A Dedicated Customer
by Timothy Gager
On the teller line there is a blond and a raven; Betty or Veronica, just like the Archies. I always liked Veronica. I’ve been waiting a long time for her, but who am I to choose? I, in my sweaty gas station clothes with my eighteen hour work day. Their boss, the troll at the customer service desk now has Betty counting the night drop bags. I’m carrying two cups of coffee and twenty thousand dollars. I don’t have a boss so there’s no one back at the shop. It’s only me. I could use the night drop but then I wouldn’t see her.
Both the ladies clothes fit in the right places. I disapprove when my own daughter dresses like that. She wants every guy to like her. I get angry she tries so hard. She hardly stops by to see me.
I don’t want another checking account but Veronica asks me if I want to open a personal checking account to go with the business one. That I want.
“Do I open it with you?”
“You need to go to the desk front desk and open it with her.”
“OK, I’ll think about it.” I think I see the troll’s fingernails growing as I turn toward the desk.
Troll now has Betty to the back room and there are five people ahead of me. “What about the line?” Betty asks. “Tra-la, Tra-la,” Troll answers, waves her hand, shoos Betty away. “They can wait.” Seems like I’ve waited my entire life until Veronica takes me. Her irises explode like fire works and her face sparkles like Ursa Major.
“Cream and sugar, right?” she says.
She turns her back to count the money on the counter behind her. Her pants are black. The counting machine goes, “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” slaps and snaps to a stop. I watch her feed it.
“You’re slightly off. Can you come back later?”
“I’m all alone,” I say.
“So am I.”
“I’d like to take you with me,” I say.
“That won’t be possible.”
“But, I’m all alone.”
“But, you’re slightly off,” she says.
“Either take it, or leave it and you can come back later.” Veronica calls the next customer.
When I get back to the station, I’m set up to be robbed. There is the note: “Be back in five minutes,” that I left followed by the note from the robber "Ok". I scratch my head and wonder why he leaves that. Too late, I am hit by a baseball bat. He reaches into my coat and pulls out the money. "You're fucking off," he says.
I’ve always heard you see stars when you are hit in the head but it’s not true. I only see Pluto and that’s not a star or even a planet. It spins around my head in an arc like a slow pitch softball.
Veronica picks me off the pavement. “You shouldn’t be alone anymore. No one in your condition should be alone.” At last there is stars.