After what seems like an eternity, I reach the end of my shift. I remove my apron and smooth out the front of my shirt, wishing I had something better to wear. My sweating palm pushes the front door to the restaurant open, ringing the bell attached, and in this instant I hear Dan calling my name. I turn back, disoriented. This was not part of my plan and I don’t know how to handle variations in it. Dan is storming around the corner, a look of fury in his eyes.
“What’s wrong with you? Can’t you do anything I ask you to?” He is looming over me, so close I can see the tiny red veins in his eyes and smell the pizza sauce on his breath. I have no idea what I have done.
“I asked you to put the meats away in the cooler six hours ago. Look at this,” he yells, holding up a handful of stinking sausage, “it got left right by the ovens. Do you think I can put this on a pizza now?” With that he smashes the handful of meat into the side of my face, pressing it hard into my hair and ear, making sure some of it finds its way down the inside of my shirt. The excitement and power I felt before is gone and I am reminded of who I really am. I know this girl would never like me; I’m a loser who can’t do anything right. Trying not to look Dan in the eye I stand there and take the verbal beating he throws at me, not having the confidence to do anything.
“You’re paying for everything you ruined,” he says in a calmer voice, turning and walking away. I stand, destroyed, in the front of the store, bits of meat clinging to my face and hair. The only customer in the restaurant is trying to pretend like she didn’t see anything happen. Jackie hands me a towel from behind the counter to wipe my face with. As I do I look across the street to the gas station, wondering if I could kill myself by walking in front of a bus on the way over there. I quickly decide I would rather kill myself at home.