Tuesday September 21st, 2010. Late Night:
Randy stood just outside the front doors again, looking off across the street. There was a hotel that looked way better than that of the run down one in the back street. It was a Holiday Inn, which stood 20 stories high. Every floor had a balcony and the windows were covered with thick blue drapes. Randy sometimes got lost in thought when he looked at other places, even though he really didn’t care about them. The buildings of the city seemed to draw him in no matter what.
He heard one of the front doors open up, indicating Kolleen was behind him and felt her hot breath on the back of his arm. “What’s up Kol?” She walked over to his left side, and grabbed his arm. Blood rushed through hsdasdfasim like electricity at her very touch. “You have to come back inside Randy. Your work isn’t out here.” She said playfully. “What time is it Kol?” She checked her phone, “It’s only nine fifteen, why?” Randy just stared up at the sky and groaned, knowing that night would drag on and on forever. “Come on, we have plenty of things we can do. There doesn’t seem to be much people coming at the moment, so we could talk if you wanted to.”
“Right, I like that idea!” She tugged on his arm, until he followed her back through the door. When they were inside, Kolleen’s hands started to slide down until only her right was in his left. She closed her fingers around his, squeezing them lightly. Randy’s heart was beating as fast as a freight train now, as the blood coursed through him at the speed of light. He had to loosen his collar a bit then closed his fingers around hers in return. Her palm was so warm in his; it was tiny but still felt strong. They walked between the first and second aisle, over to the restaurant tables where Kolleen sat down. Randy sat on the opposite side, feeling as if they would get in trouble.
“Don’t worry Randy, we can use this time as our first break. I feel like tonight’s gonna be a slow night anyways. We have ten minutes, so let’s get talking shall we?” Kolleen asked. Randy gulped and nodded. “What would you like to talk about first?” She asked him. For a little while he was speechless. Kolleen tightened her grip a bit on his hand, getting his attention. She was so amazing to him. Her eyes seemed a lot bluer tonight and they looked so much bigger than normal. Her face was slightly sweaty; this was due to the higher temperature in the store. “Come on Randy, there’s plenty to talk about. What about how we met? Why did you take so long to introduce yourself?”
He saw all the sincerity in her eyes and felt a bit more on edge. After a few more silent moments, the words finally formed in his head. He looked directly at her and spoke as un-shakily as possible. His head started to twitch a bit as were his eyes. “Are you okay?” she asked him. “Yeah, I’m fine, just a bit nervous.” She slid her fingers up and down his arm. “You don’t have to be.” Randy took a deep breath and calmed his nerves a bit. “I-I was very nervous in high school Kol, I c-c-could not t-talk normally t-to you.” Kolleen hushed him, placing a finger to his lips.
“You’re starting to talk like that again Randy. You always get a stutter when you get nervous.” He coughed, shaking his head a bit more. When he got the courage, he looked back into her eyes. “Just stay calm, and talk as coherently as possible.” He smirked at these words. “Coherent? That’s quite a big word.” She giggled this time. “Your laugh is so contagious Kol. I can’t get over how giddy it makes me feel when you laugh.” At these words, his cheeks burned red, making him turn away. At first she was speechless, but then Kolleen was able to muster up the words. “I make you feel, giddy?” The playful edge to her voice made him even more nervous.
He nodded, still looking at the floor. “I just never got the courage to go up and talk to you Kol. You were so popular. What, with being as athletic as you are, playing soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball and being like, the smartest girl in our grade. You were so high up on the popularity charts that I couldn’t even look at you without feeling nervous.” Kolleen didn’t know what to say to him. He didn’t know, but her heart was beating so fast at that moment. She hid it however and asked another question. “We’ve only known each other for a few months, since we started working here. I feel as if I’ve known you my entire life, and I mean that. Why on earth did it take you so long to tell me this?”
“Look at me, please!” She grabbed the side of his chin and turned his face back towards her. When he was face to face with her, she let go. Her eyes continued to pour into his soul. He tried not to cry, feeling his eyes burning as he fought the tears back. Kolleen’s eyes started to glisten as well, tears forming on the bottom of them as she watched him grow more and more distraught. Randy cleared his throat again and went on. “I-I had a crush on you ever since you joined the high school. I remember specifically the first time I met you and that was in the seventh or eighth grade. I remember saying, damn, when I walked by you, out of a classroom.” “I remember that too and I smiled back.” “Yes, that you did. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you and what I like the most is that you’re very down to earth. I’ve come to realize that we have a lot in common, Kol.”
“Yes, we do! The only main difference is we’re working here for two totally different reasons. You want to wrestle and I want to become something else.” She said. “What’s that?” There was a slight pause, until she spoke. “I want to become a personal trainer as well as a nutritionist so I can help train athletes. My family is big in wrestling as well, maybe not as big as the Rodriguez family but we’re pretty high up there. I’ve never had the body to be a wrestler myself, but I do have the brains to help them. That’s why I wanted to ask you something.” She stopped. Randy felt her hand running up and down his arm again, sending goose bumps through his skin. “What is that?”
She grabbed his chin again, leaning in towards his face. She then put her lips up to his ear and whispered so softly that it made his brain buzz. “I wanted to know if you’d let me be your manager. The one who helps you stay healthy and keeps you fit. I know you have someone down at the wrestling school, but what’s to say you can’t find someone when or if you make it to the DWL? I’ll be there for you all the way and I know you’ll be there for me. What do you say?” Randy was about to answer her when the door opened again. He gazed over, noticing a tall woman with pure blonde hair walk in. Kolleen tightened her grip on Randy’s hand, which startled him.
“Who is she?” he asked. “It’s my mom. God, this is so embarrassing.” She whispered back. “Hello? Can I get some service over here?” “Damn, we got to tend to her…” “What?!” “She’s a customer.” He said, laughing at her shocked expression. He stood up and straightened his shirt and helped Kolleen out of her seat. Once they were both up, they were greeted with the brightest smile the woman could muster, giving them the courage to move forward. As they walked to the front, Kolleen slipped her hand into his, squeezing it lightly to show she was nervous. Randy smiled and squeezed it back, telling her that he was there for her, every step of the way.
“Hello Mrs. Sparks! How are you on this evening?” Randy asked. He let Kolleen slip behind the counter. Her mom did not notice that they were holding hands, which Kolleen took as an added plus. She hated when her mom would walk in on her when she was either working or talking to her friends. She finally had Randy in a perfect position to talk one on one and then she barged in. Although, she figured, it could have been anybody that walked in. It was just more annoying that it was her mom. Mrs. Sparks resembled Kolleen to a T, except she had thinner cheeks.
Mrs. Sparks was wearing a nurse’s gown and cap, and her hair was tied in the back. “I’m just here to get gas and a drink real quick. My shift at the hospital starts in about thirty minutes and I still have to take the freeway to get there on time. If you don’t mind, I’d like to get my drink and then get the gas. Please, do it as quickly as possible, if you can manage that.” These words stung Randy a bit. He knew she meant it derogatory towards him. His family was full of wrestlers and everyone knows the injuries one can obtain during high tense fights. A lot of them had to deal with brain injuries. Mrs. Sparks saw Randy in deep thought and remembered the words she mentioned.
She grabbed his shoulders, catching him off guard. He jerked his head back up and stared at her. Kolleen was watching the entire thing in absolute silence. She didn’t want to be pulled into the confrontation, especially not with the boy she had a crush on. “Young man, I did not mean any type of slam towards you or your family. The Rodriguez and Sparks families have been friends for generations and I’m not going to ruin that now. You’re a good boy and I know Kolleen’s a good girl. I was just very irritated that I overslept my alarm and work’s starting soon.” Randy felt his heart lighten a bit and nodded at her. “Kolleen? Can you please turn on pump number three?” “Can do!”
“I’ve been to this gas station multiple times, mostly to make a profit in it. I know not too many people seem to come around here much, at least not now. I’m just doing my part in helping you two make your pay. Ah, here we are!” She saw the tea bottles way off in the back and rushed there. Randy walked over to the counter again, letting Kolleen whisper in his ear. “You can answer me later when we get a chance to talk again. My mom loves tea by the way; she’s always drinking the stuff. She says it’s very good for your health, although I don’t like it that much, it’s too bitter.”
Randy nodded, watching as Mrs. Sparks nearly sprinted to the front of the store, holding a glass bottle of green tea in her hand. “Give it here mom; I got to ring it up.” Mrs. Sparks laughed, handing the bottle over. “Here you are!” “That’ll be three dollars and nine cents.” Mrs. Sparks pulled a five out of her purse and handed it over. “Have a good night at work Mom!” she yelled. “You too honey! And the same goes for you Mr. Rodriguez.” She waved the two off and hurried to her car so she could get the gas. “Wait, how is she going to pay for the gas?” Randy asked.
“My mom’s very rich Randy, just like your family is. She’s got a butt load of credit cards. Normally she just uses that… Yup! Her number just came through the computer.” Sure enough, bunches of numbers were typed onto the screen, along with the name: Lorie Sparks. “I’ve never really liked the name, Lorie. Although it is my mother’s name so I guess there is a significant value to it. Randy was listening but had been lost while watching Kolleen talk. She would wave her hands around sometimes, talking with them and smile every now and then. Randy figured it was time to clean the tables so he found some alcohol and paper towels and then he was off.