He Got a Job, You Hippies!
‘This is so lame,’ thought Pietro sullenly to himself as he carefully reached up to pull the pizza boy cap further down on his silver-haired head. ‘Why do the other boys get a car and I’m the one stuck with the stupid bike? I could run faster than this.’ He wobbled precariously on the red bicycle and quickly put both hands back on the handlebars. The last thing he needed was to go back to the store because he crashed his bike and ruined all the pizzas.
Why was he doing this? Oh yeah, since he didn’t get to graduate high school on time with everyone else and go to college on the track scholarship he had worked so hard on, he was stuck with this pizza job until his Dad decided he deserved to go to college. It wasn’t his fault that he went to juvie. Well, technically it was – but his sticky fingers just can’t help themselves. This was the only job available to him in this small college town because he basically robbed every other convenient store, gas station, arcade, fast food joint, and grocery from here to the highway. Only the new pizzeria was untouched by his thieving hands. Because of his track record around town though, he was banned from anything interesting and fun, so all there was left for him to do was work, work, work. It was a good thing he still lived in his mom’s basement. He wouldn’t be able to buy food otherwise.
He just had to go to juvie his senior year, too. He just had to not graduate with his twin sister Wanda, and instead he got to watch her go off to college last year while he languished in the state’s prison for minors and finally his parent’s prison for Pietro. At nineteen he was living at home with no prospects until they finally gave him his stupid graduation diploma. Now his dad – psh, Erik was never there – gave him a chance to prove himself by making a little money with this job and learning a little responsibility, too, while he’s at it. What was it he said exactly? Oh yeah. “You like to run your mouth, and you like to run around town. Now you can get paid to do it.”
Gee, thanks dad.
Well, it could be worse. It could be raining. No, it wasn’t raining. The nightlife was actually beautiful though he wished he could experience this in a car. Catching a cold on the first day of the job would suck, and his legs were sure gonna be sore after this strenuous exercise biking all over town. One of his first stops was at the girl’s dormitories in the town’s local pride and joy – Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Children. Well, that’s the old name. Now it’s just Stan Lee University, because the town of Marvel’s inhabitants were a creative lot and because the big shot Stan Lee donated a lot of money to fix the place up. Not enough apparently, because a Mr. Fox and a Mr. Walt also chipped in, but their names weren’t as important.
Huffing and puffing, he climbed off his bike when he got to the X-Women’s Dorm. That was the easy part, now to find the room number 221. He climbed a flight of stairs and found he was on the right track. The only thing left to do was walk until he found it. God, this job was already so boring. And he was so hungry, too! He knew he should have eaten like his mom told him to before he left. Oh God, why did it have to be pizza? Why couldn’t it be some nasty vegan tofu or something?
Eventually he found the room he was looking for and stopped in front of the door, double-checking the receipt to make sure he had it right. No foul-ups on the first day if he could help it. It was the right room. From behind the door he heard the thump of a bass and the muffled sound of lyrics to music. Not identifying the piece or the band, he shrugged. Whatever. He didn’t really like that noise like he did his classic rock bands. Pietro knocked.
He knocked again.
He knocked again.
He pounded his fist on the door continuously as loud as he could.
Pietro was just about to give up and leave and eat the damn pizza for himself when the door was suddenly jerked open letting out more sound, his hand still in the air. Surprised at how unceremoniously it was yanked open, he just held out the two pizza boxes to explain his presence. Holding his tongue was key here, or he’d say something awful and be fired as soon as he got back; and he couldn’t live with Erik’s rage and Magda’s disappointment.
There in front of him stood a college-aged girl – a woman – with mussed up, dark hair tangled around her tanned face and gold-rimmed glasses over her amber-golden-flecked brown eyes. She wore nothing but a wrinkled, white buttoned-up shirt, from a man no doubt, and the kind of sated smile that came from being up to no good. Pietro didn’t like the look of her, felt no attraction, but her look still shocked him nonetheless. “Thank God, you’re here. I’m famished.”
The customer took only one of the boxes, peaking at the contents, before making a face and shoving it back in his hands. While she ignored him in favor of the pizza, she mumbled under her breath, “Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts. Simmer down and pucker up…” She took the other box and inspected it as well before she nodded her satisfaction. “Thanks,” she squinted at his name tag, “Pie-tro.”
“Pietro,” she repeated the correct pronunciation back at him. “Darcy.” Her smile was more like a smirk as she continued, “Well, I better get back to the bedroom. Gotta refuel, you know. For the next round. This could go all night.” From behind her glasses she winked, and then sung the along with the rest of the song as she turned around to leave with her pizza, “Do I wanna know–”
Swiftly Pietro cut her off, “Um, excuse me, ma’am?” Boldly he stepped over the threshold and into her dorm. “What about your other pizza? And my pay?”
“Do I look like I have any money on me?” Darcy snarked as she turned around to face him again, a little irritated. “Don’t answer that.” She stopped his open mouth from swallowing his foot with her hand in the air. Apathetically she grabbed at her chest and searched the shirt’s only pocket. It came up empty. “Look, that’s my roommate’s pizza. She can pay tonight cause I’m a little busy entertaining a very important guest here, so fuck off so I can fuck, too, kid.” Without another word from her and without waiting for a reply from him, she turned the corner singing loudly to dismiss him, “Crawling back to you~” He heard a door slam and she was gone. The music only blared louder after her disappearance, but thankfully he didn’t hear any sounds of her entertainment over the noise of the music.
In a state of shock at her blunt rudeness, he looked around at their tidy living room and small kitchenette before he decided to resume knocking on the door. Just as he raised his fist, the other bedroom door jerked open and out came the other roommate. As soon as he saw the movement, Pietro respectfully stepped out into the hall again out of sight, and waited there. Checking to see if his feet were on the right side of the threshold, when he looked up again he was unprepared for what he saw, even after seeing Darcy in such a state like that.
His breath caught in his throat. An angel stood before him. Her hair was blacker than the other girl’s, and it stood out stark against her paler skin. The roommate’s eyes were green and luminous, glowing from within with something so utterly precious that Pietro felt the same twitch in his fingers that he felt when he stood by the broken ATM. Compared to her roommate, she was dressed more appropriate in regular clothing, but somehow where she had less skin showing than the other girl she was more comely that way. She was dignified and womanly in her modesty, and Pietro felt words stick in his throat at talking to a pretty girl like her. Luckily, she broke the ice first.
“Oh,” she looked surprised and more than a little embarrassed at him standing there in the hallway with the door to her dorm wide open. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were here,” She accepted the pizza from him without checking to see if it was correct first, “I had my headphones on listening to music and my roommate’s music was so loud…” The pretty woman trailed off with an apologetic smile painted across her painted red lips. “Sorry.” The pizza box was placed on a table where a twenty dollar bill, an Abraham Lincoln, and a couple of ones were innocuously lying. Trading out the pizza for the money, she offered it to him shyly just as the swell of the music died and the sound of a different man singing to a much different, more primal tune sounded into the room’s silence instead.
Both Pietro and the lady blushed, awkwardly waited for the man’s groaning to quiet again. He was still screaming when the next song started. “Oh my God, I am sooo sorry!” The dark-haired lady was talking again, looking aghast as she held her hands to her face to cover her heated cheeks. “Darcy has no shame. Wait,” She looked back at her one pizza box and then turned her powerful eyes back to him. “Did she come out here to get her pizza? Or did her … bed partner … do it instead?”
“Ummm…” Pietro stuttered. That wasn’t anything like him.
“It was Darcy wasn’t it?” He nodded the affirmative. “God, I’m gonna kill her.” Her green eyes flared, and Pietro whimpered at the thought of her rage pointed at him.
“Uh,” swallowing around the rising lump in his throat, he shuffled his feet as he quickly asked her, “Can I have my money now?”
“What? Oh. Yes. Sorry.” She handed him the money, and he accepted it. His fingertips barely brushed hers before they twitched in that funny way again and he felt a jolt as his heart leaped up and banged against the ribcage in his chest. “My name is Jane.”
“I’m Pietro. The new delivery boy. This is my route.” Oh God, he sounded so stupid to her.
“Nice to meet you, Pietro. We’ll probably see each other again. Every Friday night like clockwork we order a pizza from this place since it opened. We’re hooked.”
He’ll get to see her again? That’s great. “That’s great. I look forward to seeing you…Jane.”
Jane blushed very prettily and it wasn’t the red color of her embarrassment as it was before, but a more flattering shade of pink. “Bye, now.” She closed the door behind his wave of goodbye, and Pietro had to stand there for a moment to catch his breath.He would get to deliver pizzas to her every Friday night. He’d get to talk to her again. Oh man, this job was great!