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Sydney's fingers furiously typed on the cashier's cashbox at the local fast-food restuaraunt. Only, you could barely call it a 'restuarant'. It had the sophistication of a port-a-potty and the looks to match. Even the smell of their burgers resmebled a publicly used toilet! You could locate this dump on a dusty road titles,"McCords". McCords was a nice street, had a historical background, and even gay neighbor's down the road! But if you had a chance to get out of that small down, do it. No questions asked.
"Fries with that, sir?" Sydney questioned into her brown headset. Her fingers tapped lightly over the keys on the cashbox, waiting for a response.
"Of course," the voice murmured in reply, as if they had been asked the questions millions of times before. As if the whole restuarant should know the answer by now. Big Billy, as they called him, was HUGE. Not the 'Oh maybe I should go on 'The Biggest Loser' huge. But the 'Maybe I should be in a circus freakshow,' huge.
Sydney smiled to herself, and tapped the key labeled 'fries'.
"Please pull up to the first window, thank you," She said, plain and lackluster. She snapped her now tasteless Juicy Fruit and strolled over to the window. She collected the cash, handed over the 'Mud Pile's' signature bag, a potato sack, and hustled back to the cashbox.
Sydney basically worked with 2 other women. One, was an older woman by the name of Bertha. Carl was another employee, but we worked in the back so no one considered him a real Mud Pile worker. All Carl did was flip the patties on the greasy griddle.
Sydney gazed over the place's tables. The usual kids with parents. The parents were fussing over the kids, telling them to "set down their toys and eat". The usual grandparents, trying to "strike a good deal" at a fast-food place. And the usual.....Sydney's thoughts stopped for a moment.
"It can't be," She thought to herself. Her eyes traveled back and forth at about a hundred miles per second. Her hands flew up to her blonde hair, currently in a bun. She quickly yanked the stretchy elastic band out of it and slipped it onto her wrist. She shook out her hair. She looked at him once more, talking to some friends in the corner of the playplace. He looks as if he was going to come over soon. He hadn't gotten his food yet, so Sydney continued to beautify herself as fast as possible. She adjusted her hat, she dusted the bun crumbs off her apron, and she slung her pants down lower, so they didn't appear so "granny-ish."
She flipped her hair upside down. Her head was now at her stomach as her hands rapidly flew through her long blonde hair. She whipped her head up, and her hair followed. She came face to face with Sam. A gust of the wind from lashing her head back and forth, blew through his perfectly shaggy hair.
Sydney could feel her face get pale,"I...um...I..." She looked at him once more. She instantly regretted sending in an application to a local fast-food place. She instantly regretted having to take people's orders. She instantly regretted having to wear this hideous outfit. And she instantly regretted having a major attraction to Sam.
"Searching for lice?" He joked, flashing a perfectly white smile. Sydney could of sworn she say a big flash of white come out, like in a cartoon when a stunningly handsome man smiles.
He stood there, his smile fading.
Sydney realized she was acting frozen. She instantly laughed,"Noo, just fixing my hair."
He nodded and shoved his hands into the front pockets of his dark washed jeans.
"Bacon Burger," He said.
She tilted her head a little,"What?" She said furrowing her brows. Was that supposed to be an insult?
"I would like a bacon burger," He repeated, pulling a wad of cash from his pocket.
"Oh," Sydney said, as if reality had just hit her. Her job was giving out greasy food. Sam didn't come to strike a conversation, he came to get a burger.
Sydney's nail made a clicking noise as she pressed the 'bacon burger' button.
"$1.54," She said, her hand hovering over the slot where the receit was dispensed.
She felt awkward and stupid. Her outfit was hideous, and her crush was asking her for food.
He laid 2 wrinkled dollar bills on the countertop. He smiled down at it, as the receipt printed off.
The silence seemed to last forever. Sydney scooped up the cash and laid it in the cash register, and got his change. "Annddd, 46 cents is your change," She declared as she tore off the reciept and gently laid both the change and sales slip into hand.
He turned over his hand once she had given him his money,"Keep the change," He grinned, as he shuffled to the side, waiting for his food tray.
Sydney looked down at the dimes and pennies in her hands. She wrapped her fingers around them tight and one by one dropped them into her apron. She smiled, to her this was more than just some 46 cents. This was money...from a hot boy!
Minutes later, every one of Sam's friends had a greasy cheap menu item shoved into their mouths.
"That's Hot," Sydney murmured, as she stood from behind the wretched fast-food counter.
It was already nearing 6:00, and Sydney's shift was almost over. The boys were still there. Every last one of them. They were laughing and joking, probably about that pathetic excuse for a girl working behind the counter. Sydney assumed that anyway. Those same boys had spent the past 2 hours in this joint. Eating burger after burger, shake after shake...and each and every time, Sydney was obligated to say. "Would you like fries with that?". And time and time again, they each said no. Sydney wasn't surprised, her co-worker, Bertha, worked in that "department" of deep-frying those greasy, soggy fries. It was easy to say, there weren't many fans of them.
Sydney looked at Sam. His face must her from smiling and laughing, thought Sydney. And the truth was, Sydney needed some cheer in her life. Her best friend was much prettier than her, according to all the guys she knew. And besides that, she was missing Survivor, and those shirtless stranded men were one of the only things that truly did make her grin.
It was almost time for her to leave Mudpiles. She couldn't wait to take off her uniform and take a nice long bath. Her long skinny arms seemed to wrap around her waist as she struggled to untie that blue knot that kept the MudPile signature apron tightly hugging her petite frame. She heard the clatter of stacking brown trays in her surroundings. Must be Bertha, Sydney assumed, putting blame on the dishwasher in the back. She made soft squeaking sounds as she fussed with the tangled blue ropes.
Someone coughed slightly,"You...uh....need any help?" The voice seemed to say.
Sydney's head moved slowly around her shoulder, as if this voice could have belonged to a vicious alien from the planet Mudpile. But in her head, she knew who that voice belonged to.
She met eyes with the most stunningly amazing boy, that every girl wanted her hands on.
"Sure," She replied, a slight tremble in her voice. She eyed him once more, turned around to face the back of the restaurant, and took a step backwards.
He laughed. Her head snapped back, suddenly paranoid at what he found funny. "What?" She demanded, her voice boomed harsher than expected.
He brushed a wisp of brown hair away from his bright blue eyes, "Nothing, It's just...." He paused, thinking for a mere moment. "Here," He said, his open palm wrapping on the ugly brown counter. "Scoot on up here."
Sydney's eyes bulged. "Put my...booty on the counter?" She questioned, suddenly regretting the word "booty" was in her vocabulary.
He nodded,"Yes, put your "booty" up here," He repeated, a slight mock-tone in his voice.
"Heh," She said, a fake grin on her face. Stupid! Stupid!, She thought to herself.
Once sliding her small body onto the counter, Sam untangle the knot effortlessly. He put the blue apron over her head, and handed it to her.
"There you go," He said, wiping his hands on his jeans nonchalantly, making sure no ketchup stains or bun crumbs would be left on his hands.
Sydney turned and hung her work apron on a metal nail hook.
"Thanks," She smiled, still turned away.
"No prob," He responded, tucking his hands into his front pockets. Sydney wondered if that was a nervous habit, or a way of trying to look cool.
"Sam, hurry up!" A group of voices called from the clear glass door. The tall one with the skateboard propped up by his shoe gestured towards the door,"Come on!"
Sydney stole last look at those bright blue eyes. Still hands in pockets, he looked at her, turned away and ran after his eclectic group of friends.
Sydney sighed quietly to herself, but her thoughts were interrupted by laughter. She looked over to the group, now outside the building. All the shaggy haired heads turned to look at her, but once she caught their stare they quickly turned back.
Sydney was utterly confused. Was Sam "pity-flirting" with her, something him and his friends would laugh about at his house after school? Something that him and his buds could joke about teasingly? Or wasn't it? Sydney had a feeling it wasn't pity though. She really had a feeling.
Sydney doodled circles in the side margin or her notebook. It was the only the beginning of 10th grade English and she was already confused. Doodling seemed to sort out her mind, stimulate her brain even! Then she realized she doodled more than just shapes. She doodled a name. Sam.
Sydney quickly crossed it out, and sat up in her chair.
Ms. Guffman, her English teacher, stood up straight and tall, brushed some graying hair behind her ear, and smiled. "Today we are getting a NEW student," She exclaimed over-enthusiastically.
Sydney slouched in her chair a bit. All the new kids were the same to her. They had glasses, a geeky laugh, and always had flawless grades. She was not as anxious as her teacher...obviously. To some girls and guys, new kids are, well, "easy". They don't know who "rules the school" and who the popular kids are. So on the rare occasion that a new kid is hot, everyone floods to them the first few days. Everyone but Sydney.
She continued drawing squiggly lines and shapes.
Ms. Guffman opened her arms wide, "Here's....Jordan Cooper."
He took a step into the room, assisted by the chunky school principal. Ms. Guffman clapped her hands once, cupping them by her middle. Her full-powered smile, gazed around the room, looking for approval.
Sydney didn't bother to look up, she knew what was coming, a kid with a pocket protector, "flood" pants, and a crisply ironed white button-up.
She lifted her gaze from her lined notebook paper, to his face. Whoa, She thought. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.
Yeah, "Whoa" was a nice way to describe him. He was tanned, probably from his hometown, wherever that was. Had slightly shaggy blonde hair, with subtle highlights, and beachy clothes. His top was Abercrombie and Fitch, perfectly hugging those nice abs. He had jeans on, nice and casual. Sydney was pleasantly surprised that his outfit didn't consist of shorts. She secretly thought guys in shorts was a HUGE turn-off. Those gross manly hairy legs in shorts? Blech. It grossed her out.
Sydney blinked to realize that he was staring at her too. Oops, She thought. Now he probably thinks I'm a freaky stare-er...person.
Oddly enough her smiled at her. I think I feel my heart starting to melt, She thought, feeling her heart beat fasten. She observed the chair by her side. Hmm, being the last in alphabetical order DOES have it's advantages, She noted to herself, looking at the empty seat next to hers. This was a time where being last in order really did have an upside.
Ms. Guffman continued, grinning, "Jordan here is from Arizona. Mmk?" She said, as if anyone had a question about the new kid. "He is used to wide open spaces," She noted, adding a silently "I think," afterwards. The teacher pointed towards the empty maroon seat. "You can take that seat right there by Sydney," She said, directing him over towards her.
She smiled big, and he returned it. Maybe this new kid thing wouldn't be so bad after all.