The store was so quiet, it is that time frame again where everyone is out getting dinner and about 2-3 customers shows up within an hour until we close for the night. Sometimes, if we are lucky no customers show up for the last hour and we close fifteen minutes early leaving right on the dot. As I grab the stool and sit on it while munching away on my Kit Kat bar, I began to stare into space. Four angry customers back to back over something I have no control (thanks a lot online orders) and I was dead tired. A walking zombie I was.
“Hello beautiful young lady, maybe you can help me,” the customer said giving me a startle. I didn’t even realized that someone was in the store. I quickly smile at him and put my face mask on while greeting him. He told me what he was looking for and I told him where to find it. Of course, he came to me a few times with other questions and I answer it all even while I was checking him out. My coworker was on her thirty minute meal break.
“I bet your parents are proud of you, juggling school and work at the same time. Where do you go to school?” I have forgotten that I was logged into my school portal trying to do a few class discussion when I was cutting his fabrics for him. I told him where I was attending school and what I was majoring in. I even joke about the “making my parents proud” as I failed to find a career for the past seven years. He laughed before saying “I’m sure they are proud because you never gave up and you haven’t yet or you wouldn’t be going back to school.”
As he stand with his bag in front of the store staring at the Christmas ornaments, he turned around back to me. “I was never a good father for my daughter. If she was alive she would be around your age or maybe a little older. Back in the days I became an alcoholic after losing my job and my wife left the both of us. I actually been in and out of jail and my daughter was put into a foster home. After many years, I decided to get help and then reconnected with my daughter. We spent her last few months together and she taught me how to sew. Now I love sewing.” He gave me one last smile and bid me good night before walking out into the darkness. Once again, the store was filled with emptiness.