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Indirect Tipping

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A bell rang and feet shuffled over the noise of the magazine’s turning pages. The clack of the heels meeting the floor rose Rachel to attention, pulling her head out of the pages to graze her eyes over the teetering woman before her. The woman was tottering about on her right side, shuffling into the row of goods as she maneuvered toward the fridges in the back of the store. No doubt she was drunk and on beer duty as she clambered toward the fridges, flaying her hand about as she reached for the handle that was still many feet away. Such stupidity, but fantastic timing. The store was empty of customers as it was near midnight and the roads were vacant this far out of the city. This is why our shop should close up at ten. How does he expect to pay us well when I am working shifts with little to no customers passing through? Rachel let the thought caress her mind and exit as she bounced over the counter, sweeping over its surface and catching her skirt on the merchandise that jutted out from beneath the opposing side of the counter. A short squeak tossed around her throat before succumbing to the silence of her closed lips. She didn’t want to disturb the woman until she was in the right position. Rachel slipped the skirt out from where it was stuck and trotted toward the beverages, pressing her back into the cool wall of the clear fridge door, “How are you m’am?” The woman had lifted her chin to sweep her eyes over Rachel, but they were detached as her gaze swept across the room and swung back in a fit of drunkenness. A breath caressed Rachel’s lips as she grazed past the woman, dipping her hand down to slip through the loop of the purse handle before entering into the large coat pocket to snatch up a phone. Her arm jetted back as she jumped, feigning embarrassment as she allowed her cheeks to burst red, “Oh, I’m so sorry m’am. I didn’t mean to run into you. Here I’ll help you out to your car.” Rachel hooked her other arm into the crook of the woman’s swinging arms, leading her along to the door before pressing her past the doors. Once the air had settled with the closing doors, Rachel turned her back to the exit to glance down at her prize, popping her gum to disable the silence about her and twisting her tongue around it as her lips curved around a thick smirk, “Thanks for the tip.”



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