After school the next day, I rode my dad's bike to work. I wore a helmet, rolled up my pant legs, tucked in my shoe laces, and slowed down at every turn. I stopped for squirrels and walked my bike across intersections.
Ella clocked out when I clocked in. I was sure to greet her, wish her a great afternoon, and remind her to take her purse from the back closet. Then I set about to making my work area Mellie-proof.
I turned the serving spoons for the pasta salad and cut fruit so that they faced away from me. No, I would not be catapulting fruits into the back wall today. I put rubber bands around my wrists to hold my gloves down... so they wouldn't be caught in the panini grill or catch the edge of the cutting board.
My boss came out of hiding for his regular dish of noodle salad. I greeted him cheerfully, "Good afternoon, Sir."
He glanced up abruptly, almost tossing his noodles, "Oh, good afternoon, Melanie. Good job with the drunkard, by the way. Keep up the good work." And he took his pasta and sauntered back into his cave, leaving me pretty much speechless.
A guy came in a few minutes later for a turkey panini and a cup of soup. I served him perfectly. A teenage girl and her little sister came in for sandwiches and juice. I gave them their change with both hands.
Then a total jerkwad strutted through the doors, "Hey, baby, what's the special."
I chose to ignore the "baby" comment, "Tuna salad sandwich, bag of chips, and a drink, $2.99, sir."
Okay... he was seriously leering at me, the creep, "Yeah, gimme a chicken panini, a pasta salad, and a Dr. Fizzles. Make it a large." Wink, hip swivel... creepy-creep.
"Yes, sir," I was already starting on the sandwich. "Would you like a large pasta salad, also, for just fifty-cents more?"
He leaned on the counter and grinned, "No thanks, my pasta's large enough." Um... ew. I was really grateful for the glass wall between us. One more comment, I decided. That's all I'll take.
I arranged the salad, the sandwich, and a large empty cup on the tray down by the register. I pushed the little buttons carefully and correctly, "That'll be $4.97, please."
Jerkwad made a great show of playing around in his pocket before pulling out a five and trying to put it in my apron pocket. I stepped back an held out my hand instead.... And, of course, he grabbed it. I smiled fakely, then reached out my other hand and plucked the bill from his fingers... before pulling gently away.
Something bad's going to happen to Jerkwad, I decided. As he approached the soda machine, I ducked behind the side wall. I heard Jerkwad putting ice in his cup as I turned the knob on the carbon-dioxide tank to full. Then I crimped the Dr. Fizzles line with my hand. I waited until I heard the click of the machine being engaged before letting go.
Even from around the corner, I could hear the short blast of soda and the infuriated growl of the creepy guy. Haha... soda on your arms. I quickly returned the tank to normal and stepped back to the register, with a completely straight face. I could see now that Jerkwad had soda dripping from his arms and staining his T-shirt. "Sir," I called. "Do you need some extra napkins?"
He totally did. Mwahahaha! ...ahem.
I made it home without wiping out, breaking down, or falling over. I trudged to my bedroom and spawled across my bed.... Being almost-normal is tiring. All the thoughts I had suppressed that day in favor of complete concentration came tumbling back into my head.
I wonder if the lunch-serving guy washed his hands. Did Columbus have kids? Are llamas kosher? Melia and Danny might make a cute couple. I'll make that my next project.
My computer screen flickered when I jiggled the mouse. I logged on to ChillChat and hoped that Andrew had logged in.
No, I don't have a crush on Andrew. Actually... I don't think he likes girls. Actually... I know he doesn't like girls. Because, I asked him to a dance in, like, eighth grade. He turned me down, and, when I looked disappointed, admitted that he just didn't like girls. I double-promised to keep it to myself, and I've never told a soul. (See, Melia, my double-promises are forever.)
Awesomely, Andrew was logged-on already.
MOSTLY_MELLIE: Hey. I have plotted a maniacal plot. You want in?
AND_ME: World domination?
MOSTLY_MELLIE:No. That's for later. Playing matchmaker.
AND_ME: I'm in.