The Woman at the Counter

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He comes all the time, for hours he looks around the store listening to CDs, records and albums. But he never buys anything. Quite frankly Blake is fed up, all she wants to do is go home but when she finally confronts the mysterious man what happens isn't what she expected.

Romance / Drama
4.8 66 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

He comes by everyday. He stays for hours just listening to different types of records that are on the sample players. He walks through each aisle flipping through CDs, disks, and albums. Blake has grown used to seeing him; at first she had tried to ask the male if he needed any assistance but he always answered with a simple "no" and continued on with his endless search for something only he knew of.

"He's here again?" Blake was standing behind the front counter, it was late into the night and she had been dealt the shift she hated the most but Blake was in no mood to complain, she was just thankful Jonah had the same schedule as well.

The small woman looked out in front of her near one of the displays to see the familiar man standing, flipping through a rack of albums. Blake leaned against the counter top, resting her chin in her hand. "Looks like it".

"He visits the store all through the week as well. Doesn't he have a job?" Jonah was busy cleaning up the back storage room so he would go back and forth, speaking to Blake now and again. At the moment he was taking a break, sitting on the chair beside the cash register just a few steps from his coworker.

"Who cares? What's more troubling is that he doesn't buy a single thing!" Blake sighed and turned to her friend. "There's hardly anyone coming here in the dead of night and if it weren't for him we would be able to lock up earlier" she grumbled.

"True, but aren't you a little bit curious as to why he stays for hours and then just leaves? Because I am. I would ask him myself but what if he's a dangerous person who uses his mysterious characteristic as bait?" the other explained.

Blake rolled her eyes at Jonah's tendency to overthink and exaggerate his wild thoughts. "Honestly, I doubt that". "You never know" Jonah enticed.

Blake dragged her eyes back toward the tall man who now moved to a crate of records from musicians some centuries ago. She observed the male who bent over the pile and filtered through it; grabbing something he held it up to inspect but then puts it back adding to Blake's increasing irritation. The smaller could see that he was wearing a black, puffy padded jacket which was ideal for such snowy weather that erupted across the nation the other day and she also took in the wool hat the male had on his head; the gloves on his hands were thin and cotton and probably didn't keep any cold off of his fingers.

"He looks too idiotic to be a murderer" Blake concluded.

She heard Jonah laugh and push against her shoulder playfully, "you don't have to say it like that and with such an accusing expression" he chuckled some more.

The sound must of carried because as Blake glanced back toward the male for the third time, who also happened to be the lone customer in the store; their eyes met abruptly which elicited Blake to jump at the unexpected interaction. The male's gaze lingered a little but it didn't last long and the tall stranger soon walked off somewhere else but the moment had the employee slightly rattled.

"Damn, that spooked me. He hasn't looked over here, ever." Blake breathed. "He must've heard what we said".

"Do you still think I'm exaggerating?" Jonah mocked, "you might've just landed yourself on his list" he teased wiggling his fingers and making mediocre ghost noises, Blake only gave him a glare to which the other just waved off with a smile.

"Anyway, my shift is done. You still have some time left right? Do you want me to wait?" Jonah got up from the stool and raised an eyebrow at Blake in question.

The older thought for a moment before shaking her head, "the snow seems like it'll get worse and the last train is coming soon, you should go catch it. I'll just call a cab" Blake stated.

The small employee said goodbye to her friend and went back to lazing about by the front counter, waiting for her shift to be over in order to kick this male out of the store. She glared at the individual who still thought it appropriate to be looking at music when it was already this late.

"You know, some of us actually want to go home!" she spoke up so the other male across the room could hear even if the store was considerably quiet. This was the first time Blake had uttered a word to the man since his first few times coming to the shop and she felt an anxiousness simmer slowly near the pit of her stomach despite seeing him all the time.

The male raised his head from a rack and looked over at Blake who openly glared having no reason to care otherwise. The man then looked over his shoulder and around the space as if only now realizing that he was the only person there which made the smaller even more irritated.

"Ah." was all that came out of the strangers mouth and Blake felt her eye twitch.

"You come by all the time, for hours and just circle the whole shop, aren't you tired of it? Because I sure as hell am!" she snapped. "And on top of all that you never purchase anything, It's bad for business and I for one didn't sign up for late night babysitting!"

The male watched Blake for a moment before looking to his right and plucking something off a display. "I'll take this then" he said.

The irritation and annoyance in Blake was insurmountable and it was probably showing ten fold because the male lowered his head and the look on his face became apologetic and awkward. Blake took a deep breath and tried to calm down, this person was just some bothersome guy with no sense for others predicaments, she shouldn't waste her time on him. Instead the woman stole herself and put on the most fictitious smile she could muster.

"Uh.. sorry, just a bad day. So you wish to buy that?" she inquired with fake tolerance.

The man walked over to the front desk, "sure. I mean I can understand how my constant loitering can be troublesome" the male chuckled cumbersomely.

Like you wouldn't believe, Blake thought to herself. The stranger put a lone packaged CD on the counter; 'Coldplay's Best Hits', the smaller glanced at the other who was now busy searching his pockets for his wallet. Coldplay? Blake didn't know many people who liked them and she herself hasn't listened to them before.

"You like them?" she questioned out of nowhere; shocking even herself.

The tall stranger looked up with confusion lacing his features until he looked down to where Blake pointed at. His face switched to realisation and the shape of his mouth formed an 'O'. "Mmn." he hummed, "I do" the taller gave a small smile.

Blake rung up the item, "I've never listened to them before" she awkwardly added to the conversation. This was the first one the two of them have ever had and there was a small inkling of nervousness rolling off of the employee.

"You should, they're great" the other suggested, "maybe it'll take away some of the anger you short people seem to have an abundance of" he said.

And with that the anger and irritation Blake had felt before came crashing back and a deep frown returned on her face. "That'll be twenty dollars" she stated through clenched teeth.

A small chuckle of laughter came from the stranger, "Oops. Looks like I stepped on the trigger again". Blake endured with great difficulty.

Up close the male looked younger than the she had pegged him to be; a college student? University? In any case he looked at least early twenties which kind of pulled a silent sob from Blake who was already in her late twenties. She dismissed her train of thought and took the money the male held out to her.

"I'll be leaving now, don't want to keep you any longer or there will be a world war in the store" the taller smiled softly before taking the small plastic bag holding his CD and exiting the shop. Blake didn't know what to expect if she ever talked with the guy, even if it was only because the smaller had been upset but she didn't think she'd be the one so casually dismissed.

Blake stared through the glass doors and watched as the figure turned out of sight, why exactly does this guy come here? Does he not have a job? She mimicked Jonah's thoughts only to scoff at her own intrigue before doing a final check and packing up to go home; finally.

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