Black- the color of mystery and wonder

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My partime job at the local grocery store had never been anything great. I punched in. I worked. I punched out. I didn’t mind what my job entailed. I sold lottery tickets and returned moldy produce, cleaned the bottle return room, and changed garbage cans. Though it wasn’t a glamorous job, I enjoyed the company I worked for and the people I worked with. The job paid the few bills I had and left me some money for food and the mall.

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The only thing about food though, was that I hated buying it from Wegmans, the store I worked for. My logic is that they pay me, why should I pay them? So on my lunch breaks I would generally drive up to the small barbeque joint up the road, or bring a turkey sandwich from home.

It wasn’t until I met Kendal, a young woman who did the same job as I and had transferred to my Wegmans from a different one, that I bought food from my employer.

Kendal was younger than I and was too intimidated to walk to the break room alone on her first day. We took our lunch break at the same time to keep her embarassment to a minimum. I offered to drive to the barbeque place, but she insisted we get subs instead.

Subs were Kendal’s holy grail. Assorted, ham, tuna, turkey, meatball- it didn’t matter to Kendal. She claimed to love them all.

So we got in line, Kendal and I, and when I noticed what was behind the sub counter, I think I was more excited about getting subs than Kendal was.

A man, boy I should say, stood behind the counter with a turquoise green polo on. I had never seen someone look so great in our oversized, overcolored Wegmans polos. His name was Bryce, as his nametag informed me, and there was something about him I couldn’t help but smile about. He had long, dirty blonde hair, baby blue eyes, and brown stubble along his chin. His slouching posture reminded me of my grandpa, a Korean War vet, who never wanted anything more than a happy wife and healthy children. I had not yet heard Bryce’s, but I already knew he was someone I’d think about again.

And I did.

Everyday after that, I promised myself I would say something to him. Something, anything. Introduce myself, perhaps, or talk about sub rolls, ask him if he can cover a shift for me, or discuss the weather. I never did.

A year went by and even more and still, still, Bryce was on my mind.

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