I whisked money from the stack in my right hand to my left and silently counted. After completing each denomination, I dropped the pile of bills, paused, took a sip of my soda, then began clicking away at the giant calculator. A two-foot long strip of inch-wide white paper filled with blue numbers and red functions trailed over the side of the counter. The hum of refrigerators was almost imperceptible after being around them for twelve hours. The only other noise came from the occasional pop of retracting metal that had cooled down since I shut the ovens off.
I was near the end of a long day at the restaurant. I was new at this location, but had been in management for the small chain for years. Because I had worked for the same company for so long and had moved around so much, it didn’t matter which store I was at. They all felt the same.
I was the last person in the store. The kitchen staff had completed their tasks not more than half an hour earlier. I hated being alone at any of the restaurants at night. I finished up my paperwork, put the money in the safe and began making my rounds turning lights off, closing doors, stacking chairs and making sure the place looked good for the morning crew. After walking through the place three times just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I finally grabbed my keys, walked to the alarm panel, set it and proceeded to the door. Before opening the exit, I turned, looked back at the place one last time and realized that I left my soda on the counter by the registers. I had thirty seconds before I had to be out of the kitchen, so I meandered across the room, grabbed my drink and headed back to the door. Again, I turned one last time to
THE LOUDEST BLOODY NOISE I THINK I’VE EVER HEARD BLASTED THROUGH UNSEEN SIRENS, INTERRUPTING ANY THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE HAD AND ALMOST KILLING ANY CONTROL I HAD ON MY BLADDER!
My heart collided with a wall of ribs and I turned and threw myself into a solid metal door with a loud thud. My chest hit first and my forehead wasn’t far behind. I thought I had thirty seconds of free movement after setting the alarm, but was apparently wrong! Embarrassment interrupted fear, in spite of the fact that I was alone in the place. I had no witnesses to the pansy-esque, scared little child reaction I had. What a shame, because even though I had a knot on my head, I was laughing at myself.
So sometimes, when life catches you off guard… oh forget about it. I just wanted to tell a story.