Tuesday September 21st, 2010. Mid-Late Evening.
Sunoco Gas Station:
The parking lot felt and looked seemingly empty. There were only a couple of cars pulled up to the gas pumps and maybe a few parked in the lot. “Go figure, there isn’t that many people here, it’s late. Most people are either drinking or at home.” Randy said. Their parking spot was across the lot from the actual store itself, so he and Kolleen had to walk up to it. “Why can’t we get a closer spot than this anyway? We work here ya know? It’s kind of ridiculous if you think about it.” Kolleen just sighed, smiling towards the window so Randy wouldn’t see it.
He grinned at her and nudged her arm. “What are you sighing about?” She just waved him off and grabbed her uniform from behind her seat. Randy allowed her to leave her outfit in the truck, other than the times it was being washed, just for her convenience. He loved to make her feel at ease as much as humanely possible. “I’ll let you get changed in the bathroom first alright?” He asked her. “Pfft, don’t need to use the bathroom.” With that being said, she stripped her t-shirt off, exposing a good portion of her chest. Randy quickly looked away. “Don’t be shy Randy. We’ve known each other for a while now and I don’t mind changing in front of you.” When he looked back she already had the uniform shirt on. Her name was pinned to the upper left part of the chest.
“See? The shirt’s on now.” “asdfasdf.” Randy replied. He quickly yanked off his shirt, retrieved his uniform from behind his seat and slid it on. “We look like a royal pair of geeks.” Kolleen said. “I know right? I just can’t wait for my dream job to kick off. The moment that it does, I swear to God, I’m through with this dumb ass graveyard shift.” He was already out of his door, standing in the doorway as he was saying this. As he buttoned up the front of his shirt, he didn’t notice Kolleen slipping over towards him. When he looked up she kissed his cheek, smiled and then left his truck, slamming the door behind her.
Randy was taken aback by this action, feeling all the warmth spread through his veins from the very spot that she kissed him. It felt so fuzzy and made his stomach a bit upset. He stood up as fast as he could to watch her walk, slamming the back of his head into his doorframe. “Ow…” he muttered, rubbing the spot that hit. He had just enough time to watch her turn left, and enter the gas station. The station itself was as basic as any station could be. There were four pumps set up outside, to the right of the store itself. Windows lined all around the store, except for the door on the far left side, which was the public restroom.
Randy, still feeling hurt and yet happy, fixed his collar and began walking towards the station. Every now and then a car would drive by, some pulled into the lot. Others would have people screaming out of their windows. “Psh, some college kids can be a bit stupid at times.” he whispered. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and continued walking to the store. When he got to the sidewalk, which rounded the building he stopped to catch another quick glance at Kolleen, who was behind the cash register. She was playing with her hair again, so it could be tied back up. Randy leaned against the window, just watching her hair flow smoothly as she pulled every strand back.
“Randy?” A high pitched voice called out, be he didn’t hear it. “Hello?” the voice called out again. “RANDY?!” this time it was so loud and piercing that he jumped nearly a foot off the cement. “Jesus Mrs. Jones, you scared me!” Mrs. Jones was the owner of this branch of Sunoco. She was only 4’ 10’’ tall; with shoulder length hair that was dyed dark red. Her eyes were green and she had a long pointy nose, thin lips, wide face with chubby cheeks and bucked teeth. “I’m sorry Randy; I just couldn’t get your attention. Anyway, your shift is about to start in five minutes, you best get clocked in and ready. I will be back here at 8:00 A.M. tomorrow morning.” Randy nodded at her. She patted his shoulder and beckoned him forward.
When he leaned down, she began whispering in his ear. Unbeknownst to him, Kolleen was watching through the window. “I see how you stare at Kolleen, and I know when a guy likes a girl. Be slow with her, get to know her some more. You’ll do fine, your father was one with the ladies as well so it’s in your blood. Go have fun and be productive.” She said then began walking away. “Thank you Mrs. Jones!” Randy yelled at her. She turned and gave him a thumbs up with both hands and continued walking. He took in a deep amount of fresh night air, turned around and again jumped a foot off the cement.
“MY GOD KOLLEEN! GAH!” Randy yelled, clutching his chest. He was leaning against one of the windows, closing his eyes for a few moments to get his bearings. “Ha! Didn’t know you were that jumpy.” She said. “What was that talk about anyway?” He looked over at her, and saw her puzzled expression and put an arm around her neck and led her towards the front doors. “I’ll explain to you later, for now we need to get our shift started. I could use a Gatorade though, like really badly.” Kolleen just smiled again and allowed Randy to open one of the front doors so she could enter. “Why thank you kind sir.” She said to him. “It is my honor ma’am.” Randy replied. “Wow, you have such an etiquette my dear boy. From whom did you learn such manners?”
They were inside the store now. It was a lot bigger inside than what it appeared to be outside. There were six small aisles starting from the left and going down to the right. Directly down the middle aisle, was a small Subway restaurant. Five tables were set up in a row. The floors were made of huge white tiles, and the walls were painted white with blue, red and yellow strips across the border.
Kolleen was already stepping behind the counter again, when Randy looked over. She had her chin resting in her hands, staring at him. “Why ma’am, why are you staring at me in such a way?” he inquired. “And what way would that be my good sir?” She asked. Randy saw every bit of her teeth exposed as her lips spread wide open. He smugly walked over to her, leaning against the counter and bent in towards her, with his nose only a few inches away and whispered. “What does a guy have to do to get some gas service around here my kind lady?” “Well sir, if you want to get some gas you gotta pay the toll.” Randy was about to reply when the door beeped, indicating someone was entering.
It was an elderly couple; the man was very tall, almost as tall as Randy and was bald. His eyes were completely white; in his right hand was a walking stick. He had black dress slacks on, black shoes and a thick brown suit. The woman had a blue dress on, with white frills and a blue bonnet. “Beatrice, you can have whatever you want!” The man said with such a calming voice. “Alright Bill, thank you!” she replied in a very soft voice. The man named Bill made his way over to the counter, feeling the floor out with his walking stick. “Hello, can someone direct me to the bathroom?” the man asked. “Yes sir, the bathroom is outside, would you like me to guide you?” Randy replied.
“That will not be necessary young man, I just need you to tell me where it is, I’ll feel my way around. “Are you sure?” “Yes I am very positive. Just lead me to the best direct path towards the bathroom and I’ll do the rest.” He said, stopping just short of the counter. Randy looked around, noticing the old woman was browsing through the fridge area. He turned and motioned Kolleen to lean over. She did as he asked so he could whisper to her. “Keep an eye on the woman okay?” Kolleen looked at him weirdly. He waved his hands in front of her. “Anyone can steal things. I don’t care how old you are. Just watch her, please.” “Alright, will do.” He nodded and grabbed the bathroom key off of the counter.
He then put an arm around the old man’s shoulders and guided him outside the gas station. “The bathroom is just this way sir.” They walked past the windows and stopped just around the corner. “It’s the last room on the right. The door will automatically relock when you leave.” “Thank you sir, I will be back to pay for my wife’s things in a bit. We’re on our way to Las Vegas and I wanted her to be happy for a while.” The old man left him, feeling around the sidewalk with the walking stick. Randy turned back and walked to the front doors. Once he re-entered the store, he was beckoned over by Kolleen.
He went over to her, and leaned against the counter like he always did before. “What’s up?” “The woman hasn’t stolen anything Randy. I’ve walked around, acting like I was checking the products or cleaning. I haven’t seen her hide anything yet. Everything she’s picked up are in her hands.” Kolleen said. “Right, thank you!” When he got back upright the front door opened once again. The old man walked in, carrying the keys in his free hand. “Thank you for that kind help young man. I hope my wife wasn’t too much of a bother.” Randy helped the man over to the counter. “Not at all sir, she’s been just fine and dandy.”
“Ah bless her heart. She’s such an amazing woman. That’s why I’m taking her to Vegas so we can live the rest of our lives in happiness.” As he finished his sentence, the old woman walked over, with a vast amount of items in her hands. She had two 20 oz bottles of Pepsi, four hot dogs, two small bags of Lay’s potato chips and what looked like at least ten or so Snicker bars. She set them all down gingerly on the counter, laughing as she did so. “I’m surprised I was able to get all this over here to be honest. I didn’t know the store had baskets, otherwise I would have taken one.” She said so innocently. “Thank you darling.” The man told her.
“No problem Bill.” She said, looking over at Kolleen, who was already ringing up the items. “So all of that together is going to add up to a total of fifteen dollars and twenty five cents.” “Alrighty, just give me a second dear.” The woman began fishing around in this tiny black purse until she found two twenties “There you are!” Kolleen accepted the money and had already been ringing up the change. “Your change will be twenty four dollars and eighty five cents. Here’s your receipt. Would you like a box for your items?” “Yes dear, that would help immensely.” Kolleen nodded in reply and grabbed a small foldable red box from under the counter and stacked the items on accordingly.
“I’ll bag your sodas and candy bars alright?” The woman nodded. Kolleen placed the packaged items into a small bag, and then handed them over. The woman grabbed them with her right hand and went to balance the box in her left. Randy saw her struggling so he decided to help. “I’ll help you ma’am… No, it’s no trouble at all, I swear.” Randy said as she tried to dismiss his help. “Okay young man, if you want to, please help.” He nodded in return and picked the flimsy box up as carefully as humanely possible. He then got to the doors, and held it open for both her and her husband. He stopped just as Randy closed the door. “Thank you, good sir! You have no idea how great it feels to know there are still some mature children out in this world.”
These words warmed Randy’s heart, making him feel good about himself. “It is no problem at all, sir. Please just guide me to your vehicle and I will hand your items over. The woman chimed in this time. “It’s the red Audi across the lot, just in the far corner.” Noticing how far it was, he spoke up. “Ma’am, you do know you’re allowed to park closer since you are a customer. Employees park over there to give more room for them.” He said. They started their walk, past the now empty gas pumps when she joined back in, waving her free hand at him. “It’s no trouble at all young man. We figure, if the employees have to walk a little distance to work, then by God we can do the same thing to buy something.”
“Wow, your morals are amazing!” he told her. The woman laughed, issuing a puff of cold air. That was when he realized how cold it really was outside. Sure, he knew it was near October, but the weather never really hit him until now. They arrived at the car, where Randy opened the driver’s side door. The woman got in and set the bag down so she could unburden him. “Thank you again, young man! We always feel good knowing there’s some good employees and children out in this world.” The woman reminded Randy so much of his own grandmother, which was why he felt so good around her. The man was struggling getting his door open and holding his walking stick at the same time.
Randy ran around the car, and steadied the old man before he fell. He let out a sigh of relief and thanked him again. “I’m here to help, sir.” Randy replied, opening the man’s door. When the man got in, Randy shut his door lightly and waved them off. The couple smiled so brightly at him as they made their way out of the lot. It was then that he realized their license plate; they resided in Oregon. Why then were they driving through California to get to Nevada? Randy did not know this answer. He just shook his head and walked back over to the gas station. It was in his heart that he felt so happy right now. Not only did the woman remind him of his Grandma but he had a beautiful girl working by his side, who would hopefully soon find out his feelings.