Day 29: Write about someone who sees a person they know and tries to avoid them.
It was Friday and they were all coming home from school. A mass of them, tumbling down the hill and into town, spreading out into various shops, but the bulk in Tesco. If they got lucky, Sam would be on shift and they would get away with buying their cheap vodka. Today he was, and he saw them first.
Kel walked into the shop and threw her hair back as the air con hit her. Arms linked with her two favourites of the group, she clip clopped up and down all the aisles, like she did every week, even though she only bought one thing. Members of the group changed sometimes, but Kel was always there - always the ringleader.
Sam was on his own. This only happened for two reasons:
- If Nick, his manager was out for a cig, which happened to be every fifteen minutes these days after his wife nearly caught him cheating.
- If Celia and Melissa were skiving off at the back of the shop re-stocking the toiletry shelves.
Nick was on the kiosk today, and he'd asked Sam to keep an eye on it while he popped out. He had considered starting smoking just for the sake of an extra half hour paid break. He hated Kel but at least she talked to him. At least she acknowledged him even if she was a bitch. He didn't want to serve her. Friday afternoon and he was the only cashier on a ten till supermarket. There was no way out.
"Hey Sammy," Kel said, leaning over the conveyor belt on the till to ruffle Sam's hair.
"Quiet day?" Kel asked. One of the girls snorted.
"Can I interest you in any of our special offers or - " Sam started to say as he scanned a money off coupon through the till. The group howled.
"We're good, thanks. But - uh - you wouldn't do us a favour and slip this one through, would ya?" She said, producing a litre bottle of Tesco value vodka.
"Go on. You can hang with us tonight if you do," one of the other girls said.
"I'm busy tonight," he said.
"Don't be shit."
Her friends queued up her behind her like back up, arms folded and rucksacks slung over one shoulder.
"No one's coming," she said.
Sam's hands shook as he scanned the alcohol through the till.
"Tenner, please," he said, cracking his knuckles.
"I think you'll find it's £9.99 Samuel," Kel said, fishing in her bag for her purse and winking at him. The clang laughed behind her. "It's alright - you can keep the change," she said and slipped the bottle into her bag.
"See you tonight," one of the girls said trailing after Kel as they left the shop.
"Fuck off," he said. But they were already gone.
Sam shut the till and shredded the receipt into the bin under his till. His hands were still shaking. His cheeks were hot and he felt sweat prickling underneath the curve of his hairline. A camera squinted at him in the corner of the shop. It was too far away to show the girls' uniforms - for security to see what he had done - he thought. Must be. He hadn't got caught before.