Chapter One


          I swung the door of the 7-Eleven open and immediately hated myself for choosing this gas station out of the array of gas stations within two miles of here. Places that have the little bell tied to the door handle are my least favorite places for a number of reasons such as:

  1. Not only is the sound incredibly obnoxious to me (and probably more-so for the employees that will have to deal with my ass), but also because
  2. the bell screams, “HEY, LOOK AT ME,” and
  3. I hate receiving attention.

Even the kind that people are paid to give me. Actually, especially the kind that people are paid to give me. All of a sudden, I’m pissed off at my therapist. Fuck you and your stupid name, Glenn.

After dismissing my super healthy thought process, I began to actually process the chaotic scene that was going down in front of me. Here I am, lingering in the doorway of a shady gas station at 3 AM on a Wednesday, throwing a minor tantrum in my head while there’s an entire fiasco occurring right before my eyes. Man, I really do miss out on a lot of things because of all of the time that I spend inside of my head. At least that’s what Glenn says anyways. I think Glenn spends a lot of time inside of my head too. (Fuck you, Glenn.)

There’s a girl standing at the counter who looks about my age, but she’s far less composed. Not that I have my shit together by any means though because I most certainly do not. It’s just that she’s throwing her temper tantrum out loud over who-knows-what while I, on the other hand, have gotten really good at internalizing things. Naturally, this makes me superior. Well, I don’t know. I mean, okay. I’m not trying to sound like a prick or anything, I’m just not usually in favor of the kinda people that lack the human decency to pretend to be alright. You know, for everyone else’s sake. And comfort.

Look, here’s a little life tip: follow the script. You know the one I’m talking about, too. It’s the one that you follow when someone asks you how you’re doing and you automatically lie and say, “I’m fine, thanks,” despite the fact that you’re most likely not “fine,” but that doesn’t really matter because you know that the person you’re talking to doesn’t actually give a shit about your well-being– and honestly, neither do you– but you do them the service of pretending to be engaged in the empty conversation anyways because that is the polite thing to do. I’m getting carried away. Listen, my point is that I think it is very important to know when to shut the fuck up. Hell, it’s vital. People who lack the ability to bite their tongue have a slim chance of getting anywhere in life and that’s a fucking fact.

Of course, every once in a while, you may find yourself in the presence of someone who lacks respect for the script entirely.

“I don’t know what else you want to hear—it’s not a fake ID. Who the hell buys a fake ID so that they can buy cigs? I don’t even have a fake ID, and listen you little mentally deficient dumbass, if I did, I would at least get one that said I was 21,” I overhear the girl say. Or yell, really. She’s timid and her bright red hair is raggedy, but her ass is so fat that I almost don’t hate this gas station anymore. Calling someone “mentally deficient” isn’t an insult you typically hear come out of a hot girl’s mouth so I don’t know if I’m still here due to my curiosity regarding her situation or my curiosity regarding her face. And the size of her rack too if we’re being honest.

“I don’t care what you say, ma’am, that photo doesn’t look like you so I’m not selling to you,” the cashier said. He was so level-headed. I think it pissed her off even more.

“Alright fucker, I hate spilling my shit but clearly you won’t pull the stick out of your ass unless I give you a small dose of my reality.”

I can tell this is going to be good. Maybe I should buy some of their popcorn, or at least pretend to browse through the aisles. However, I wound up doing neither of those things. I just stood there with my hands in my pockets instead like the nosy, wide-eyed idiot that I am.

“I just found out that my mom is fucking my boyfriend. Do you want to know how I found out? I took my dog for a walk around my neighborhood earlier and saw a car that looked an awful lot like my boyfriend’s car having a fucking seizure on a street that wasn’t mine. Of course, when I say ‘seizure’ I am absolutely referring to the fact that the car was bouncing around like a fish out of water because my boyfriend’s dick was out of his pants and inside of my mother in the backseat. The audacity of this motherfucker. I mean, really? Out of all of the women in the world, he just has to cheat on me by putting his cock inside of the one pussy that I came out of? It’s almost so fucking appalling that it’s flattering.”

The cashier simultaneously looks annoyed and intrigued. I really should buy popcorn.

“That’s not even the worst part either. I was so shocked that I dropped my dog’s leash and he darted off with his newfound freedom right into oncoming traffic. To make matters even worse–if you can imagine–I’m only two months sober and my favorite drug dealer is in jail, and if I can’t relapse with the good shit, is a relapse even worth it? So, again my man, unless you know someone with some quality heroin, I’m going to need that pack of cigarettes.” The cashier nodded in acceptance of defeat and I am undeniably impressed. Not too many females know how to tell a story like that. I was wrong earlier; fuck a script.

She seems like she could use a Glenn in her life, and hell, I could probably use her in mine. I mean, misery loves company and it sure as shit sounds like she’s single.

She threw a ball of wadded up cash onto the counter. “I don’t need the receipt,” she said as she snagged the cigs and neglected her change. Our eyes met when she turned around and she smirked in a playful way. Fuck. I mean, her tits weren’t as big as I had hoped they would be, but honestly, she’s got such a pretty face that I suddenly didn’t give a shit about her chest anymore.

“Enjoy the show?” She asked as she walked by, lightly brushing my shoulder on her way out. What a smart ass. I want her to ruin me.

I approached the cashier and handed him a 20-dollar-bill. “Pump, uh…” I craned my neck in an attempt to catch a glimpse of my vehicle through the dirty window behind the cashier’s head, but I let my eyes wander a little bit and caught myself focusing on the girl instead. She was laying on top of her pastel yellow car and blowing her well-deserved cigarette smoke into the late-night sky.

“3?” The cashier asked, interrupting the daydream I was having in which I really let this sassy and problematic little bitch ruin my life. (Please.)

“What? Oh. Yeah, sorry,” I stumbled.

He nodded as if to dismiss me. “Thanks,” I said as I headed out of the gas station. The bell didn’t annoy me on my way out nearly as much as it did on my way in. I dunno why though. Well, I’m lying. I guess the only difference this time is that I actually want to be noticed.

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