Chapter 1 – Where to Begin

     It was too much, working at the Pinwheel was awful. When Stephanie had decided to transfer to Norman from Oklahoma City, she did not foresee the consequences. She had taken the over night stocker job and it was great, but then she had unattainable time limits and her bosses were looming over her every move. What finally made her snap was when her manager, this stringy blonde bitch, decided to tell another co-worker that she didn’t care if Stephanie walked out. So that is exactly what she did. Stephanie had already made plans to give two weeks notice and had a new job lined up, but her pride was hurt. She couldn’t take the abuse of the ex-drill Sergent manager and the stringy blonde anymore. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a car yet, So she waited outside the Pinwheel for an hour until her boyfriend Fernando showed up. It was pretty humiliating.
     The next day she started her new job at Bookies. A little bookstore that was smaller than any other store she had worked for. It was definitely beaten up looking, not as shiny and new as bigger chain stores. There was a charming coffee shop, Foaming Swirl. It was empty, in fact the whole store was empty. There were a couple of stragglers roaming about, but it wasn’t like the stores she had worked for before, Long lines and angry looking customers. This was charming, quiet, and easy. She was starting as a cashier, but she was a little upset about the wages. She had been promised eight dollars an hour, but the manager informed her afterward that she would only be making seven dollars and fifty cents. Not a giant difference, but still a jerk move.
     From there it was pretty nice; talking to the other cashiers, being a kiss ass to the managers, and just enjoying not having to really work to survive. Living with Fernando was also fun. For the first time in her life, Stephanie was living with someone other than her parents. He was big, strong, and warm. He made her happy all the time with little things. He’d go out and buy her favorite games so she could play them, or cuddle her and warm her feet. She’d cleaned the house the first day, because you could tell it had been a bachelor pad once. Things were what she thought was perfect, but if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. There were days when Stephanie would have to walk home at night because she didn’t have a car and Fernando was too tired to come and get her, times when she would go grocery shopping and buy food, and Fernando wouldn’t help pay for it, and let’s not forget Fernandos’ anger when Stephanie so much as touched his phone.
     Stephanie thought it was enough to be faithful, but relationships take more than a promise to love only one person. If she was the only one willing to sacrifice, it was bound to fail eventually. Still, she had her mind made up and boy was she stubborn. She had made friends with all of the other cashiers and even some of the stockers. There was the small and lovable Kathy, Heather, Jack, Mary, and those were just some of the cashiers. The stockers were Hank, Greg, Pete, and Dan. Then there was the Baristas Jessie, Tyler, and Lacy. She had wanted to work there, but she was terrified of making too many mistakes. Not to mention she had trouble putting in the application in the first place.
     So on went life in the quiet homey bookstore. Then one day she saw a new face at the Foaming swirl, Brian. He was tall, at least 6″ and he wore a crisp white shirt. It was tight on his lean muscles. He had sparkling blue eyes like the ocean and a gleaming white smile, that was almost too bright. His skin was flawless and pale white, she wanted to bite into it. She felt achy in places she didn’t know could ache when she saw him and he was looking at her. He was looking at her a lot actually, but she doubted he was looking at her. More likely he was looking through her, or that’s how she felt. She was no where near as pretty as other girls who flirted and twirled their hair at him. She stood at 5’6, kind of lanky, with short blonde hair that made her look like a pretty lesbian. Her teeth were yellow, because she drank too much soda and tea. She had moderate acne and she wasn’t girly enough to take care of her hair and nails.
     Stephanie thought Brian was the most handsome man she had ever seen. The problem with that was that she was already dating somebody. So she decided to make him hate her. She would rather him hate her, so that she could hate him. She noticed how often he stared and decided to use it against him. Stephanie started it all by telling Tracey that she thought his staring was creepy. She would have used any excuse to hate him, because he was a threat to what she thought was her perfect life. He threatened her future just by existing. Stephanie told herself that boys like him were just like the ones in school. The boys who tease people for fun and who say things like, “Sleep with Stephanie. She’s probably desperate for cock by now.”Stephanie was a virgin all through high school and it wasn’t looked upon as a good thing. That’s how she saw Brian at least.

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