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A Day Behind the Scenes

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“Give me two tall coffees with two percent milk,” Lauren Smith barked at me holding her blackberry between her head and her shoulders and tactically balancing the two coffee drinks I promptly handed her. Without so much as a thank you, Lauren went over and sat at the table neighboring the cash register where I stood mutely taking in the juicy conversation that Lauren seemed to think no one but she could hear. I watched the blonde try and take a sip of her coffee and twist up her face at the blistering hotness of the drink. “Someone bring me a napkin!” She wailed looking down at her ruined dress not realizing there was no real incentive to scream because I was less than five feet away from the girl. Yes, this was my life. If I were a superhero I would be called “the invisible girl.” I ran for the napkins, snatched five or ten and scurried to her side. Clearly flustered, Lauren snatched the napkins out of my hand, looked at me in pure repulsion and then waved me away. This was actually the most attention I had gotten all day from someone who wasn’t family. Sad, I know, but being the invisible girl has its rewards. If you knew how much talk I had heard on all of the popular kids at Eastbrook High. You might make the mistake of thinking I knew them. The truth is, I did. My name, by the way, Christie Miller. And yes I was once one of those trendy popular kids at my school. Anyway, back to story. Bing! Bong! The door to the Starbucks shop I worked in clanged and rattled as two patent leather designer ballet flats padded into the doorway, fitted neatly on Anna Simpson’s “too tanned for winter” legs. “Hi!” Anna waved eagerly in my direction. I waved with a big smile on my face. Anna looked at me in the same approach of disgust Lauren had when I handed her the napkins. I turned around and realized that she had been waving to Lauren who happened to be standing behind me, getting a sleeve for her coffee the entire time. I blew my bangs out of my face and sighed, bracing myself for the jokes to come at me for looking so oblivious. I waited wordlessly but I soon realized that the two girls had forgotten completely about me and had moved on. I inched towards them pressing as close as I could get the counter that surrounded me, pretending stealthily to refill the napkin dispenser. A pointless disguise since the two girls would probably never detect me even if I had sat down at the table with them. I could probably even get away with leaning into the conversation. I decided to put my luck to the test, or more “invisibility” than luck. I grabbed a washcloth and began scrubbing the table next to the two girls who were now whispering so quickly, it sounded like a whole other language. I longed so badly to be the third girl at the table. “Christie!” Matt, the irritable, perfectionist of a manager snapped at me. I dropped my rag in alarm. “ I just cleaned those tables!” Each word that came out of his big mouth seemed to bite me. “But… I was just…” I muttered, my face growing red knowing that the two girls at the table behind me had probably figured out by now that I had been trying to get in on their conversation. “No butts,” Matt cut me off with two more of those piercing words. Anna and Lauren giggled clearly enjoying my embarrassment. “ I don’t even know why I try and embarrass you Christie,” Matt smiled to himself. “You’re just so good at it yourself.” Matt looked around clearly searching for some high fives. Thankfully he found none. I backed and started to sniffle. I big hot tear rolled down my face. Not realizing I was still backing up, I slipped on my rag that started this whole mess and fell. Not a graceful fall, this one was only one I would be able to accomplish. Arms flailing, one of them hit Lauren’s coffee. The second my rear hit the floor, hot Coffee splashed all over me, Lauren and Anna. After a minute, I looked up at the two girls, who were apparently still in shock. “Get-us-a-napkin!” Lauren’s spitting words seemed to quite outdo the sting Matt’s had caused me. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. “I…I’m so so…” I tried in vain. “NOW!” Lauren belted. That was enough to make me leap to my feet and scramble across the shop. I grasped as many napkins as I could get out the dispenser, still trembling with embarrassment. The hot tears were coming in a steady stream by this time and there was nothing I could do to stop them. When I returned to Lauren and Anna’s table, I got duplicate revolted stares. I looked up and realized that Matt had been standing there laughing the entire time. However, when I looked at him, his teasing grin faded instantly. “Go home Christie, you’ve done enough,” he said. His biting words a little duller, almost sorry. My head down, apron still on, I left the shop, never wanting to come back.

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Eloise Windsor Jones





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