Inspired by my own expereince falling in love with the cashier at my local walmart... and my realization that I'm insane. Hope you like it!
Sometimes I really hate the summer. I mean I know that sounds weird, everyone loves summer. No school, it's warm, time to do whatever you want. Only it gets so hot and humid and gross. No matter how cute the little dress you're wearing is, it's hard to feel cute when it's 90 degrees out, sweat is pouring out of every orifice in your body, you're standing in the middle of the crowded supermarket where the air-conditioning is broken and you're buying tampons.
I mean, really. It's just not attractive. I put the box of tampons onto the counter in front of the middle-aged woman who is mechanically scanning the stuff the guy in front of me bought. Wait a second, isn't this supposed to be the express, ten items or less lane? He totally has eleven items. That is so not fair. And... and what in the world does he really need eight packages of bologna for? Eww. That's just gross.
So the middleaged woman finally finishes checking out Mr. Bologna Lover who doesn't know what ten items or less means. I step up to her and nudge the box of tampons to her. She gives me a tight little smile; the kind of smile where there's nothing really to smile about, but you know you're supposed to smile in order to be polite. Just as she's about to scan the box a guy walks up to her. He flashes a genuine smile revealing about a hundred perfectly white teeth and says, "Sorry Julie, I got tied up in traffic. Won't happen again."
She glares at him, but she doesn't really seem mad. "It better not," she says and removes her cheap little polyester vest. And she hands the box of tampons to the cute, young guy with wavy brown hair and dimples when he smiles.
And... and he doesn't even flinch at the damned tampons. "How are you doing today, miss?" he says to me.
I blink at him for a second. He was talking to me? "Uh... um, good."
I make a face, wincing at my own stupidity. I know I must've made myself sound like a complete idiot. He probably thinks I'm some mentally challenged girl who wants to be independent and who's mother is standing nearby, very proud that her baby is able to do something like buy a box of tampons on her own. But he doesn't say it. "That's good," he says and tells me what I owe him.
I hand him the money and notice his plastic little nametag, christening him 'Chester'... "Chester?"
He laughs at my confused little question- kindly, laughing with you, not at you laugh. "I was in a rush and grabbed the wrong name tag. My name's Adam."
Adam. Adam.Yes, of course his name is Adam. So perfect... Adam. Suddenly I realize Adam is probably the most beautiful name ever given to a person. "I'm Annie," my voice says, as I smile like a dufus and grab the plastic bag containing the tampons.
For the next two weeks, whenever we needed something at home, I volunteered to go to the store and get it. Everytime I put on a cute little outfit, did my hair and put on a little lipgloss. I'm pretty sure my mom thinks I'm just using the car to go meet someone, which I admit is a little more sane than stalking the grocery store in the hopes of seeing a boy.
So for two weeks, I go to the store almost every day and can't seem to catch him. Just as I'd nearly given up, I see the god of my idolatry, ringing up a little old man's shopping cart full of... whatever old men buy. He carefully counts back the change- wanting to make sure he did his job well!
He smiles when he sees me, and says, "Annie, right?"
"Yeah," I say putting my purchases- milk, a box of cereal, and a pack of gum down onto the conveyor belt. "Adam."
"Good memory," he says.
I shake my head and feel very glad that I took the time to put on lip gloss. "No, you're wearing the right name tag today."
"Silly me for thinking you'd gone and remembered my name," he says, feigning hurt.
A high-pitched giggle escapes my throat. "Not so silly," I say and am then a little horrified that I'd nearly confessed to stalking the grocery store's cashier.
He shoots me that hundred-tooth smile again. "Ahh, my self confidence is saved. Hey, do you want to buy one of these cloth bags? You can reuse them so they're good for the environment, and we take like ten cents off for each dollar if you use one."
Ooh. He cares for the environment, and my well being!"Umm, sure."
"Great!" he says and hands me my receipt. "Have a nice day, Annie."
"Thanks," I say and look over the receit. "Hey, did you not charge me for the gum?"
He presses a finger to his lips. "Didn't I?" and he sends me a private little wink. I practically skipped out to my mom's minivan and start it. When I get home I put the package of gum on the shelf next to my bed and don't eat it.
*Introducing Mister and Missus Adam...* crap, what is his last name? Adam Something-or-other. Annie Something-or-other. Mrs. Adam Something-or-other.
I walk into the grocery store again, tripping slightly on my strappy pink flip flop. And I see Adam, working diligently. I wonder around the store for a few minutes, winding up with a loaf of bread and a tub of cookie dough. With a purpose I walk to Adam's lane- despite the fact that he has the longest line and another cashier tries to wave me over to his own empty register. "Hey Adam," I hear myself chirp as he scans my stuff.
"Hi," he says. Just as he's putting everything in the cloth bag he'd sold me a girl walks over. A tall, leggy, blonde girl. If Adam had a perfectly white smile with a hundred teeth, she had a perfectly white smile with about a million teeth. "Hey, Christine," he says to her, and gives her a perfect little kiss on her perfect little cheek.
My stomach drops and I feel myself wilt. I drag myself out the door, tripping. I slump in my mom's giant minivan and drive home, leaving the bread and the cookie dough in the car. I climb into my bed, reach over and grab the pack of gum he gave me for free. Opening the former holy relic, I smash a piece of it into my mouth.
It was stale.