Short Story: A Lawn-Mower Filled Love Story
I walk up and down each isle three times. My shoes click against the Linoleum floor. I feel that they are too loud compared to the silent store. As I grab soup and Raman noodles I can’t afford to buy anything else. I head towards the checkout. As I walk the room seems to be getting louder. I feel uncomfortable because of the change between silence and noise.
I start to realize that the noise is coming from small conversation and a loud advertiser in the front of the building. The advertisers voice is louder than the others but doesn’t make that much of a difference. Every other second I hear, “Would you like…” or, “You need this.”
My steps slow because I don’t want to add on to the noise the room is filled with. A light in my isle flickers a little and I jump. Afraid it will draw too much attention to me. But no one looks up except for the advertiser. I look away and find myself looking at my grocery cart. Then my head turns back towards the crowd and my fingertips brush against the cart handle.
Then I stare.
The advertiser is…
Standing next to a Coca-Cola sculpture, she wears kakis that stretch down to her knees, a Dave Mathews T-shirt and crocks. Her hair is tangled and ratty thrown into a ponytail. A hat lies on the top of her head and she has slight sunburn on the tip of her nose. A tan-line stops at her elbows. She grasps a small paper sign that says;
Lawn Mowing Service
Will be charged compared to size of yard
Call 555-4111 if you are interested in hard work!
Its cheesy and not thought through but my hand moves into my pocket and I can’t think straight. I grab the phone and dial 555-4111. As I press the touch screen my fingers shake. But I don’t stop myself. Maybe because I need to mow my lawn or maybe I’m just lonely. But I press call.
It rings once.
It rings twice.
I look over at the girl and her hand reaches into her pocket. I brush my hair back with my fingertips. It feels greasy and there is a line of sweat lining my face.
She puts the phone up to her ear and says hello while dropping the sign on the floor carelessly. Through the phone I hear, “Hello.” I open my mouth and say, and say, nothing. My words refuse to come out but I push harder and say, “Ummmm…”
“Yes?” She says. I see her eyebrows rise. But she doesn’t see me yet. Good? No… bad.
“Hello” She says again looking frustrated from where I stand.
“ Ummm I-I “
“Yes.” She says.
“I would like to…” I swallow hard, my cheeks burning. Why am I doing this?
“I’dlikesomeoneofyouremployeestomowmylawn, please?” I spit the words out like there is poison in my mouth. She looks at me. And I look at her. She looks confused. But then says, “Great, what is your address, phone number, and when would you like me to come over?”
She looks at me like I’m crazy and I probably am because I suddenly think, “She already wants my number?” Then I say, “uh its…” Before I say anything else she stomps towards me.
“Would you like to talk to me in person?” She says realizing that I’m her age, a teenager. Wait how old am I like five hundred? No, NO… your 20!
“Ummm… yes, I just couldn’t get through the…crowd.” She’s the first person I’ve talked to in person for a week and I just blew it. She looks behind her and smirks; there is no one in sight.
“So what is your number, address, and when would you like me to come over?” She says it to me like it’s a waste of her time but looks up at me with curiosity.
“Ummm… it’s, 555-4236, 2844 Lindsey Rd, and tomorrow at… 3pm.” She writes everything down on a notepad. “Are you sure you can handle this?” I tried to say that last part sarcastically but it seems she took it seriously.
“What are you sexist or something?” she says frowning.
“A woman can do anything a man could!” She almost shouts but then says, “Goodbye, and I hope you aren’t as disappointing tomorrow!”
She marches out the door without glancing back at me. Disappointing? Am I really disappointing to her? Should I care? Well, there is a beautiful girl going to your house tomorrow maybe you should! I say to myself. What am I going to do, I’m a mess!