The store had nearly emptied by dusk, and the supervisor was asking employees one by one if they wanted to keep working or go home early.
“Timothy, you’re needed to the front. Timothy you’re need to the front!” came an announcement over the intercom. George heard it and scowled at a bag of chips in aisle eight. He was busy doing go-backs, or restocking the shelves with items that were out of place. He laid the chips down on the rack as he tried to finish putting back the cart full of random items.
“George!” Meagan called from up the aisle, rushing to him. “You can go on your break, but they might call you down afterwards to let you go. It’s amazing that we might actually get three whole hours of fun tonight!” She took the cart from him and began running down the aisle, the wheels squeaking as she disappeared around the corner.
George walked upstairs and went into his locker to check his phone. He sipped his water as he saw a text pop up in his notifications.
Timothy never asked me to do this, this is the first time I’ve heard about this idea. I’m going to have to have a talk with him when he gets home.
George immediately sprayed water onto the table just as Timothy walked into the breakroom.
“What happened!?” Timothy rushed over to George as he coughed in disbelief.
“You lied to me! You said it was fine for you to come with us to set off fireworks! You didn’t even ask your mom! Stay away from me…” George was backing away as Timothy stepped forward.
“Let me explain…”
“You don’t need to explain.” George ran down the stairs, a mixture of fury and numbness flooded inside him. He ran down the stairs and outside to a bench. Timothy followed him, sitting beside him.
“I had to wait for the perfect time to ask her, and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to at all. I was going to ask right after my shift, but now that I’m going home early, I can talk to her face-to-face.”
“All I did was thank her for letting you come…how was I supposed to know!?” George turned his head away, not wanting to talk to him any longer.
“I’ll let you know if I can or not later. You need to stop being paranoid and trust me for once.” He walked away into the parking lot, leaving a silenced George.
How can I trust you when you constantly lie to me? Why did you tell me you had asked her when you hadn’t? I can’t trust you when you don’t even try for me. I try for you all the time. My heart is aching, it hurts to breathe, to live.
His excitement and sprightly mood vanished into the humid air as the fifteen minutes slipped by aimlessly. He clocked back in, and within twenty minutes he was called to the customer service desk.
“We are dead, and we still have too many people working. Would you like to go home early?” Melody, the supervisor, gave him a stern expression as if trying to intimidate him into leaving.
“Sure, I finished the go-backs, and there’s not much else for me to work on. Thanks!” George rushed upstairs to grab his things. Meagan, Becca, and Hannah were waiting for him at a table.
“Are you okay, hun?” Becca stood up and bear-hugged him.
“What happened?” Meagan asked, a little concerned.
“Nothing, don’t worry about it. Let’s just get the fireworks. I’ll text Timothy afterwards.”
Downstairs, they went into the seasonal aisle and began grabbing poppers, fountains, sparklers, and roman candles.
“Did anyone think of what we would be sitting on? I don’t exactly want to sit on the grass the whole night,” Hannah asked from behind. George and Becca gave a puzzled stare.
“I brought an old blanket,” Meagan replied laying her share of fireworks on the conveyor belt.
“Great! What about flashlights?” Hannah asked.
“I didn’t bring any…” Meagan drifted off.
“I have flashlights in my car.” All four of them turned around to face Dom behind them.
“Why do you have flashlights in your car…?” Meagan asked suspiciously.
“In case of an emergency. I’ll let you borrow them if I can join in tonight.” He smiled back at Meagan. Meagan exchanged a hopeful glance with George.
“Fine, but only if you pitch in a few dollars.” George dumped his pile on the conveyor belt, giving the cashier his share of ten dollars.
“Sounds fair,” Dom slipped a five in the cashier’s hand.
George flipped through his phone as everyone else began pitching in their share, and sent a text to Timothy.
Are you coming or not? We’ll be at my sister’s house; we have the fireworks ready. You know where my sister lives. I expect you to be there.
George strained a smile to all four of them, “Alright, let’s have some fun!”