Chapter 1 – Continued 2

     Around that time the gift shop cashier had decided to switch back to being a regular cashier. Apparently the manager over the gift shop was this devil woman, if you believed the rumors. Stephanie was not one to believe rumors, I mean… She had started one about Brian that was complete bull shit. The person who controlled the rumors was always the winner in any battle in high school, She’d learned that the hard way. So she learned how to network at a young age. She figured the assistant was just a lazy punk who didn’t want to work. There were lots of types like that at the store. They often quit after a couple weeks, but Stephanie wasn’t like that. She loved working, it was where she could daydream and get her mind straight. She often day dreamed about Brian. It was embarrassing to realize where she was after a couple of those day dreams and she always felt guilty.
     She’d mentioned to the gift shop manager, Pam, that she had worked at a gift shop before in idle conversation and that she enjoyed it. Her old boss Tonya was still a friend on her Facebook page. She had once driven to New York with Tonya after work. It was terrifying. Tonya was driving and as soon as they left the parking lot, she started drinking and driving literally. She had Stephanie open the beers for her in fact and Stephanie was far to shy to say, “Hey. This is dangerous!” No, she just quietly accepted it and let her drive her unsafely to Tonya’s’ families house. After getting to New York, Tonya and Stephanie went shopping in between Tonya peeing on herself and squatting to pee between cars. It was a night to remember. She even stole a champagne glass from the restaurant they ate at.
     Pam remembered Stephanie saying that and the assistant store manager took Stephanie into a room in the back of the store. “So, Stephanie I wanted to know if you were interested in going to the gift shop. I’m not going to sugar coat it, but the manager is a bully. I won’t let her bully you though and if she makes you feel uncomfortable I’ll talk to her personally.” Rhonda spoke calmly to her, “Pam was already warned about her bullying ways and when her assistant quit, she had said what about that perky blonde in the front of the store.”
     “I wouldn’t mind working for her. I don’t really know her that well, but she seems nice enough to me,” Stephanie ventured. She was a little scared because she didn’t know how she would do making gift baskets. She had some training, but not really as much as she would have liked. For the most part at her old store she had been a pricing assistant, changing out price tags and sorting the weekly special tags. Stephanie didn’t know this at the time, but she was making a mistake. Managers aren’t called bullies for no reason. After about an hour in the back room with Rhonda trying to talk her out of it, she finally accepted Stephanie’s decision.
     Her first day at the gift shop was pretty simple. She just opened up boxes and put the stuff on counters. It was similar to what she had already learned, but she went a little slower because she was nervous. All that talk of Pam being a mean manager made her feel skittish. To her though, Pam had been nothing but nice. She was shown how to make little gift baskets and how to make simple bows. So for half the day she practiced that and learned the bare basics of running the gift shop. The next day she’d be by herself, so she had to be ready to do all this stuff alone. A couple of days went by uneventfully and she grew used to her daily routines.
     With everything going on Stephanie hadn’t thought about how Brian had felt with her rumor that he was creepy. She had only thought about her feelings on the matter. She didn’t think that he would be hurt by it, because most of the girls didn’t care. They still thought he was hot, and a lot of them questioned Stephanie for disliking such a hot beef cake. She was selfish, hurtful, and cruel just because she found him attractive. While Stephanie was working,  she heard him talking to Jessie about how he was upset for creeping her out. She had hurt someone that didn’t deserve it and she felt ashamed. The next day she took her pride in and humbled herself enough to apologize to him. Of course, she was going to be embarrassed. He would never admit to his trolling her and she knew it. She was just going to have to take it. She deserved it after all for spreading a rumor.
     “Hi, You creep me out. I think you might have done it purposely, but you scared me and I might have said some mean things about you. I’m sorry,” Stephanie said growing more red with each word. Her ears were on fire she was that embarrassed. She stood there like a fool, her apology not that apologetic, but she at least tried. It’s the thought that counts right?
     “I don’t remember doing that,” Brian said incredulously. He was full of shit and he knew it. She was surprised he could keep a straight face. He was an exceptional liar.
“That day you were a troll and made that creepy face at me all day. You don’t remember that? Kathy saw you too.” Stephanie replied with a slight tinge of annoyance.
     “Nope, don’t recall,” He smoothly lied through his fucking sparkling white teeth.
     “Anyway, I’m sorry. Bye,” She mumbled. She fled then without giving him another word. He made her so fucking mad, she wanted to punch him square in his pretty jaw. She knew she was wrong, but he was definitely annoying, Really fucking smug, and really handsome up close. She could barely look him in the eye he was so man pretty. Handsome just didn’t cut it for looks like that. She still had wanted to deck the son of a bitch, but maybe in his stomach so that she didn’t hurt his face.

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