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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Under New Management



Her finger slowly brushes over the script writing on the wrapper. Absentmindedly, scooping the chocolate bar into her hand. She slowly shakes her head as she lets the delicious sweet drop back into its place on the counter. Not that she has an aversion to chocolate. In fact, she loves it. But, knowing her, she will gravitate towards it before bed. She doesn't need any help with her lack of sleep. She's been having enough trouble sleeping. Tossing and turning in her bed every night. Haunted by... Her thoughts freeze as the doorbell to the shop chimes, letting the man behind the cash know someone new has entered his store. It's not very big, but it's not laid out very well either. The owner tries to do too much, with too little of options. Bless his heart for trying though. Her eyes find themselves to the new addition. Her pulse picks up and her heart starts racing too quickly for her to get a grip on her thoughts. There's nothing particularly special about this man. He's tall, almost as same height as the door frame. He's got short brown hair in a mess on the top of his head. His hand runs through his hair, messing it up even more. A few flower petals fall to the ground, likely from the tree outside that's shedding. He's wearing a light wind-breaking, to account for the May temperature changes. Her eyes drop back down to the selection of chocolate in an attempt to not be caught staring. He doesn't notice her, walking straight towards the counter. She looks up from the candy, trying to be subtle as she watches him walk across the small and cramped store. He's friendly with the man behind the counter. Like they've known each other forever. That's the way he always was though. He walked into a room and made it his, without even trying. A larger than life personality. She always thought it would get him burned in the end. But she wouldn't know. It's been too long since they've last seen each other. Now, she can only play the guessing game about what he's been up to, where he's been. She expected he would have moved away from this dead end town a long time ago. Eyes set on something bigger than himself. She was wrong if his presence suggests anything. She looks one last time at front of the store. He's heading towards the fridge, which is to the far back. She notes this is her opportunity to leave, without being seen. She nods in the direction of the shop owner before opening the door. She doesn't look back to see if it chime caught his attention, the way it had just caught hers. Maybe it was less about the chime. Maybe she just felt his presence, even without any real knowledge. She could find him in a room of a million people, like he was the only one standing there. The weight of his footsteps on her soul caused such a shift in the ground that she would gravitate towards him, too. He certainly wouldn't help her sleeping troubles either. He's the reason she hasn't been sleeping. He's the reason she tosses and turns. She doesn't hear the chime behind her as he comes out of the store a minute later. Her feet, frozen to the ground. Lost in her own mind, when she should have been quickly jogging back towards her apartment. This place was so out of the ordinary for her. Completely off her usual path. No one where near her apartment, her work, or anything else. She wanted a change of scenery. She wanted to try something new. The electricity shoots through her spine as his fingers brush hers. She looks over to see him standing behind her, a plastic bag in his other hand. He smiles, like it was only yesterday that they laid eyes on each other.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

She sighs without needing to open her eyes. She lets her hand find the annoying piece of plastic going off beside her head.
"Why do I even set you?" She mumbles, pushing it to the ground. The beeping fades out. This is the third one in the last month that has broken. Not because she's rough with them. She buys them online, on eBay. They come from China and the working parts stay there. Maybe it's time to invest in an alarm clock that doesn't break so easily. She opens her eyes, letting them adjust to the sun pouring in the open window. Near the end of May, the sun is wide awake at 5:00 AM. That makes two. The clock on her alarm is broken, providing her no idea of what time it actually is. Once upon a time, she could tell what time it was by looking at the sun. The location of the sun was her clock. She's been disassociated from that for a while. Largely blaming global warming, but it's more likely that she's just out of tune. She picks up her cellphone, which sleeps beside her former alarm clock. She'd just use it for an alarm, if she wasn't afraid it would meet the same fate. To her shock, the time on her phone says it's 8:30 AM. She overslept, and has to be at work in 30 minutes.