"Why do they make you get out of your car?"
I wonder this to myself every single time I go to that specific gas station. Not only do they force you to leave your cozy, warm bubble, but they charge an extra $0.35 for using your debit card. As if gas isn't already a brutal weekly expense.
My friend and I walk briskly towards the little market. We don't say much, for the small place is eerily quiet while people wait in line to pay for their purchases. We just kind of stand there. Waiting.
Once I've handed the short man a whole ten dollar bill, we head towards the door and walk back out into the night.
We're halfway to my car, and I hear an unfamiliar voice.
"I love your boots! Both of you guys, they're so cute!"
My friend responds with a smile in her voice, thanking you for the kind compliment.
It was a passing comment. Something quickly blurted from point A to point B. Just a small intersection.
You asked where we got our leathery footwear, and I admitted that my friend had the real deal - mine were just the cheap version.
"Well I love them both!"
In that extremely short amount of time, we not only thanked you, but we asked your name and we told you ours. You said you worked just across the way, down at the little pizza parlor. Then we said goodbye.
I liked you.
A week passed. I might have thought of you once or twice when I drove by the pizza place. In fact, because you brought my attention to the reality of there even being a pizza parlor in this small town, our family went to lunch there.
We absolutely loved it, by the way. Incredible food, fun atmosphere. I'm glad we went.
Another week or so passes. I haven't really thought about that night at the gas station.
My mom calls me while I'm driving home - yes, I know that it's illegal to talk on your phone while driving... i'm terribly sorry.She asks me to stop by that little pizza place and pick up something for our family game night. Woo! I'm excited for some delicious pizza.
When I walk in, a slightly moody girl with dark black hair asks what she can do for me.
I'm kind of flustered. I don't really know what I'm ordering quite yet, but I feel the pressure of having to know right away. Actually, I'm not even using my own money. I'll have to call my mom to get her credit card number. All of this is kind of overwhelming for some reason.
"Uh... I'm not sure yet... sorry."
So I just stand there, awkwardly. Here I am, this short blonde thing with a doofy confused look on her face.
Once I compose myself, I walk to the counter. That girl just sort of stares at me. Waiting for me to say something.
"Do you want a menu or something?"
Why did I say that?! Yes, i would love a menu because my mind has gone completely blank! But instead, I just stare at the soda machine.
A few more painful moments pass and I finally work up the courage to ask for a menu.
"Actually, uh, I guess I'll look at a menu."
So I call my mom. Ask her what she would like. I find a bit of comfort in having an excuse not to engage in eye contact with Moody Counter Lady.
What the? Oh great, someone I know is here to witness this?
And there you were. Mindy.
You had that same kind smile spread across your face as you did at the gas station. And for some reason, your kindness and the fact that you remembered my name seemed to set me at ease.
When I hung up with my mom, you talked with me. You told Moody that you could take over the order. (That made me so happy.) As she walked away, you offered me some water and a place to sit at some cozy couches.
Mindy, I really enjoyed talking with you while I waited for the pizza to be done. You weren't only friendly, but you asked me questions and started a great conversation. You made me feel a whole lot more comfortable then when I first walked in.
I think I'll see you again. And I think we just might become friends.
I think I need to go back and get some more pizza.