|Working at the Bookstore
Author: Iristar PM
Lenore had always dreamed about having her first job at this certain bookstore, just so that she could be surrounded by the literature. Perhaps she'll get more than she bargains for when she has to work with a certain devilish-smiled boy?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Words: 1,458 - Reviews: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-31-11 - id: 2919403
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One: Applying for the Job
We sat opposite one another in the quiet bookstore. He watched me intently, his large, hooked nose barely visible behind that clipboard he had momentarily been immersed in. I gulped, and he seemed to notice; I gave him a nervous smile, and his gaze faltered.
"So," he said finally, after a long stretch of silence, "Lenore, is it?"
I nodded casually, tucking my thick and frizzy, dark-brown hair behind my ears and fluttered my olive green eyes innocently. He clicked the end of his black pen, and began to scribble away on the clipboard that concealed half of his face. I knew I was being assessed, so I straightened up and tried my best to give a confident front.
"Very well then, Lenore," he said, pushing thick-rimmed glasses higher up the bridge of his nose. "Why do you feel that you're the best candidate for this job?"
I hesitated, which I quickly covered up with an evidently fake sneeze. The corners of my mouth twitched upwards in a smile; I had been expecting this question since I decided to apply for the job, and I had all of my answer's ready at the tip of my tongue.
"I'm responsible, reliable and a hard-worker," I said quickly, inclining my head slightly. "I am also organised and persistant."
He nodded; scribbling away. He didn't even look up from his clipboard when he asked the next question, which made me feel almost off-guard. "Do you have any past experience?"
"No," I said, before hastily speaking again, "But I am a fast learner, and am always willing to be taught new things."
He seemed pleased with my answers so far, and my heart was beginning to ease it's loud thumping against my rib-cage. I fiddled with my thumbs and waited for him to speak again, but there was silence. Besides pen to paper, that is.
"Tell me one of your strengths," he said abruptly.
I smiled again, though I knew he couldn't see it. "I am a very good listener, and I like to be around people."
"And a weakness?"
I was slightly taken aback by the abruptness of his question; he was no longer bothering to try making me feel relaxed, but was trying to test how fast I could respond. My lips curled into yet another wry smile; "I've been called a perfectionist very often, but I simply believe that I like to get things done right."
He looked up at my through black-tinted glasses and smiled slightly. I gulped; I could feel even more colour rushing to my already-rosy cheeks. Maybe the other applicants had said the exact same thing as I had? Or maybe he was just impressed by my answers?
"Tell me how you would deal with a difficult costumer," he said, clutching the clipboard tightly in his hands, "And how would you handle working with someone you disliked?"
"For a difficult costumer, I would politely listen to their complaint - without interrupting them -" I quickly added, "and then I would try to help them solve their problem. As for the issue of dealing with a person I disliked, I seem to get along with people fairly easily, so I don't think that would be much of a problem."
"And, last but not least," he said, after writing away on the clipboard, "Why should I hire you?"
"Because," I said stiffly, "I have a positive attitude, and I promise you that I will work hard every day."
He placed his clipboard down on his lap, and nodded at me as though approvingly. "Thank you, Lenore," he said kindly, and I could feel even more colour speeding towards my cheeks. "But, if you don't mind, I actually have one last question. And I want you to answer it completely honestly."
I breathed in quickly and nodded at the same speed. To be honest, I really just wanted to get out right now. I couldn't handle lying that much.
"Why do you want to be hired here?" he asked me with a smile. "Is there any particular reason you want to work at this bookstore?"
I was silent. I hadn't been expecting a question like this - which, come to think of it, was a rather idiotic mistake. I tried my best to smile, but I knew he probably saw a shaky, insecure grin. "Because, sir, I have always liked books, and I would thoroughly like my first job to be around them."
"Yes, yes," he said, almost hurriedly. "But why my store? Why, out of all of the bookstores in Plum Grove, would you want to work here?"
"It's simple, really," I said with a natural, and yet unintentional, smile, my legs swinging back-and-forth underneath my chair - I wouldn't have been surprised if I looked like an unqualified eight year old. "I bought my first book from here, and it only seemed fitting that this be where I got my first job."
He stood up, and I, naturally, did the same. He offered me his hand, and I was almost hesitant to take it; my palms had become sweaty when I entered the room, and I could feel that my arms were still shaking. But, sure enough, I grasped his hand and shook it kindly, relinquishing grip after a few short seconds.
"Thank you for coming," he said, flashing white in a smile.
"I - no problem," I said with a nervous laugh. "Thank you for asking me to come in."
I took this as my opportunity to leave, so I whipped around where I stood and turned on my feet. There was a whirl of dark colours, followed my a grunt and my own confused squeal as my eyelids had fallen shut. When I next opened my eyes, I saw a beautiful sight: a boy - probably the same age as me at sixteen - with tousled-up, dirty-blond hair. He was rather tanned, and had brilliant blue eyes and dimples in his cheeks. I couldn't help but smile, and, to my amazement, he did too.
"Chris!" the store owner said, rather exasperatedly.
"I - sorry!" I squealed, realising that this boy and I had both toppled over moments ago. I tried to get up, despite how much I just wanted to lay there.
"It's okay," the boy said, with an almost devilish grin on his face which made me feel like I was melting.
We managed to get to our feet after a few seconds, and I, naturally, dusted myself off. I pushed back my hair and tried my best at a smile. "Hey, you must be the new girl, am I right?" he said, his blue eyes fixed on mine.
"Not technically," I said, looking down at my feet nervously. "I've only just applied.. but I think I've just ruined my chances."
"Why do you think that?" the store owner asked abruptly, and I was almost shocked to realise that it wasn't just myself and this boy in the room.
"Well, I kind of just fell over.." I said, voice drifting off shyly. "I'm such a people person, obviously."
Both of the boys chuckled.
"Actually," said the store owner, rubbing his chin in contemplation, "I think you'll be a great addition to the workplace. Would you be willing to work tomorrow?"
My heart skipped a beat, I swear. I had to contain my joy and play it cool, but a wide smile mixed with both shock and happiness was inevitable. "Yes, yes of course!" I blurted out. "I - I really didn't think you would pick me over the other applicants, to be honest.."
"What other applicants?" the boy asked, his grin unfaltering. "Practically no-one wants to work at a bookstore nowadays. I'm surprised that a young - and pretty, if I might add - girl like you wanted to apply here."
I flushed red. I wasn't paying much attention to what he was saying, until he mentioned the word pretty - when describing me! Me!
"Alright then, Chris," said the owner, "Let her leave in peace, would you?"
"C'mon, Devon," the boy - Chris, I reminded myself - said. "I didn't do anything.. yet."
His devilish smirk turned to me and I could have sworn my heart had stopped when he winked one of his blue eyes directly at me. I gulped, rolling my eyes to play it off cool. "Thank you, sir," I said, turning to face the owner of the store. "I'll be here tomorrow at nine o'clock."
"Sharp," Chris added, "And in the morning, if you don't mind."