He hates today. He hates that he has to pretend to be happy and keep a smile on his face when he feels dead inside. He’s good at it, but he hates it. Every little thing seems to remind him of why he’s sad and he really just wants to go home. Luckily, he’s almost done with his shift. But of course that has to be when a customer grabs his attention, demanding to know why the store no longer carries some brand or another. Neal could care less. But of course it doesn’t matter what Neal cares about. Apparently he’s some horrible human being or something because now the customer is hurling person insults at him.
“If you monsters don’t start carrying this again…”
“You’ll what?” Neal questions, finally enraged after standing here and getting yelled at for the past couple of minutes. “Stop coming here? Good. Please do that. You’ll be doing all of us a favor.” The irate customer just keeps yelling. He probably should have expected that.
“Why you ungrateful stupid lout!” Neal tries to tune out the insults but if this doesn’t stop soon he’s going to lose it again.
Post by Storyteller on May 30, 2015 21:02:31 GMT -8
A merry tune floated through the air, filling Aisle 9 and possibly Aisle 10 as well. A few other patrons turned to stare, many smiling at the cheerful redhead and the young girl by her side. The woman herself didn't seem to notice the attention, continuing to hum as she searched for a jar of pizza sauce that would be part of their meal for the evening. Scanning the shelves she saw a large, almost bulk sized can sitting next to a tiny jar. 'Too big...too small...'
"What about this one?"
"Oh! Just right!" The medium sized jar popped into her vision, her stepdaughter's hand attached to the other end. "That will be perfect, Morgan." The eleven year old beamed in response, picking up the tune that the older woman had abandoned in her excitement. Giselle's smile grew bigger as the girl trotted ahead of her, already on a mission to find the next item on their list.
This time, no heads turned as the melody began.Giselle just couldn't help it, shopping at an amazing place like the grocery store. Imagine, shelf after shelf filled with just about everything you could ever want to eat. Who wouldn't want to sing in a place like this?
“If you monsters don’t start carrying this again…” Angry voices cut through the gentle music, immediately catching Giselle's attention. At the end of the aisle stood one of the store employees- Neal, she recalled. Before him was a customer, her face turning a very strange shade of purple. Though Giselle had been living in New York for five years and had become accustomed to many things she never quite understood why people spoke to each other like the woman was speaking to Neal. Robert once explained that when things go wrong throughout the day, people often take the anger out on others for no reason. They both must have had terrible mornings.
Without further thought, Giselle swept forward. "I couldn't help but...overhear your dilemma. We actually use that brand ourselves," she fished around in the basket hanging over her arm and pulled out a box, "They've actually just changed names. Here, please take mine."
The woman gave her a sidelong glance and reached for the box before walking away sheepishly. Giselle turned back to Neal, sending him a warm smile, "Neal, right? You helped us find the perfect baking soda for my daughter's volcano project last month."
He's about to blow. He can't take this. He won't stand here and be insulted! He's going to "I couldn't help but...overhear your dilemma. We actually use that brand ourselves," someone says. He turns and sees one of the nicest customers he's ever met grabbing a box out of her basket. "They've actually just changed names. Here, please take mine." Oh, right. He remembers that switch now. He mentally berates himself for that as the customer walks away. It doesn't matter what today is, he should have remembered that. "Neal, right? You helped us find the perfect baking soda for my daughter's volcano project last month." He returns his attention to the customer that saved him, forcing a smile. Morgan and Giselle, he recalls as he looks at them.
"That's me," he agrees with fake cheerfulness, hoping to fool them. He's so close to being done with his shift and then he can just go home and try to forget this day even exists. He doesn't need a well-intending customer accidentally stumbling across his bad mood, just like he hadn't needed that rude customer making things worse. Giselle had just helped him out with that. "Thanks by the way. I don't know what I would have done without you." He gives her a charming grin to help her buy the lie because he knows exactly what he would have done without her, the end result being getting fired. Then he glances at the clock. Five minutes left on his shift. He wonders if anyone will get mad if he clocks out a couple minutes early.
Post by Storyteller on May 30, 2015 22:56:53 GMT -8
There was something under Neal's cheerful tone that didn't match the smile he flashed their way. Sadness. Something was wrong. Giselle's heart went out to him. No wonder he had reacted so strongly. It must be very difficult to work when your mind is elsewhere. She had to do something.
"I'm sure you would have managed," she assured him, touching his shoulder. "But I was hoping that you wouldn't mind doing me a favor." Indicating Morgan, who had since taken the shopping basket, she continued, "You see, we are making some homemade pizza this evening and we couldn't find any recipes that would feed any less than four people. We're bound to have tons of leftovers and it's just not as good after it's been frozen so perhaps you'd like to join us for dinner?"
It seems she's not entirely fooled because than she comes forward and touches his shoulder. "I'm sure you would have managed," she tells him kindly. "But I was hoping that you wouldn't mind doing me a favor." A favor? Maybe she hasn't noticed after all. Maybe he's safe. He can just complete this favor and then go home. "You see, we are making some homemade pizza this evening and we couldn't find any recipes that would feed any less than four people. We're bound to have tons of leftovers and it's just not as good after it's been frozen so perhaps you'd like to join us for dinner?" That is such a lie. It's not even a good one. Pizza recipes are probably made for two, and if you want to make it serve three you just follow the instructions for one and then make one with half the ingredients. And besides, no one asks you to come eat with them as a favor for them. It's only a favor for the person they're asking.
"Giselle that's sweet but..." But what? Why is he going to say no to the first person who's made an effort to be his friend in awhile? So he can go mope at home in the dark and eat crappy take out pizza? No. He doesn't have a good reason to refuse. He has a chance to make a friend and eat something home cooked for once. Besides, there is something about Giselle that reminds him of Wendy. It's probably just her being willing to let him in but still. Hasn't enough bad happened to him? He shouldn't purposely inflict more. "But I need to go clock out first."
That was a tone of voice that Giselle had come to know from Robert, often followed by an explanation of why they should not free the horses from their carriages in Central Park or why they did not need to purchase clothing for the guitar playing gentleman wearing only his underpants in Times Square. So after a moment that seemed like Neal was going to decline, Giselle was pleasantly surprised when his expression changed.
"But I need to go clock out first."
"Oh, wonderful!" Her hands clapped together with a mixture of joy and excitement. "We love having guests over for dinner." Not noticing the way that her stepdaughter chuckled at that, Giselle quickly pulled the purse from her shoulder, digging around for a pen and paper to write down their address. "Everything should be ready by six thirty." She handed him the slip of paper with a beaming smile. "I am so glad you can join us. 'I feel like this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship'. Someone said that in an old film that was on the television the other night, but it seems fitting here."
Morgan cleared her throat, raising her eyebrows as she pointed at her wrist. Giselle got that cue loud and clear, "Oh, you're right. This feast is not going to make itself." With a last grin at Neal and a chorus of goodbyes, the pair made their way to the checkout line.
"Oh, wonderful!" She exclaims happily, surprising him a bit. He knows Giselle tends to get very excited about things. He has seen her just enough around the store to know that. But really he hadn’t expected her to be that excited that he accepted her invitation. After all, she was the one doing him a favor by asking. "We love having guests over for dinner." Morgan chuckles at that and suddenly he gets a bit worried. Sure Giselle likes having guests over. But doesn’t Morgan have a father? And suddenly he doubts that the man will have the same overly optimistic and entirely open personality as his wife. If he did the family probably would not survive living in New York. "Everything should be ready by six thirty." Giselle hands him a slip of paper then, beaming at him. She seems to be overly friendly. And to be honest he likes that. It takes an overly friendly person to draw him out, at least on a day like today. And really, he’s just happy that someone wants to get to know him. "I am so glad you can join us. 'I feel like this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship'. Someone said that in an old film that was on the television the other night, but it seems fitting here." Even if that person is super chatty.
“Thanks Giselle,” he responds with a small smile as he glances down at the paper, seeing that it is an address. “I hope it will be too.” Because to be honest Bae is lonely. He has never really been the best at making friends. But now it seems like he might get one, even though it is without much initial effort on his part. He vows to make it worth Giselle’s time.
Morgan clears her throat then, tapping her wrist. "Oh, you're right. This feast is not going to make itself." And then they walk off to check out. He can’t help but chuckle to himself as he watches them go. They really do somehow make him happy, even on a day like today. He needed this. He’s still smiling to himself when he checks the time and his grin only widens. His shift is up. Maybe today will end up being good after all. Now all he has to do is figure out something he can bring over for the dinner and he’ll be all set.