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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
People working in a market place, customers and business

Submitted: May 30, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 30, 2008



You can find me, hiding in the background of the local markets. The bright lights trying to highlight my face. I stand behind the hanging skinned cats, chickens, panda parts, rabbits and pheasants. I’m not like the other shopkeepers, I do not yell at the foreign tourists. I prefer to stand quietly, and people seem to be drawn to me. I consider myself to be plain. Am I? I do not know. They come up to me, not trying to barter my prices down, but just accepting them, they hand me the money and don’t ask for the change. I take the hanging meat off the hook and place it in a bag, they usually smile at me, saying thanks. That’s the extent of my night. Selling things and hiding behind the meat.
I like to stare off into the distance, looking into the apartments that are across the pavement. I think that they are overpopulated. The building stands fifty storeys high, looming above, the night coats it in darkness, like a blanket. Occasionally lights flick on and off, but one in particular, no matter what the time of day, she keeps the light on. She lives on the 4th floor, so I can see her perfectly no matter what time it is. I find her so intriguing. I spend most of my time looking at her when I’m not serving the customers. She tends not to move from her house. I stand here most of the day and the night, not leaving the stall unless to sleep. During that time I have not once seen her leave the building in the six months that I have worked here.
I see her sitting at her computer, the computer screen lighting up her face, a pale colour of cream. She faces out the window. I have counted the different smiles that she makes. The smirk, that creeps across her face, it is almost a frown but it’s not quite. The bopping, when she bangs her head to the music, the broad smile that fills her face, lighting up her eyes. The half smile, where her smile goes up and down at the same time. This is the one that she has when her phone rings and she does not want to pick it up. She sometimes has people come visit her. She takes a break from her computer, I know what she is doing. I can see from the shadow that the lamp makes. Her outline is plastered over the wall, intertwined with his. She performs unthought of things. I wish that the attention that she was paying him, she was paying to me.
The customers occasionally distract me from my thoughts about her, they want cats and dogs, that are hanging up on my stall, all dead. After they are gone I look up at her, again and watch her. Sometimes I wish that I was there, holding her in my arms, hugging her and keeping her close. The other market keepers have a fair idea what I look at, but they still ask what I stare at. They think that I stare at the old man that lives in the room beside her. It is wrong, he sits on his window sill looking at the young girls that walk by in the market. I wonder what it would be like to look down on everyone, to be somewhat anonymous. What do people look like from up there? Can he not see the beauty of the woman beside his window? I would be jealous if he was looking at her though. Does he know that the people down below can see him? That they know that he is a pervert? I think that he should go inside and pay his wife some attention, I’m sure that she has caught on to what he does all day.
It’s market day today, I’m busy cleaning up the mess that is around me, hooks lying everywhere, bags strewn across the floor, and flies buzzing around. They follow some of the customers around, like a bad smell. They don’t have to do any work. I was considering talking to the boss about getting someone else in to work, but it would take too long, would cost too much to train them and considering it is the coming up to the busy season we may not have time to train them. Although I shall see what he says.
We are running low on cats, better get the boss to go catch some more, I think to myself. Next door tells me that I am very fetching and that I should not be working in this district, I should be up in the other part, being a high roller, making millions of dollars. I tell him that I am satisfied with my job and that I would not want to be doing anything else. He just shakes his head at me and continues taking the eyeballs from the chickens.
Looking down, I see a small piece of wood under my skin, a splinter, in the middle of my hand. It makes me think of her, and the way that she is a piece of wood in my mind, stuck there, painless but injecting thoughts into the surrounding nerve endings. There is a slight twitch if I move my hand, I guess that’s the way that my body tells me that there’s something wrong with me. I’m in love. Sometimes I wish that I could run up the stairs, kick her door down, pick her up and kiss her passionately on the lips, only breaking away for a breath of air, which will stream through her open window.
A customer walks up, snapping her fingers in my face, breaking me out of my daydream. I jump at the sudden interruption. She starts talking, complaining about the food and the smell. I nod my head, agreeing occasionally. Looking up, I see her. She is walking by the wall, in the background, the customer’s voice is drowned out, she wears a long flowing dress, that effortlessly lingers over her body. Her round, pert bottom, her flat stomach, her small but shapely breasts, all of which are outlined by the dress. That hair, oh it makes me shake. It cascades over her shoulders and down her back. The curls intertwining with each other, making ringlets. She wears something shiny around her neck, I can’t see what it is, but I notice the light reflecting off it. The world seems to stop, or at least go in slow motion. Her sandal-covered feet make a pat-pat-pat sound, the market place is noisy, filled with screaming people, but it is all obscured by her footsteps. The woman in front of me is still talking, unaware of what just happened, the beauty. The weather, the prices of the surrounding places, the hindering shop keepers, all seem like good topics for her to discuss. It’s not really a discussion, I’m not actually responding, my head is too far up in the clouds to hear her ramble. She nears the corner of the building, but just before I lose sight of her I see something silver fall to the ground. I click out of my daydreaming when the customer points to something above me and pulls out money. Taking her cash, I hand her the eyeless chicken, she begins to ask for change, but the glare on my face stops her from finishing the question.
She tries to grab the money back, but I’m too quick for her and I move just in time. Snatching the bag she walks off in a huff. Silly woman, I mutter to myself. I hope that she does not come back. I don’t think that I would be able to handle her trying to talk my ear off again. A deafening rumbling sound comes from around the corner. She just disappeared over there. A pain surges through my heart. I hope that she’s alright. I’m in a panic. Scurrying around throughout the shop. Fixing things, cleaning the floor, untangling hangers and shuffling my bare feet in the dirt. Looking up, I remember the shiny thing, it grabs my eye, jumping over the counter, I pick it up. It’s a pocket watch. Quite polished, looking into it, I see my hair falling into my eyes, that are brown like wood, there are freckles sprinkled over my nose and slight scar under my lip. Standing up, and looking around to see if she has noticed that she does not have her the metal watch, no one looks at me, or tries to claim it. I slip it into my pocket and walk around to the back of the counter, pretending as if nothing has happened. The yelling and bartering of the locals again fills the market place, it had stopped for a few seconds in awe of the loud rumbling sound. After losing interest the noise, the noise picks up again.
Sometimes I wish that I could go away from this place, to somewhere tropical, to just be able to sit on a beach. My feet spreading the sand between my toes. The sun beating down on my shoulders and legs. The slight tingling and burning, which gives me a warm feeling inside. And the bonus. Her. Beside me, looking into my eyes. Her hand in mine and our legs interlocked. I’m in heaven, the sun, no work and having her by my side. No one to have to answer to, no one to talk to and no one to have to pull down dogs, cats, pheasants and rabbits for. And not to forget - taking their money.
Wiping down the bench with a dirty rag, I think that it is not really going to clean it much, as it is just going to spread the germs. Oh well, it’s not my fault if people get sick. I will just blame my boss, he has a tendency to not cook the food enough. I keep telling him that people could die, but he doesn’t seem to care. I genuinely care about the people that buy things from here, well not all of them, but most of them. I don’t want people to die from what I am selling them. I guess that I feel somewhat responsible…
I hear a soft noise, just over to my right, I’m not sure if I am imagining it. Slyly looking up, I see her. She has changed clothing again and is holding a bag. The wind gently blows her hair slightly to the left. She has donned a red short dress, creeping up just midway up her thigh. It’s gathered at one side with a clip. She walks with determination, her sandals replaced with black wedges, which elongate her legs. Instead of turning she keeps going straight towards me, her eyes focused on something behind me. I spin around, wondering what could have caught her eye. There is nothing that she could be looking at, just a black sheet that hides the barrier between this stall from the one behind it. She keeps walking. A clop, clop, clopping sound resonates on the pavement. My heart is racing. I cough, hard. Inhaling deeply, I realise that I have been holding my breath. My head is spinning and there is a feeling of queasiness in my stomach. She is only a few steps away from me now. I take a deep breath and look her in the eyes. She stops at my counter and stares at me. The world seems to stop. Forever. The people in the background move very slowly, as if they are turtles on a ten kilometre race, coming to the finish line. She still stares at me, not moving. Two females, locking eyesight, I hope it never ends. Her mouth opens a little, a sound comes out. H-e-llo. She says hello to me!

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