We’ll make this a double story shall we? My second job as a teenager was working at a grocery store, and eventually I worked my way over to the photo lab. I’ve always enjoyed working in photo labs, there’s something about being trusted with people’s memories, getting a brief peak into their lives, their stories, as well as simply maintaining and keeping track of multiple machines at the same time.
Of course I would fall in love with a job that is now practically extinct.
In this grocery store there was a beauty. She was…she was quite simply stunning. She turned heads everywhere she went. We’re going to call her Faith. Faith was only a couple years younger than me, but at that age a couple of years was all it took to occasionally make her attractiveness just a little awkward. I mean, if you’re in the 10th grade, you don’t want to be seen being attracted to someone in the 8th, they aren’t even in high school man!
But Faith was undeniably stunning, so what was a boy to do? I found 2 things as a result of Faith. On a particularly bad day, and I can’t for the life of me remember what made it bad, I came into my photo lab after a bathroom break to find a giant smiley face pinned up with all the photo orders waiting to be printed. The smiley face was immediately recognizable as coming from our floral department, where Faith worked.
That’s when I found that a random act of kindness can completely change someone’s day. A lesson I’ve tried to keep forefront in my mind for the rest of my life.
Faith also helped me find some degree of self-awareness, or maybe self-confidence, I’m not sure. I’ll describe the situation, and you can tell me what she helped me find.
Up until this point in my life, I never cared about my appearance. I would simply thrown on clothes for the express purpose of not being naked, I didn’t care if they matched, or anything else involved with style. I also never messed with my hair. A quick shampoo in the shower and then towel dry, and let it do whatever it wants. That was my entire hair care regimen.
And then I met Faith. This is long before the smiley face, before Faith and I even talked. I’d seen her around, you couldn’t avoid seeing her around. She was a magnificent creature. (Have I explained this in enough depth? Because I’m getting tired of saying it over and over again.) I remember the very first words she ever said to me. “Nice hair”.
That was it. A beautiful woman had walked up to me and complemented my hair, without me ever trying to talk to her first. As an adult I’ve thought back to that moment a few times, and I wonder if she meant it sarcastically…that really seems likely doesn’t it? But at the time I believed it to be sincere, not mocking.
From that day forward I never left the house without combing my hair, doing my best to make sure that I always had the “nice hair” that had attracted Faith’s attention. I took a little bit more care in the style of my clothes (I mean, not a lot, don’t get me wrong here, but some). I started to look at myself in a new way, I tried to see myself as a potential mate might see me. Faith helped me find that.
You may wonder whatever happened to Faith. Well, I’m moderately proud to announce that with some effort I did manage to make out with her a couple of times. She even became the first girl I ever slept with (in a non-sexual way, just a cuddle up and sleep sort of way. She even taught me how to best cuddle with a sleeping partner, such a giving person).
But the relationship never actually turned into anything. I think apart from her physical beauty there wasn’t really anything there that I wanted, and I’m fairly certain she didn’t have a strong desire to pursue anything with me either. The final nail in the coffin of our potential future was one day when I was driving her and Daniel somewhere and I looked in my rear view mirror to see the two of them making out.
To my knowledge it was the only time they made out, and Daniel was as confused about it as I was. He felt guilty about it until he died, although in truth I already knew that nothing would happen between me and Faith, so I didn’t actually mind that much.
Last I heard she was married and working in real estate, or something like that. Hopefully she’s happy. Despite the fact that her part in my life story was brief, it carried quite a bit of weight, and I’ll always wish her well.
Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.