Authors: Renee LaRuse
LET’S BE MATURE ABOUT THIS
A Renee Romance eBook
Copyright © Renée LaRuse 2010
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, by photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the author.
This book is dedicated to my friends and family, my
uplifting readers and my bravest self.
So, working at Dennison's Grocery isn't so bad of a job if you're a broke, imaginative, nineteen-year-old college sophomore. There are lots of people to stare at and form false conclusions about and a steady stream of horribly written romance novels to entertain myself with between customers. Reading those novels is like watching a poorly made horror film and being appalled and highly amused by the fact that someone actually put time and money into writing the illogical plot and directing the painfully untalented actors. Like driving by a car wreck, I cannot look away. I cannot peel my eyes away from the atrocity on the page! I will always be enchanted by imagining just how many idiots and liars had to come together to write and publish some of these romance novels. Such as
Thug Luv II: Treyvon's Release
which I am reading now as I stand behind the register at the checkout counter.
Yes, Treyvon is finally being released from a maximum security prison he was in for the murders he committed as a drug lord. No, his baby momma Asia has not been faithfully waiting for him to get out. Yes, I try to hide what I'm reading from the customers and my boss, except when I feel like startling an unsuspecting Caucasian.
But, honestly, I'd rather not have anyone see what I'm reading because they might think I'm serious. Why wouldn't a young black girl such as my self read a lovely urban erotica romance novel? Really, I flip past all the actual "erotica" because, number one, it's vomit inducing, and number two, it's too much for my virgin eyes. I keep the book hidden discreetly under the counter because it’s not like there needs to be something else for strangers to judge me on besides my skin color. Unless I don't really like you, then I don't give a damn what you think. But if I like you, I'd rather you not think I'm a stereotypical hood rat.
Believe me, it's not that I'm ashamed of my race…exactly. Well, I mean, what I'm trying to say is that 'Black Culture', as they call it, is predominately a hip hop, gangsta rap, represent-your-hood type of thing, which I personally don't like. What's to like about brothers and sisters who are being told to enjoy and take pride in thug life? There's no getting ahead as a drug dealer. You live by it, you get locked up by it, then you die by it. I can't agree with young boys who grow up thinking that's all they could possibly do with their life, that their future cannot be prosperous and legitimate. Because, you know, following the law would not be keepin' it real! And being caught by the police for doing something
would be because black youth are being targeted by The White Man! Suuuure.
I'm not stupid, I know there is still racism out there and it is still harder for a black person to get ahead in America, but please, don't construct your own fences and your own barriers. I could cry. But I won't. There's nothing I could do or say. I could murder Lil' Wayne, but that would not be practicing what I preach.
Now that I've said all that about racism, prejudice, and judgment here comes Ho-ish Hannah.
"Hey Sydney," she winks suggestively at me as she unloads the items from her basket onto the conveyor belt.
"Hi, Hannah," I give her a fake toothy smile. Today, Wednesday, is Hannah's shopping day. Every customer has a day that they routinely patronize Dennison’s Grocery to restock their hollow refrigerators and pantries. The day that a customer chooses to buy groceries is very helpful in understanding what type of person they are. In particular if you shop on a weekend. It either means you have a very busy work schedule during the week, or you are a loser with no social life so your weekends are wiiiide open. If you shop during the week, however, that supports the idea that you are too busy partying on the weekend to even consider grocery shopping. Hannah is a weekday shopper. I, uh, I'm a weekend shopper, actually. Think what you’d like.
I begin to swipe her usual items over the scanner: Two heads of lettuce, tomatoes, Lean Cuisine dinners, soy milk, pomegranate juice, salad dressing, a cucumber, lube, whipped cream, condoms, and
magazine. She buys this assortment every Wednesday. Did I mention she's thin, blonde, and, uh surgically enhanced, if you know what I mean? I'm as tall as she is, around 5' 6'', but definitely not as thin. I eat carbohydrates from time to time so I have a nice round booty, full thighs and a nice, naturally occurring chest. Not that I can really accentuate my figure in the Dennison's Grocery uniform complete with khaki pants, a tucked in green polo, and a beige apron. I keep my black hair in a short, messy, layered bob with side swept bangs. I love to wear colorful dangling earrings. I'm wearing my silver growling lion head earrings today. Very modern motherland.
As I bag Ho-ish Hannah's items I glance at her as she flips through a
magazine she has pulled from the shelves near the checkout counter. She turns the magazine towards me so I can see a photo spread of the Jonas Brothers. She points to one of them and grins saying "He's sexy, huh?" I raise an eyebrow. She is not pointing to the teenaged lead singer nor the guitarist who is a few years older. She is pointing to the youngest band member who is obviously 12 years of age.
I look at her and blink. She looks at me unblinking, her big blue eyes not conveying that she is a shameless pedophile. She continues to smile as she puts the magazine on the rack. She looks back up at me smiling as I silently look at her, hoping she is kidding. She is not. My silence does not alter her smile. I blink again.
"Your total is $42.39." Ho-ish Hannah pays using a wad of mostly single dollar bills and leaves.
So, I judge the customers. Harshly. But how wrong could I possibly be? I return to chapter six of
Thug Luv II
and start up where I left off. Just when Treyvon had come home hoping to get some I-just-got-out-of-prison sex with Asia (barf!), a customer comes up to the register. Mr. Gavin Caselle, to be exact.
Not "Mister" as in he's married, but "Mister" as in I, Sydney Lenton, once had a minute itty-bitty crush on him until I realized he was an old gay man, “Mister.”
Well he's not that old, but he's still possibly gay. As you can guess, I know all of this because of what he buys and when he buys it. At first I couldn't see these things because I did not have the ability to blatantly look through his items. I wasn't a cashier yet. I had just started working at Dennison's earlier this year and I was a lowly stock girl at the time. Shelving cans of peas, corn, and smoked oysters (barf!).
One Friday evening while minding my own business stacking tomato soup cans into a pyramid, I felt a sharp pain in my ankle. Kind of like the pain you feel when someone rams a shopping cart made of steel into your foot. I hissed in response to the immediate pain. When I looked to see who the blind idiot was that shattered my ankle, well my ankle wasn't really shattered it just felt that way, it was Gavin.
There he stood, with his eyes bugged out of his head and his mouth agape, shocked at what he had just done to my ankle, apologizing profusely, and he was so unfairly handsome. He had twinkling light green eyes and long black eyelashes. His short black hair was smooth, shiny and soft looking, like it had just been washed and blow-dried. His lips, goodness, wonderful pink lips. He also had that five-o'clock shadow going on and to top it off, a beauty mark! He had a little dark freckle above his lip at the right corner of his mouth. He was dressed casually in a gray screened t-shirt with a silver dragon on it, well-fitting dark jeans and dark blue Converses.
"Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry! Are you okay? Uh, Sydney? I'm so sorry!"
"H-How do you know my name?" I was sincerely surprised as to how a Calvin Klein model such as him would know anything about a simple girl like me.
"Well, your name tag," he explained.
"Oh." Bright one.
"I'm Gavin. Is your ankle...?" He had a furrow between his dark eyebrows as if it pained him to vocalize that I was hurt. For a moment I thought about saying he would have to escort me to the hospital and sit by my hospital bed holding my hand until I was fully recovered. However, it didn't hurt as bad as it looked.
"I'm fine actually. I don't think I'll need surgery."
"Good," he gave a little smile. "Um, you're sure?"
"I feel like I definitely owe you something."
"Uh." I'm sure I was drooling at that point. His eyes darted around my face, noticing the slobber dribbling down my chin, I bet.
"Like, maybe, dinner or something?"
Whaaaaat? Is he hitting on me? I can't
he would hit on me! Cool!
"That would be very…apologetic."
He laughed. "Yeah, it would. So, do you work here every evening?"
"Well, then let me know when you’d like that dinner. Any night you’d like, I can pick you up when your shift is over."
"Okay. I'll let you know."
He nodded, smiling. I went back to the soup pyramid I was working on. I glanced back at him to see him running a hand through his incredible hair. Then he turned to look at me again. I giggled like a school girl. Cute. He smiled and went about his shopping. I didn't even notice my swollen ankle as I skipped through LaLa Land the rest of the night.
That's how it started, with a promise of a dinner together. But now for how it ended. I thought about it the whole week. Oh, the sweet anticipation! What would I wear? And that week I got more good news. One of the cashiers, a retired woman named Ms. Daisy, had died! I was thus chosen to replace her. No more can-stacking, I was a cashier now. Yay!
The next Friday night Gavin showed up.
"You're a cashier now. Congratulations!" He said with a perfect smile.
"Yup." Now I had the chance to study this specimen of a man. First one must observe his shopping schedule. Friday nights indicates a loner with no social life. No, no, not Gavin. He's just a…homebody. Frozen pizza, frozen TV dinners, beer. Ah, a bachelor indeed! "Um, I'm going to need to see your I.D. for the beer and all."
"Oh, here you go."
Aha! A chance to get even more info. Let's see.
. That's a sexy name. Italian? His address:
2120 Pine St. Apt. D
. Just in case I need to call a cab to pick me up late at night, nah mean? Hahahaha…Yeah right. So, he must be at least 21 since he's buying alcohol. He looks like he's a college student. Maybe a grad student. Date of Birth:
. So that makes him, uh, carry the one... Okay, he's 29 years old.