Him & Her

By: Shelby Mitchell

I look back at my little spitfire just as she turns to leave. It’s too late to try to stop her. Damn.

I’ve been a regular at this particular local organic supermarket for the last few years and this is the first time the food on the hot bar has been this good, exceptional even. One bite and I had to know the individual responsible for the changes. A few questions later and here I am, face-to-face with this mad as hell woman. And from the looks of it, her manager wants in on the fun too. I can’t buy this type of entertainment!

“Not so fast there,” he says, directing a curt command and his attention to the retreating cook and then back to me. “Ahem, sir, is there a problem I can help you with?” The rosacea on his cheeks is amazing and it matches his red hair; I can make out the blood vessels from here.

Man, I’ve got to stop obsessing about facial features so much. This new ultra realistic video game design I’m creating has me in obsessive fascination mode with every face I see. Dammit! Another squirrel moment. I’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand. Get my personal chef—right—back to it.

I try my best to pull my attention away from his unusually red face and back to the amazing cook who’s food is more like that of a highly trained chef. She’s a huge talent I’ve just discovered and it’s being lost to hell in this place. I frown. She’s actually still trying to get away, like she’s hell bent on inching back into that kitchen.

The spirit of the ultimate gamer rises in me and I can’t turn back from this challenge. It’s just too damn addictive. Oh no you don’t! You’re going to be my chef if it’s the last thing I do. I will win this one. Sorry, baby! I won’t take defeat as an answer. My inner gamer beast beats his chest in battle cry.

The likely manager stands here—in the way. Go away annoying one. I will him, but he’s not budging. Why is he here anyway? I didn’t call for his help. The too tight smile plastered across his red infused face is failing in it’s intended attempt to show concern for me and my predicament. Instead, all I see from him is contempt toward my soon-to-be-chef.

Well, I’ll be… maybe there’s a way to use this to my advantage. It’s doubtful he uses diplomacy, let alone can spell it. He’s no match for her and he knows it. This is too easy. I’ll appeal to his egotistical need for power, watch him implode in defeat at being kind and highlight to her how much of a dickhead he is. Then I’ll sweeten my offer for her services with the charm and grace of a civilized employer and come out looking like the hero. Brilliant plan and so I engage it and say, “No, there isn’t a problem. I was just complimenting this excellent employee on her cooking skills.”

He’s not buying what I’m selling—good boy—now show your ass. “Is that all?” He asks looking back and forth between us, totally unconvinced. “It looked like you were being disrespected; we never allow our employees to interact this way with customers.” The jowls of his cheeks lift and draw back in another attempt to show his disapproval towards the cook.

Bingo! Just as I thought, I have a member of management in my midst with a massive ego. I’m so using this to my advantage. Make him so disgusting to her, she’ll be begging to come work for me. Time to play dirty. “Well, to be honest, I made a request that she flatly refused to honor.”

“What! You bast…” she begins, her reflexive response is just too awesome, but she manages to catch it just in time. I really get under her skin. Nice!

“Is that true, Nori? Dickhead asks, his voice dripping with heightened contempt. “Did you refuse to help a customer? You ought to know better but I guess you wouldn’t.” The way he speaks down to her grates my nerves and makes me dislike him immensely. She’s not an imbecile, you ingrate! Why is he talking to her like that?

A stone monument, she stands there taking what he’s dishing out. You don’t have to take that from him. He’s weak. Fight back, like you did with me! My inner voices screams and pleads with her to stand up for herself. But, she’s resolute.

This is crazy. Time for me to intimidate and destroy him.

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