeding the ducks as he always does, He reminds himself that he can on the way back from work. Arriving at work 20 minutes early he waits outside the double doors for the manager to turn up. Eventually Barry sights the Beige BMW and waits for her to park.

“Good morning Barry” Shouts Shamma as she gets out of her car. Shamma continued to speak “Nice to see you, early as usual”. Barry found this comment amusing as he thought he was on time whilst Shamma was late. He thought carefully and replied, “I like to make sure I’m on time and never late Miss Barau”. She was the perfect stereotypical manager, whom liked to see the employees on site, and the shop turning a decent profit every day. She never cared about the employees, just as long as they were doing a decent job. “There will be a staff briefing this morning a new employee is joining”. Explained Shamma.

Barry hated changes in routine, especially when a person was to blame, he did not like the sound of a new person joining, he had just managed to get used to everyone and how they behaved, now there was another person that he had to teach, to stay out of his way, not talk to him and leave him to get on with his work. He cleared the front of the store readying it for another day of customers. Then upon finishing his duties he went to the ‘staff only’ door and made his way to the room where staff would eat lunch. He sat patiently and awaited the arrival of this new person and the rest of the staff.

A couple minutes passed and the first of 8 employees sat down, ‘Smelly Joe’ as Barry liked to call him, Smelly Joe was a kind hearted man with a big appetite, it disgusted Barry how Joe never showered, and how his hair was so greasy. It was not what Barry expected from an individual. As the last of 8 employees sat down the manager walked in, everyone was talking at this point except for Barry, he thought them to be wild animals squealing and moving to the sound of their own voice. Everything quiet-end due to the presence of the manager. The new silence gave Barry a chance to Look around the room, and to his horror Barry realized that his worst fear had come true, everyone was sitting next to each other whilst Barry had one spare seat next to him, the only spare seat, which meant that, when the new employee came in, he or she would have to sit down beside him! At this point he tried to suppress an easily heard chuckle. This made a few people set eyes on him which made him feel small and heavy.

After what felt like an eternity the door opened and in walked a woman of natural beauty. For some reason Barry’s cheeks felt hot, followed by an immediate surge of anger, like a wild animal who felt its space threatened. She looked around the room and found the spare chair; Barry tried to move away from the spare chair as quietly as possible but quickly gave up as it was impossible not to be noticed. The woman was like no other he had seen, she had Brown wavy hair neatly styled into a bun, her uniform seemed to be fitting every curve and the dark shirt really made her Iris eyes shine. Or maybe it was the industrial lights in the ceiling reflecting off of her. Their eyes suddenly met and Barry looked quickly at the table afraid of what she would think of him. Soon after, she sat down beside him and everything was normal, for now at least.

The manager started with the usual briefing or today’s Targets and goals, Shamma made sure every detail was covered for the benefit of the new woman. Eventually Shamma sat down and asked for the new woman to introduce herself to the rest of the employees.

“Hi, my name is Rosanna Jones, I was born in Rochdale and I moved to Kilo about 1 year ago today, I live on the outskirts of Kilo, about a mile from here, I am 23 years old and have 2 dogs, Clara and Benny. I’ve wanted a job for a long time and am really glad to be here, working with you”. Rosanna sat down and a polite ripple of applause was the next noise to consume the room.

Now the manager spoke, “I want everyone to talk to Rosanna and make her feel welcome, so with that out of the way doors are opening in 2 minutes so everyone off to their stations, thank you”.

With that I went out of the room followed by Rosanna who, to my surprise started speaking to me. “Hi, my name is Rosanna”. I felt like I was being treated like a child, of course I know what her name is I was in the meeting a few minutes earlier. I decided however to play ball, “My name is Barry, Barry Lewis”.

“Hi Barry, nice to meet you”. Said Rosanna enthusiastically. I was hoping the conversation was over but to my disappointment such pleasure was not mine. “So what do you do here?” Questioned Rosanna. I felt insulted to be asked such a stupid question. “I work here” said I cunningly. Rosanna Laughed and as we sat down opposite each other on till number 1 and 2, she continued, “You’re a funny guy, no, I mean are you a cashier? Or assistant manager? Something like that?” Rosanna seemed determined to annoy me, I didn’t want anything to do with her and she wasn’t getting it, in fact she thinks I’m funny.

“I’m just a cashier, I don’t do anything special, and I’m not anything special like an assistant manager.” The fact I’m still being talked too just made me more annoyed. By this point customers were walking in the door getting the goods they desired. “So have you been working here long Barry?” Asked Rosanna. It was safe to say that I was getting fed up of this conversation and wanted out. “Long enough to know I don’t like talking whilst I’m working, so please quieten down otherwise I’ll report you to Shamma”. I felt this would work; it is a trick I used on the other useless employees when I got fed up of talking and listening. “Who’s Shamma?” queried Rosanna. I couldn’t believe she had dared carry on, but I decided to tell her anyway. “Miss Shamma Barau Is the person you’ll be seeing if you carry on talking and questioning me, she is the manager”.

By this point Barry was wondering if he looked red in the face, but it didn’t matter anymore, Rosanna had got the message, she hushed up for the morning period, she occasionally turned and looked at Barry possibly studying him with much interest, or wondering why he is like he is.

Rosanna never had met such a complicated person before, it was a different experience and she was determined to get to the bottom of his troubles. She knew no one else spoke to him maybe that was the cause, inexperience of conversation. Somehow Rosanna must find a way to get through to him, she thought of the possible ways to do this. Maybe she could find something he was interested in, something he wanted to do, did he like music? Maybe a television show or something he didn’t like; the opposite of the above or even- “Excuse me” Rosanna’s thoughts shuddered to a halt as she was interrupted by an irritated customer. “You’ve been scanning my magazine for ages, is there a problem?” Asked the customer. Rosanna realized and picking herself up replied, “No, sorry I was in another world, my apologies”. The customer looked ready to drop the shopping and walk out so Rosanna thought it best to speed up and finish the job.

A short queue had formed by this point, but to Rosanna’s relief her watch buzzed indicating her lunch break is due, so she pushed the assistance wanted button, which flashed a light on top of her till. After serving her next customer Rosanna was free to leave the till as another member of staff took over, a brief conversation between Rosanna and the member of staff took place and she was free to go to lunch.

As Rosanna reached the ‘Staff Only’ door it swung open just missing her forehead, looking up she saw it was Barry, Rosanna issued a timorous smile as Barry held the door open for her. Maybe he isn’t all bad thought Rosanna, she walked through and turned to say thank you, but Barry had already gone. Rosanna headed for the lunch room where she had met the staff for the first time, she grabbed her coat and made for Tesco’s which was across the car park to the right. Once there she would get the food and drink she had desired for so long, two BLT sandwiches and a 500ml bottle of sprite.

Walking past the rainbow of colors Rosanna could clearly see Barry further down the car park, it was a shame she thought, Barry wasn’t ugly, nothing of the sort, she thought he was handsome in his own way, he certainly was different, and she couldn’t work him out that was for sure. It still plagued her mind how someone can be so closed off from the world. He walked past everyone like they weren’t there, like he was from a different country and wouldn’t know how to speak in the same language. Maybe that is the problem, not that he’s from a different country of course but maybe he has never been taught how to speak to people and had given up at an early age. Rosanna’s mind began to hurt, but she continued to examine Barry and the possibilities of his privacy. She wanted to talk to him so desperately, find out about him, try and meet his parents; maybe she could learn something about Barry from them, whatever the case Rosanna was determined not to give up.

By now Rosanna had lost sight of Barry as he entered the Supermarket, a short while later Rosanna’s shoes transitioned from the scrubby bricks to the smooth glossy floor, her shoes changing in pitch from a clunk to a tap, the industrial hairdryer blasting hot air from above down onto the back of her neck. Rosanna had entered the Supermarket.

She eyed the section where the sandwiches lived, and changed her route walking directly to them, on route she noticed that Barry was sliding a brown tray along three sets of railings, he was queuing for lunch in the cafeteria. Rosanna sought an opportunity and abandoned her BLT’s and Sprite, instead she hurriedly walked over to the trays, grabbed one and joined the queue, she was about 5 people behind Barry and he had not seen her.


© Copyright 2018 Charles Alan Hambley. All rights reserved.

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