Hurry Up and Buy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The supermarket was blackened with age, and had been ambushed by spray paint's fury. Some say Kennedy stopped there once. Broken liquor bottles and their spilled poison adorned the ground, creating stains. A wiry man sat in a shiny red Camaro staring at me. Or was he? You don't belong here, he was probably thinking.

I walked toward the entrance, put a hand on the knob and pulled. The door complained with a loud creak as sunlight traveled through the crack, my skinny silhouette in the center. I walked on the sticky floors, anxious to see the new issue of Rolling Stone, but felt eyes burning a hole in my back.

"Hurry up and buy," a shrill voice barked like a drill sergeant. I turned to see a petite woman behind the cash register, fear painted wildly on her face, her eyes cold, her mouth stern and jagged. I assured her I was just browsing; but her eyes never left me. I placed my hands on the magazine rack to grab Rolling Stone when another customer, pale of face, entered the store.

Seemingly out of character, the cashier diverted her attention to him, flashing an ear-to-ear smile. She quickly regained her composure to make sure I would "hurry up and buy." I walked slowly to the register and slammed the magazine on the counter. Disgust was within me.

I paid, took my magazine and glanced over my shoulder to see the pale-faced man at the same magazine rack, a copy of Gun Show in his hands. He placed it back on the rack and headed for the door. The cashier shot him another smile while I stood there, startled to see a magazine hidden under his shirt. And all the cashier could say was, "Thanks for stopping, please come again." I thought, It must have been my beautiful black skin.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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