BZZZ, BZZZ! Meagan’s phone woke her with a more fiercer vibration than usual, as if her phone sensed danger. She yawned and rubbed her eyes as she reached for her phone. She found it underneath the covers. A reply from George was waiting for her and she smiled as she viewed it:
I’m fine, don’t worry about me. I’ll see you today at work. I want you to introduce me to Becca and Hannah…
She was relieved that her friend was fine, and with that problem solved she knew she would have a bright day.
George hid himself underneath his covers and refused to believe what his eyes had seen: a picture of Timothy and Michael together in Timothy’s room posted only several hours ago. George pressed his head tightly, almost suffocating himself, and bawled with despair into his pillow. The pain his heart felt spread all over his body and filled him with numbness. After ten minutes, he had shed all the tears he could muster, and then balled his fists in defiance.
“I won’t let my parents know that I’ve cried. I have to act normal for them and for my coworkers. I can’t let anyone know…” George picked himself up and quickly ran into the bathroom to take a shower. The steaming water melted the numbness away and a new George stepped into existence.
When George got to work, he could feel Timothy staring at the back of his head as he went to clock in. He made no effort to acknowledge him, and the supervisor made him bag for Meagan once again.
“So, Meagan, will you point out Becca and Hannah?” George smiled and her eyes lit up in delight.
“Of course! That’s Becca,” she quickly pointed to a tall girl with red dyed hair and glasses at the express lane. “She is the sweetest person you’ll meet here. She knows where everything is and knows most of the produce numbers. All you have to do is say hi and be respectful, and she’s your friend!” Meagan began scanning items as a customer began unloading their buggy.
“Hannah is two lanes down from us, bagging. We call her ginger because she’s the only ginger here, but if you need comebacks or memes, she’s your gal! She’s hilarious, so try to talk to her sometime!” George nodded and he began bagging as fast as he could, deep in thought.
Making new friends right now won’t be bad. I need to be more social, but my timidity always gets in the way and I hide.
“Woah, George! You’re bagging twenty miles an hour! You don’t have to bag that fast!” “Oh, sorry, but isn’t that the goal? A fast checkout? Have a wonderful day ma’am!” He smiled brightly at the customer, and Meagan smirked.
“I guess that means that I can scan faster? Prepare yourself for the next order!” She crouched on her knees and pulled out the cleaning spray and napkins. “Do you mind helping me clean the conveyor belt?” She handed him the napkins as she sprayed down the belt.
“Um…Meagan…can I ask your thoughts about Timothy?” George stared down in a daze, mechanically wiping down the conveyor belt in circular motions.
“He’s nice, I guess…he has an attitude sometimes, and he seems shady at times. Why?”
“Oh, I was only wondering, I don’t know why I asked.” He sighed heavily, and kept staring down so that she could not see his eyes.
“Are you two not talking?”
George threw the napkin away, shaking his head. “Forget it, it’s nothing.”
“Alright, well…I have awesome news! I’m going out tonight, but not a date, just out with a friend. We’re going to Sweet Frog across the street. I’m going with Dom.” Meagan replied ecstatically, changing the subject.
“Well, you’ll have to text me how that goes later tonight!” George smiled as a finger tapped his shoulder. It was Timothy. “What…?” He asked without emotion.
“Why are you ignoring me? Did you get my texts? I fixed things with my mom, heh. All I had to do was butter her up. You can’t be mad at me.” He stared at him with innocent puppy eyes.
“I didn’t get your texts, and I’m not ignoring you. Go do your job. I’ll talk to you after work.” He didn’t recognize his voice as he spat the words harshly at Timothy, who walked away without saying anything.
Meagan kept quiet as she waited for the next customer. George had the urge to tell her what was going on, but decided not to for fear of losing a friend.
Follow along from the beginning