The store was nearly empty. A young man sat behind the counter all by himself, as an equally young and beautiful woman roamed the aisles with her purse in one hand and a unlit cigarette laced between her fingers in the other. The young man was looking out the window and smoking a cigarette, and the young woman studied the rows of goods as though she would be tested on them later, finally standing straight up and asking, “Are there any cookies in here?”
You must login to vote
“Yes,” the young man replied.
“Well, where are they? I don’t have all day.”
“Right behind you.”
He smiled and stood as she grabbed the first pack to catch her eye and jogged to the counter.
“Did you find everything alright ma’am?”
“Don’t call me that. What do I look like, some sort of southern belle?” She was irritated. “Why are you just staring at me? What’s your problem?”
“You’re my problem.” he said
“Why do you keep smiling at me? What did I do to make you smile?” she said as she threw her hands up and stomped away to leave the store.
“Be yourself,” he muttered, turning to sit down.
“What?” She spun around. “What was that? You said something?”
“I said, ‘Be yourself.’” With that he walked around the counter to confront her.
“What do you mean? Be myself. I always am.” She asked.
He lifted his eyes to meet hers. “You’re beautiful just as you are,” he said. The young lady did not know what to make of the young man or his statement. She caught his eyes searching her face for some sort of rebuttal. He was quite young in the face, with a lovely smile. The top of his head blanketed in black hair; his dress was a blue shirt with a name tag above the left pocket reading, “Parker” and khaki pants slightly wrinkled by his endless shuffling about. She could do nothing but admire his sheer audacity, “The nerve,” she thought. But for some reason she could not look away and he continued to smile and stare her dead in the eyes. It seemed like a lifetime before she could open her mouth again to say anything.
“I can’t even imagine what the fuck is going through your mind right now. Are you stupid, baby? Retarded? What? Tell me something…” she stopped herself, her words were harsher than she meant for them to be. He waited a minute before he said, “I think it makes you ugly when you curse. Why do you?”
“Why do I curse?” she giggled, shocking him. “I curse because I’m a bitch and that’s what bitches do.” she said, satisfied with her answer, folding her arms, smiling to herself.
“Why are you a bitch?” he spoke in a slow tone.
“Because that’s how the good Lord made me. I was born this way and not you or anybody else is gonna change me.”
He smiled even larger this time and said, “I don’t want to change you.” This shocked her. She hesitated. “Surely, he could not be serious. Something must truly be sick in his brain to want me, of all people,” her mind raced. She tugged her shirt and kicked her foot at the ground. “I want you” the young man said, stepping closer to her. The young woman shook and dropped her purse. This excited her and she spoke. “You want me even though I am a self admitted bitch?” She laughed. He smiled. The young man walked to the store front and locked the door. He turned and said, “Yes. I want you for just who you are.” He held out his hand and she anxiously reached out and held it in her own. He slowly walked to the counter, around it and through the door leading to the stockroom. He suddenly stopped amidst huge rows of boxes and simply stared at the young woman. “What?” she said, “What are we going to do back here?” He laughed and said, “You’ll see.” He embraced her, taking his hands and holding her waist firmly. She was shocked and smiled. “So, what’s on your mind?” placing her arms on his shoulders, fingers now running through the young woman’s hair. Then she stopped, shoulders slouching, “You didn’t even tell me your name.” She smiled. “It’s on my badge,” he motioned with his eyes. “Silly me,” she said. He smiled. The blow to the head killed her. The young woman’s blood splattered. He was not shocked.