Fear the Boss(7)

By: Sam Crescent



There were no men in her life or boyfriends. She didn’t like being around members of the opposite sex. They always made her nervous. All of her life, even when her parents were alive, she’d avoided being around men. After getting bullied over her weight when she was younger, she’d learned to keep a lot of things to herself.

“I better get up for work before they give my job to someone else.” She stroked Pearl one last time then got up. She did her business in the bathroom, brushed her teeth, washed her hands, and changed into a fresh set of clothes.

Before she headed out, she made herself some toast and coffee at the same time she quickly set Pearl some food out. In no time she was back out the door and walking toward the jewelry store. There were times she felt like all she did was work.

She did enjoy taking long walks in the park, but getting the time and the weather together was hard. Lydia was already opening up the shop by the time she arrived.

“Hey, I didn’t think you were going to make it inside.”

“I made it. I’m here.” She followed her friend inside, and they locked the door. The shop wasn’t due to open for another thirty minutes.

“No problems getting home safely last night?” Lydia asked.

“No problems. You really should stop worrying about me. I’m going to be fine. More than fine.” She entered the back room, put the kettle on, and set down her jacket and bag. “What about you?”

“I got home within ten minutes. I was so tired. I think it’s time I started looking for another job. This one is starting to take its toll.”

“Why?” Donna asked.

“The late nights and early mornings. I’m not a fan of working nights. I never have been. I’m thinking of putting my resignation in. I’ve just got to find another job before I leave.”

Donna was disappointed. She liked Lydia, and they worked well together.

“What about you?” Lydia asked.

“What about me?”

“Are you going to be giving in your notice?”

Shaking her head, she didn’t look up from stewing the tea. “I like it here. I’m not leaving anytime soon.”

“Honey, there are far better jobs out there for us. Don’t you hate working late and then having to come in early the next morning?”

They divided their shift with two other women who ran the shop. Both of them alternated working days.

“I don’t mind. I’ve got nowhere else to go.” Donna shrugged but offered Lydia a smile.

“Fine. When I leave I’ll keep in touch, okay?”

Donna nodded even though she knew it wasn’t going to be the truth. No one kept in touch once they left the old job behind.

“I’m going to go and open the shop.” She left Lydia alone to open up the blinds so customers knew they were open. They were in the middle of the city, and they had so many different customers to entertain. There was a red emergency panic button underneath the till that went straight to the police. In her year of working she hadn’t pressed it once.

Lydia spoke to her about the future. After the third time, Donna tuned out of the conversation concentrating on everything but what she had to say. By lunch time she was happy with the silence when Lydia went out to lunch with her current boyfriend. She didn’t ask for introductions and didn’t pay any attention as they left the shop. Sitting behind the desk, she took bites of her sandwich while waiting for customers to enter the store.

There were times when there were long lulls in activity. Not everyone wanted a ring or a gift.

With her lunch finished, she headed toward the back to place her containers in her bag. The bell went, and she turned only to pause when she saw the man from last night.

He closed the door and started looking around the space. When he spotted her, he stopped.

“Hello, Donna.”

How did he remember her name?

“Can I help you?” she asked, rubbing her hands together. Walking behind the counter, she stared at him. He was dressed in a suit again, and she noted his knuckles were still badly bruised. “Did your lady friend not like the bracelet?”

“I imagine my lady friend is pawning that bracelet to get what she can.”

There was no response for her to say.

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