Hello people. This is my first story that I'm going to put on this website so I'm slightly nervous (probably not the ideal story to use either considering it.) My friend gave me a challenge, to get me writing again, to write about cheese. Inspiration finally struck today.
Summary: Who knew that stealing a stranger's cheese was the equivalent for flirting? Lucy sure didn't.
Word Count: 5,100
Lucy was bored. She was unbelievably, completely bored. She would have loved to be at home, talking to her friends on MSN or watching a movie with her family. No, spending her time here on a Saturday night was definitely a bad idea. How had her boss convinced her to take this shift so late at night anyhow? Oh that's right, she needed the money for University since her parents refused to pay. It's just mean of her boss to take advantage of a desperate high school girl like that. Could he have given her a better shift earlier? No, he gave her the late shift at the small grocery shop when only a total of two people had to work. She might be less bored if she had someone to talk to, but no. She only had Derek, the nerdy suck up eager for a raise. He really could be creepy.
Sighing, she thought through ways to entertain herself. There really was nothing to do. They got so little customers at this time hardly anyone came to the check out. The customers could really be stupidly trusting of the checkout people. Even after stories of how they charged extra roaming around magazines, people still didn't even want a receipt to see they aren't being ripped off. It was like checkout chicks were a machine without feelings, only programmed to do what was expected. Never would they expect one to stuff around or steal from them. She decided she'd like to mess with the customers, give a little consequence for not paying attention. She wouldn't steal from them; just maybe take one of the items away that they haven't paid for. That sounded fun. It would really test how observant some people could be.
Her next customer she had was an old lady. Definitely not the ideal customer to cheat an item off (she wasn't stealing since they hadn't actually paid for it.) An old lady was not someone to cheat off. They talked to you like crazy for one and also, it was too much of a guilt trip. The second customer she had was a mother in her 30's. She looked like she was just home from a hard day and, judging by her items, was missing only a couple ingredients for dinner. A stressed mother was not someone to mess with and since she was only buying five things, she doubted it would go unnoticed. Her third customer was the perfect target.
It was a teenage boy around her age. He was obviously doing the shopping for the week based from the amount of groceries he had. He was holding a grocery list, probably written by his mother which meant he hardly had a clue what he was getting. Also, he was completely ignoring her in favour for his phone. That pissed her off. Scanning all his things, she considered what to take away from the groceries. As his phone made a sound, indicating he had received a text to keep him busy, she took the next item out from everything before swiping the item after that. A single block of cheese resided at her feet. He kept texting away and she felt slightly giddy that she had gotten away with it.
The boy picked up his groceries, back into the trolley and left. He hadn't even noticed her at all. What an idiot. For awhile after that, the night resumed normally. Stealing something once was enough to satisfy her annoyance and boredom that was attached to her job. She didn't think she'd do it ever again. It was a onetime thing, to test the stranger's observance. He most likely wouldn't even notice the disappearance of the cheese and he kind of annoyed her anyhow.
She was slightly surprised (and humoured) to see the guy come back again a little over an hour from his first trip. He was grumbling to himself, obviously extremely put off about something and she saw as he headed to the freezer section, that he was most likely getting the cheese block he 'forgot'. Her brain started to panic. What if he noticed that it was her that took it? Would his anger be directed at her? It was really like her to pick the punk with anger issues. As he came to the counter, her heart sped up without her having a choice. She reasoned it wasn't right for her to freak out. He really couldn't know.
He was grumbling to himself while he slammed the cheese down onto the counter. That sparked her annoyance, past the fear she had, just the tiniest bit. As she scanned it, she realised his grumbling was actually slightly coherent. He was grumbling about his mum making him come back for the cheese. While it did make her feel slightly guilty for taking his cheese, it still frustrated her. He was being really inconsiderate to her (well if he knew it was her fault, she'd excuse his behaviour) and rude to his mum. Think of Lucy as a mother's girl, but she believed strongly in respect for their elders. Her not stealing the grandma's cheese was proof of that!
A bit annoyed by his behaviour again, she let him purchase his cheese, with her invisible in the background.
Her boss seemed to think it was a good idea to give her a permanent shift on a Saturday night. How mean is he. She didn't want to work at this time, but her need for the money overrode that. Stupid, opportunist for a boss he was. Also she was still on a shift with Derek only. He still grated on her nerves. At least with her other shifts, she had someone she liked to talk to. Or at least, a constant stream of people to occupy her. This time she didn't have either of those things.
Bored and with nothing to occupy her time, she stared down at Derek. He was stacking packets of spaghetti on a shelf he could hardly reach, poor short boy. If she didn't kind of have to stay here, she'd go help him. It was while staring down the aisle, watching the sad, slow attempt to get all of the spaghetti up there, that she saw the guy from last week. He was once again, looking at his shopping list for the things he needed to get. This time he was listening to his iPod while selecting out the things he needed. Her opinion of him was raised when she guessed that this must be his weekly chore. He was stuck out here each Saturday just like her. Her opinion of him did raise, that was until he shoved past Derek causing Derek to fall as well as half the spaghetti he had put up. The ass didn't even apologise, let alone look back.
She looked down at Derek to check if he was alright. He seemed to be fine, but giving an intense glare at the customers back. She really didn't blame him. His eyes caught hers and he obviously noticed the concern written in them. He tilted his head towards the customer, before pointedly rolling his eyes and sticking his tongue out with a scrunched up face. She giggled before nodding to him. Maybe she had judged him as stuck up a bit too quickly.
Eventually, the technology obsessed guy finished getting the things on his list and she still felt extremely annoyed with him. He was one of those inconsiderate types of guys that she disliked. He once again ignored her while she did all the scanning. Now, she wouldn't have ever stolen his cheese again if he hadn't been so inconsiderate to Derek earlier, and, if he didn't ignore her completely again. Honest. Yet, as he once again treated her like she didn't exist, like her and Derek just had to act perfect for him without him acknowledging them, she took his cheese again.
Looking back on it, she probably should have chosen another item so he wouldn't suspect. But, when she chose it she was a bit nervous, so just picked the same thing as last week. It was not her best decision in the world and so when he came back into the store, she was a bit flustered and frightened. Especially when the first thing he did was approach her. Now while he did look a bit frustrated, he also looked confused and just the tiniest bit awkward when he approached her. He should, she thought spitefully, it's probably the first time he has acknowledged a checkout employees existence.
"Um, hi. I was in this shop a couple of hours ago and I was buying a whole lot of groceries. This may sound weird, but do you know what happened to my cheese? I remember putting it up to get scanned but the receipt shows I didn't buy it. So, um, do you know what happened?" he really did look uncomfortable saying this to her and she inwardly smirked. He still didn't suspect her. She was just supposed to do her job. No wonder he felt awkward approaching her if he didn't blame her. He must think he sounds crazy. He also doesn't realise he has seen her before tonight.
"Sorry but I haven't, sir. I don't know what on earth could have happened to your cheese. Are you sure you put it up to scan?" she asked, laughing inwardly and with an amused smile on her face. She saw Derek up in the aisles giving a questioning look to why the person was back. She gave him a small smirk.
"Well, not entirely." He really did seem uncomfortable on the inside. She felt strangely satisfied.
"Well then sir, I believe you must be wrong. If you want some cheese, go up aisle 10 and there should be some." She responded. He looked at her shocked from her first sentence. His face was flaming red; served him right. He trudged down the aisle to retrieve his block of cheese and came back to purchase. When he fumbled round with the credit card, she took it to swipe it for him. Quickly looking, she saw she was right in assuming that his mother was sending him by the name on the card. Either that or he had a really girly name or was. Maybe he even was a thief. She didn't mind which it was (if he was a thief she really hoped he got what was coming to him.) After he left, Derek approached her.
"What was that idiot talking to you about?" he questioned curiously. She decided it would be alright to make him an accomplice in her plans since he insulted the idiot.
"I took the cheese out of his groceries as revenge for him not apologising to you" she told him and was relieved when he laughed and told her the guy deserved it. She was definitely too quick to judge Derek. Hopefully he'll make these shifts more fun and the other idiot wouldn't come back.
The idiot was back. The disrespectful idiot was back and was getting the stuff on his shopping list again. She swore this time she wouldn't do it again. This time she would not steal this man's cheese. This person who probably was bringing the cheese back to his nice family, who had to put up with his moody behaviour, did not really deserve to have their cheese stolen. Or anything else that her fingers may come into contact with, nothing deserved to be taken away from that poor family.
When he came to the counter, he once again ignored her. She wouldn't let that get to her. The fact that after not-really-but-kind-of accusing her last week he didn't bother to apologise, did not bother her at all. Not even the fact that he didn't even bother to look at her or acknowledge her existence bothered her. Not one little bit did what he didn't bother to do bother her. Not even when she started to scan his groceries. Not even when she saw the cheese. That's just the type of person she was. The type to not be bothered by these things at all was the type she was. Honestly. It didn't even bother her that he didn't check to see she properly scanned his cheese. Okay, so maybe it did bother her a little which caused her to steal his cheese. Whoops.
It was only after he left once more, did she realise she actually did steal from his pocket this time. She had scanned his cheese and then stashed it, rather than taking it before he was charged like she did all the other times. She felt kind of sick. She didn't want to steal. She hated people who actually stole. She hated stealing back when those people robbed her house and hated stealing when her friends stole her grapes from her lunchbox.
This time, when he came back, receipt in hand, she looked round and picked up a magazine. She tried to appear casual, like she hadn't done anything. Yet, his angry eyes settled on her sitting at the counter and he started to approach her. She couldn't move. Really, she couldn't. Her job required her not to.
"You stole my cheese" he accused her, voice raised and attracting the attention of Derek, rows over and Derek started to approach. As much as she hated herself for it later, her temper flared then. She was a very high tempered person on any normal day. That didn't change because he was right.
"I'm sorry, sir" she said the last word sarcastically, her voice malicious and dangerous. "But I did not steal your cheese." She mentally commended herself for staying confident.
"Yes you did! Look, my receipt says that I purchased it and it wasn't in my bags, yet again!" he fumed. "I could report you to your manager."
"And say what?" she asked angry and slightly scared. "That I stole your cheese? What proof do you have of that! Did you see me take your cheese?" This was what annoyed her. He accused her so confidently when he didn't even watch her pack his groceries.
"Well... no" he mumbled indignantly.
"Then don't accuse me. Maybe you dropped it on your way home. If you want some cheese, go to aisle 10." Put out, he walked away from her as she let the gravity of what she just did hit her. That was probably her only chance to resurrect her mistake and instead she snapped at him. Derek approached her.
"Did you take his cheese?" he questioned softly.
"Well, yeah. But he was a jerk and there's no way I'd admit to it with him like that" she whispered. Derek shrugged his shoulders.
"Fair enough" he said before walking away. The cheese man came back and glared at her all through the exchange of purchasing it. With the heat all gone, Lucy wondered what to do now about the cheese she now had.
Lucy ended up taking the cheese home for the week. The next Saturday she worked, she sat at the counter and anxiously awaited the arrival of the cheese guy. He ended up coming (it's a miracle he didn't go to a new supermarket) and listened to his iPod all through his shopping. When he came up to the counter though, he unplugged his earphones and set his eyes on her while she scanned all his items. It made her feel uncomfortable. Not only because she knew why he was doing it, but because he was staring at her and almost everyone feels uncomfortable when stared at. More so when the person is attractive, a stupid attractive jerk. It also made her plan less easy to carry out. His eyes pierced her especially when she packed the cheese into the bag, so much so that her palms began to sweat. Luckily, even under his intense stare, she managed to complete her mission.
As he left, she felt slightly happier knowing she didn't steal the cheese he bought from him. She just temporarily borrowed his cheese without permission. He might just have too much cheese this week though.
The next Saturday shift, her and Derek had switched positions since he had obtained a leg injury during his soccer practise. They had decided it would be best for him to do the least moving he could. So, as it was, she was doing her best to avoid her cheese stranger this week as he walked around the aisles. It seemed though, he was doing his very best to seek her out this time. He knew she had stolen his cheese. Her giving it back was evidence enough for that. Eventually though, he found her is aisle 2.
"Excuse me, miss. But could you please direct me to where I can find the cheese. I'm a bit lost" he said, a smirk on his face. He was mocking her. She really just wanted to hide in a lovely little corner, some place far from here where he can't find her. With a television as well so she wouldn't miss her favourite television shows. Also it would have a huge stash of chocolate. Yep, that's where she wished to be.
"Uh, aisle 10" she whispered, avoiding his gaze. He just had to make her feel uncomfortable about this didn't he! She wished she had never stolen his cheese in the first place.
"Hmm, I was there earlier and didn't see it. Could you perhaps show me it?" he asked politely, a smile on his face while his eyes said he hated her guts. He wanted to torture her, she knew it. It was payback. He would take her to that aisle and then make her... well actually he probably wouldn't do anything. He was still doing this as payback though. She gave him a sickly sweet smile. If she didn't need this job, she'd probably tell him to shove off.
"Sure. Anything I can do to help you, sir" she successfully made sir sound like an insult. She was impressed with herself. She knew she said something wrong though when his grin grew.
"Oh, well now that you've offered, my arms do feel really sore. I've been working all day you know, could you perhaps push my trolley for me while I shop?" he asked. Her smile died. She might be able to get away with saying no, but she knew he was testing her and damn, she was riled up by his antics. She wanted to show him she could cope with anything he threw at her.
"You know, last week the strangest thing happened when I shopped here" he started talking as she wheeled his trolley. She could see where he was going to lead this to. "I bought a block of cheese and when I got home there were two! Yet I had only been charged for one. It was the most peculiar thing."
"Cool story, bro" she drawled out. He shot her a look.
"Do you have any idea how it got there?" he asked. He was trying to make her admit to putting it there. As if she'd admit that to him.
"Huh. I guess it will just remain a mystery" he said. She was right when she said that he'd done this to torture her. He'd talk to her about the most boring things she ever heard and pretended that they were the most interesting things in the world. He made her pick everything up claiming his arms were too sore to do so. Lastly, he made it the longest shopping trip she'd ever had to go through. He would tell her to get something from aisle 10, then aisle 1, then back to aisle 10 (only to find out he had already picked what he wanted up and forgot to cross it out.) It continued for just under 2 hours with her patience thin and nice words on her lips. She did find out a couple things about him though. For one, she was right that shopping was his chore and that it was always done Saturday. She also found out he had a large family, explaining why he needed a whole block of cheese each week. Overall, she was glad when she pulled up and starting to unload the items for Derek to pack.
The only satisfaction that she managed to scrape from the whole occasion was when he finally left with her rude finger up to his back and the fact Derek had swiped his cheese. She and Derek were definitely going to end up close friends one day.
The week after she was back to her usual counter position and Derek was on his feet. Tonight, business was slower than usual. Considering the fact that at this time they only had a few customers normally, it was horrible. Unfortunately for Derek and her, the cheese guy was back again even if all the other regulars weren't. Luckily for Lucy, her night tonight wasn't as boring as the usual night anyhow. She had managed to form a decent friendship with Derek after last week and so, tonight, they were gossiping over the counter.
Each time cheese guy saw her, he would shoot her a glare. Either something had gotten up his pants or he just liked seeing her in pain and her being happy was unacceptable in his books (she wouldn't be too surprised if it was the latter.) When he came up to her at the counter and Derek hopped away, he started to tap his fingers impatiently. Since it was bothering her, she asked him what his problem was.
"Why should I tell you?" he rudely spat and she was taken aback. Sure she didn't think this guy was exactly Mr. Happy but that was a bit rough of him.
"Never mind I asked" she mumbled and rolled her eyes. It served her right for trying to be slightly nice to someone like him. She left his cheese alone this time though, to be on the safe side.
The next time, he seemed to have calmed down. Derek was on the other side of the area and she was once again bored. With nothing better to do, she watched him as he shopped. He was getting on her nerves with his mood swings and him, once again, ignoring her. He could at least acknowledge her existence.
As he came to the counter, playing on his phone, he ignored her while she packed his groceries again. She really wanted to yell at him. Or steal his cheese. Unfortunately for her, she had said goodbye to her cheese stealing days. She had her own self assigned rehab for her obsession with this teen's cheese. It was just there though, coming closer as she packed his groceries. She knew what it was doing. It was trying to lure her into taking it. She will resist though. It's not that hard Lucy. You just got to pick up the cheese, swipe it on the machine, and then put it in the bag. Come on, you can do it. Just got to do that and it's all over. She did it.
She was proud of herself for ignoring the cheese as it passed through her grasp. She couldn't help but feel slightly upset though. Glancing up at cheese boy, she knew his attention would stay on his phone. He wouldn't look up at her in a glare. No, she was just an unimportant checkout chick once more. Not the crazy one that stole peoples cheese.
He gathered his bags into his trolley and left the store. She sighed. That was the end of that then. Though, as she got her next customer and served him, packed up his nights microwave dinner, she turned to put it down for them to pick it up again, only to find a block of cheese sitting there. Surprised, she quickly picked it up and placed it on the ground before continuing to pack this guy's bags. She couldn't understand why he would leave his cheese. Normally, she was good at guessing about the lives of her shoppers. It brightened her day. For example, she would imagine that this man was divorced but with young kids that occasionally visited. Why? Because he had no ring, was buying dinner for one and purchasing Dora Explorer muesli bars (she really did hope he had children.)
Her cheese victim though... why on earth would he purposely leave the cheese behind? It didn't really make any sense in her mind. Unless he liked her taking his cheese that is. She honestly couldn't think of a good reason why. Maybe he was bored, just like her? But no, he had to come back to get the cheese when his mother threw a tantrum. That couldn't ever be much fun. It would only prolong his boredom.
After successfully watching as the divorced man left the store, she turned her attention back to the cheese at her feet. She debated actually picking it up again. Picking it up would unleash the horrors that the meaning of it contained. Eventually though, she decided she had to be reasonable and pick it up. It couldn't harm her too much.
She looked at the front. It didn't seem like it was poisoned by a chemical substance that could kill her. It didn't seem like he had licked it nor did anything of the sort. It just seemed normal. Turning it over in her hands she finally noticed something that had changed about the cheese. In tiny writing, on the packaging, he had scribbled down an 8 digit number.
She couldn't for the life of her, work out why he left her his phone number. Maybe she was supposed to think it was his number. Maybe he had scribbled down a number for a suicide hotline or worse, a sex hotline. She shuddered at the last one. It was definitely best not to call it. But what if it was the cheese guy's number, why would he have given it to her? It was just too strange. Maybe she could figure out the answer when she wasn't half asleep. She decided, if she still cared in a week, she would ask him then.
As it turns out, she didn't have to wait a week. 20 minutes after she had read the number on the cheese packaging, he came back and approached her. She, reading a magazine at this stage didn't notice him until he tapped his knuckles against the counter. Shocked out of her stupor, she just gazed at him for a few seconds stupidly, mouth open and dribble threatening to spill over.
"I seem to have forgotten my cheese from my last shopping trip. Do you have it?" he questioned her, grin on his face. Well that answered why he left his cheese, it was his excuse to come back. Didn't explain the reason why he wanted to come back or why he wrote a number. She was still a bit slow minded at the moment to be smart and said the first thing that popped into her head.
"Why did you leave me your number?" she questioned, rather harsher than she had intended to do. His smile faltered and a more confused worried look appeared on his face.
"Because of all the flirting" he said as though it was obvious but even he began to doubt it at that moment.
"What flirting? When did any flirting happen?" She felt really confused by her conversation with cheese guy. When had any flirting been done between them? He seemed to really freeze then.
"You stealing my cheese then, that wasn't flirting?" he asked loudly. She shook her head, repulsed that it had come out that way. Cheese boy let out a large groan, not unlike a whimper.
"No, that wasn't flirting. I was annoyed that you didn't acknowledge my, or Derek's, existence even the tiniest bit. All through buying your products you hadn't even looked up at me" she rebuked. She probably didn't need to sound so horrified by the very idea though and obviously, cheese boy was thinking something along the same thing as he winced at her words. He looked extremely put out and embarrassed. Slightly like a dejected puppy that caused sympathy to stir within Lucy.
"Well I'm sorry" he whispered before starting to back away. He hesitated before continuing. "I did look at you though. I was just too embarrassed if I got caught blushing at the pretty girl serving me." With that, he walked out of the store, leaving a stunned Lucy.
He thought she was pretty and that's why he ignored her? It was too much of a joke to even consider. Yet, oddly enough, at some strange moments it fit. His bad mood from last week came back to her mind. His bad mood was probably caused by the fact she was talking so much to Derek. It wasn't insane to think that. Then, that week he made her go around with him for 2 hours was him flirting? It could be. Oh no. His horribly boring talk was actually his real talk wasn't it... wait. He was still teasing her that day. It was part of the teasing routine. She hoped.
Then there was her, stealing his cheese all the time, being rude while the guy was hiding his attraction to her. Then there was her reaction to his confession of a sort. She cringed. That definitely wasn't good. Her reaction would have probably crushed his pride (and though every man deserved to have their pride crushed, she certainly didn't want to be the one who did it.) She was probably (definitely) unfair to him. Also he was flirting with her of all people. Plus, he was attractive and she had acted like an idiot. She couldn't help but feel like an opportunity she would have liked to take, had passed by. It was taken, when he took his cheese and left.
Wait. He had never taken his cheese. He had forgotten to retrieve it. Which meant, she had his number? Well that was just perfect then. The opportunity hadn't passed. But did she really want to text him? Sure he was a moody guy with anger problems, but he was cute. Plus, looking back at his actions as flirting did make her feel slightly happy. She took his cheese to get his attention, well she had it now. Getting out her phone, she texted him.
'Want to go the cheese factory some day? 'Weird sentence, but she honestly didn't mind. Waiting a couple minutes, she felt her phone vibrate on her pocket.
'Nah, I'm not a huge fan of cheese. How about a movie and some popcorn so I can finally learn your name?' He had texted back. She smiled and replied yes. Hopefully Derek doesn't feel too betrayed that she was going on a date with their enemy. He'll live.
Yeah, sorry about that. Haven't ever really written much and didn't edit it. Please give constructive criticism if you comment. I do want to improve with my writing.
I felt sad. In the middle of the story I really wanted to make her fall in love with Derek instead of the jerk. Cry. Also the jerk had a really poorly developed character.