Thursday, June 25. 2009
Posted by The Mad Giggler in Playing a meta-game with the same theme
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I had the closing shift two days later with Dave. He was a college student so he had weird hours, but he was the one person in the store who loved reading non-fiction, especially biographies and history books. I was pretty sure that was the main reason he still had employment with us. He wasn't much of a self-starter and he often conveniently forgot to finish everything you gave him to work on if you weren't constantly checking up on him. But he was genial enough and customers shopping for non-fiction loved him, because he could almost always find them exactly what they were looking for. Kim had worked the morning shift with Ben, so I chattered with them as their shift ended.
Ben seemed even more confident and I watched him help a shopper find her husband the latest military thriller; he even talked her into buying a Book Club selection. It was one of those romance books that was kept in the fiction/literature section because the author was famous. When he finished helping her and she left the store, he asked me about the book he noticed me carrying into the store.
"Oh, it's a mystery book. One of those by-the-numbers serials where the protaganist has a supernaturally helpful dog that always points him in the right direction at just the right time. It won't win a Nobel prize, but it's pretty entertaining."
"Oh, that sounds really interesting. What's the setting?"
"This time the protaganist was invited to a conference in Belgium. He's trying to find a missing Flemish noble."
"So he's involved in a political intrigue?"
"Yeah. It's pretty cool. The good guys always win in these kinds of books, but since I'll never get to Europe on a bookseller's wages, it's like a sort of cheap vacation." I grinned.
"Sounds awesome. I'll have to check it out after I finish this book Dave recommended." He looked over my shoulder and waved at someone. "Hey. How's it going?"
I turned and saw Dave walking in with bags under his eyes. I waved and grinned at him and he sort of moved his head in a jerky movement I'd come to realize over time was our resident History major's equivalent of a warm greeting.
"I was up until four cramming for an exam I almost slept through, and I'm not sure I passed it. But there is karmic balance in the world, because I was seated behind and slightly to the left of this really hot girl who doesn't seem to believe there's a limit to how much cleavage is too much cleavage, and what with the stadium-style seating in the classroom, I couldn't help but enjoy the view. I caught the professor looking when she turned in her test, so I guess I wasn't the only one who appreciated her choice in fashion."
"So it was a pretty good day, then?" Ben asked as they both busted up laughing. I kind of huffed and double checked what I was wearing to make sure Dave wouldn't be enjoying any views of me today. Pervert.
Kim looked as puffed up with pride as a cat surveying a new litter of kittens. Whatever. I noticed during my break that she'd already posted next week's schedule in the break room, and sure enough, Ben was working with Erica Monday during the closing shift. Oh well. Nothing much I could do at this point. I was sure I was overreacting anyway and he'd be fine. I mean, if he's doing the male bonding thing with Dave, he ought to be comfortable enough to handle the cold shoulder from Erica. He'd have to work with her sooner or later anyway, right?
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