Cafe de Desiree

April 9, 2012

My First Horror Story-Part 1 and 2

Filed under: horror,story — desi83 @ 11:13 pm

*I posted the first part of the story here a month ago, but I just put the whole story on here as it is written so far. If you’ve already read part one, skip to part 2*

-Part 1-

“Lisa, could you come in here for a moment, please?” my boss said from his office. I could see Rob sitting down in the chair in the office. Mike always had a witness with him when he called someone into the office to be disciplined, or if he was going to give said person some bad news. Either way, dread spread through my body. My head tingled, and I felt my feet become heavy as I made my way to the office. “Yes sir?” I said timidly. “Have a seat, Lisa. I have some news for you,” Mike announced calmly. He had this calm, confident demeanor about him through all situations. I have seen this man deal with the worst of humankind, and nothing ever seems to crack him. “Alright, you are either going to hate me or love me for this,” he proceeded. I closed my eyes. “Okay,” I said awkwardly. Damn it, why can’t I be as cool as him in these situations? I am such a scared little person. “Well, I heard that you were interested in third shift from a ‘little bird’ here, so I emailed Mr. Davis. You are being transferred to Greenville,” he announced. Rob winked at me. I sighed deeply. “I was actually going to ask you about the possibility of doing that today, sir, so you beat me to the punch,” I said happily. I felt my body relax. I had been wanting the graveyard shift for awhile. “Greenville is a good place to work third shift. There is virtually no crime there, it is a quiet town, and it is not far from where you live. You will probably save about 20 bucks a week on gas as to compared to driving to this store. Also, you can go back to school or whatever you want to do since it’ll be seven days on and seven days off. You’ll just have to lose sleep during your weeks on if you want to do anything,” he reassured me.

“When do I start?” I asked. “You need to be there tomorrow morning at 7 am for a store meeting, and then you will start on Tuesday night,” he replied with a smile. “But I’m working until eleven tonight,” I replied, annoyed. “It would be preferable for you to make it to the meeting,” he said sternly. “Fine, yes, you are right,” I responded. “Okay, well, since it is your last day at this store, why don’t we play some stockroom basketball for old time’s sake?” he asked jubilantly. “Okay,” I said with a chuckle. “What are the stakes?” Rob asked. “Okay, Lisa. If you lose, you have to clean my office top to bottom,” he answered. “What if I win?” I asked smiling slyly. “If you win, you can leave a half an hour early. But if you lose, you have to spend that last half hour cleaning the office. How does that sound?” he asked. “Well, so far, sir, you are undefeated, but I will take that challenge,” I said confidently.

Rob, Mike, and I walked into the stockroom to play basketball with giant beach balls and two huge cardboard boxes.

“Okay, Lisa, I’m going to put this box inside of this bigger box. It’s two points for the outside box, three points for the inside box. Actually, that is the point system for you. For me, it is one point for the outside box, and two points for the inside box. That way you have a little advantage since you’re playing the reigning champion,” he said graciously. “Okay, as long as you aren’t doing it because I’m a girl,” I said defensively. “No, he gave me the same advantage,” Rob said, “and he still won.” “Okay, Lisa, stand behind this piece of tape and toss the ball in,” Mike suggested. “Okay, here goes nothing,” I said as I bent my knees and hurdled the ball toward the boxes. It went right over them. “Oh, wow, too much power behind that shot,” Rob said laughing. “I’m just warming up,” I said confidently. “Hey now, what is going on in here?” Melinda asked as she walked in the stockroom with her cart full of fixtures from the reset she was doing. “I’m out here working my ass off, and this is what the bosses are doing?” she scoffed. “It’s Lisa’s last day here, so we’re giving her a little goodbye party,” Mike said as he approached the little strip of tape on the floor. “Oh, wow, she’s leaving?” she asked. “Yes, I’m moving to Greenville to work third shift,” I replied. “Mmph,” she said as she went about her work. We didn’t get along most of time.

She tended to make snide remarks to me hinting of her jealousy, and I got onto her quite often for slacking off. Sometimes I hated being a manager because I often thought it would be so much easier only be responsible for my work instead of everyone else’s.

“Oh, two points!” Mike shouted when he made the inside box. “2-0, you’re up!” Rob shouted. “You guys didn’t tell me there was a game going on!” Chris said as he entered our makeshift basketball court. “It’s Lisa’s last day, so we had to have one last game with her,” Mike replied. “Yes, I’ve already beaten you this week, Chris, so now I have to beat Mike,” I said teasing him. “When did you beat me?” he asked. “We played a little paper wad basketball at the register the other day, and I beat you,” I reminded him. “Oh, that so does not count,” he said laughing. I made my way to the strip of tape, and I softly threw the ball this time as throwing it hard did not work last time. It barely touched the edge of the outside box and rolled back to me. “Oh, this is going to be really bad,” I lamented. We made a few more shots, and Mike was ahead 8-0. “Okay, this is the last shot. If I make it to 10 points, you’ll be cleaning my office,” he gloated. “It’s not over yet, Mike,” I said with an evil smile. I was up, and I bent my knees, focused on the inside box, and tossed the ball. It flew over both boxes. “Rob, go grab that ball for me, will you?” Mike said. Rob obediently ran to fetch the ball for him. Rob was his lackey, or so I called him. He wanted a promotion so badly, so he did whatever Mike told him to. “Okay, Lisa, here goes nothing,” Mike said as he smoothly tossed the ball directly into the 2-point box. “I can’t wait to see my clean office tomorrow!” he said triumphantly. “Okay, Rob, let’s play to 10 points to see who is going to buy Lisa’s goodbye cake,” he suggested. “Hmmm, can it be any cake? I can buy her a Hostess cake off the shelf then?” Rob said with a smirk. Rob was glad to be rid of me. I was out-performing him even though he was technically above me, so with me gone, it would make him look better. “No, Rob, it will be a cake of her choice from Publix,” Mike corrected him. “Alright, I’m bringing my A game today,” he said as he stepped to the line of tape. “So, you are really leaving us?” Chris asked me. “Yes, apparently a ‘little bird’ told Mike that I wanted to be transferred. I was kind of caught off guard since I was planning on approaching Mike about it. Even though it is what I wanted, I’m kind of pissed that they beat me to the punch,” I replied. “Man, that is crazy. We’re going to miss you here, Lisa. But I’m glad it’s working out for you,” he said while pulling stock from the shelves and loading it on his cart. “I’m going to miss you too, Chris,” I said. We stood looking at each other for a moment. “Well, keep in touch, alright?” he said diverting his eyes from me. “We always have Facebook,” I said with a laugh. “Oh yes, there is that,” he said smiling. “Oh, looks like Rob is buying your cake, Lisa!” Mike said, gloating. “Well, Rob, I would like a red velvet cake, please,” I said slyly. “No problem, your highness,” he replied. “Alright, guys get back to work, enough funny business,” Mike shouted. “Yeah, okay,” I said giggling. “Hey Lisa, wait up,” Mike said. “Okay, just because this is your last day, it doesn’t mean it is time to slack off. This is the day to give me your best work because you always want to leave a great impression every time that you leave a place,” he advised. “I know that, Mike. I always work hard for you,” I said, slightly offended. “Okay, well, it really has been a pleasure working with you, Lisa. I know at that store you’ll be like a comet shooting through the night, changing the way they do things. Their last couple of third shift managers didn’t make much of an impression, so they’ll be glad to have someone who works hard,” Mike said. I smiled, and went on working on the project that I’d left earlier.

I’ve been at Jones’ Drug for five years, and all along I have been trying to find a way out. I went to college and majored in English, but had no idea what to do with my degree after I graduated. Third shift was hopefully going to be my way out of retail since I’d have time to go back to school. My life so far has been pretty dull. I’ve worked as an assistant manager giving orders to employees who don’t want to be there and calming down customers who take their frustrations out on those reluctant employees. I put out stock, reset departments, put together displays to try to spotlight whatever products that corporate wants us to spotlight, and I make sure all the cash is accounted for. It has become pretty redundant over the years. Promotions are getting fewer with the failing economy, and the few who do get promoted are seeing less bonuses than their predecessors and have worked twice as many hours to make up for the hours cut from the employees and hourly managers. I am an hourly manager, and I am fine to stay that way until I find a new line of work. I have done all I can in this career, and I am ready to move on. I just have to figure out what I am going to move on to do. I have always wanted to be a writer in some capacity. I just need to align my career desires with actual career possibilities. Journalism is a dying art because of the technology revolution. Being a paid author is about as likely as winning the lottery. I do not want to teach. I tried teaching middle school for a year, and I ended up on anxiety medication before that year was up. Showing up to work doped up on Xanax was not exactly a way to be a good role model. So, I was going to research a few careers during the next few months, and I was going to go back to school in the fall. It seemed like the perfect situation at the time. Greenville, I knew, was where I needed to be. I cleaned the office that night top to bottom, just as I had promised. The fumes from the Spit Fire spray gave me a headache and a bit of dizziness.

Joe walked into the office and gave me a questioning look when he spotted me scrubbing the office floor. “I lost a bet, Joe,” I said smiling. He laughed. “Hey, did you happen to tell Mike that I wanted third shift?” I asked. I didn’t know who else could have told him. “No, I didn’t tell anyone. I figured you’d talk to him if you wanted to take the job,” he replied. “Hmm, I bet it was that rat bastard, Rob,” I said grumbling. “Ah, you told Rob, huh?” he said with a smirk. “I got mad at him one day, and I said something like, ‘I just need to go on third shift so I don’t have to deal with any of this bullshit’, and I guess he mentioned it to Mike,” I realized. “So, you’re getting transferred then? That’s great, right?” Joe asked. Joe was one of the third shift managers at that store, and we had many conversations about our hopes and dreams during that overlap between our shifts. He had already told me about the Greenville opening a few weeks ago. “Yes, but I wanted to ask for the transfer. Instead, Mike apparently heard from a ‘little bird’ that I wanted third shift, so he processed the transfer before I talked to him about it,” I complained. “Oh, yeah, I can see how that would throw you off guard. Well, are you happy about going third shift in Greenville, though?” he asked. “Yes, I am happy to move on to something a little different. I may go back to school if I can figure out what I want to do,” I replied. “Well, I hope you find what you’re looking for, Lisa,” he said. “I do too,” I replied wistfully. “Well, Lisa, it has been wonderful working with you, and I will give you a call sometime at your new store to see how you are doing,” Joe promised. “Thanks, Joe. There is cake in the break room if you want some. I think I have had enough. Oh, and Rob had to buy it for me since he lost a game to Mike,” I informed him. He laughed and shook his head. “Hopefully, both of us will be out of here one day, Lisa, and we can both realize our dreams,” Joe wished. “Hopefully,” I agreed.

Ms. Addy walked into the office to clock out, and I knew this was going to be a difficult good-bye. Ms. Addy doesn’t like most people, especially managers. In turn, most managers do not like Ms. Addy. She is irritable, bitter, and she can’t do much physical work because, well, she is old. When I first came to work for this Jones Drug location, I did not care for her upon our first meeting. Yet, she grew on me…like a fungus, but still. I learned how to deal with Mrs. Addy, and I learned how to make her smile. She loves to persuade customers to buy the beauty products that we promote, and she loves to see the results. Every day that I have worked for her, she has called me over to see the sales results in the beauty department. If she has worked the day before and done well, she likes to show me so that I’ll praise her. If someone else worked the day before and did badly, she likes for me to see how much the department truly needs her. I also know how to stand up to her when she is being unreasonable without being mean to her about it. I was going to miss Ms. Addy more than I was going to miss anyone else there. We had a special bond, especially as fellow English majors. I still wished I could see her articles that she wrote for newspapers a few decades ago. Over time, I found her to be quite an abysmal woman, and I wondered what wisdom was behind those eyes.  “Well, Ms. Lisa, I guess this is good-bye,” Ms. Addy said sadly. “Yes, it looks like it, Ms. Addy. Now you be nice to the new guy,” I said sternly but affectionately. “I already don’t like him. How is having another male manager going to help me in cosmetics? They don’t know anything about cosmetics, so they don’t care,” she said grumpily. “That is true, but I hear he is a very nice man,” I reassured her. “Well, I don’t like him, and he better not march in here telling me what to do,” she scoffed. I laughed. “I know you’ll give him hell, and he’ll have to either figure out how to deal with you or leave,” I said smiling. She grabbed me for a hug.

“Ms. Lisa, bad things have happened to people who’ve worked third shift at the Greenville store. There are legends, you know,” Ms. Addy warned. Joe was sitting behind us in the office, chuckling to himself. “It is true! I’m sure you’ve heard the stories, Joe. Ten years ago, there was a manager working in the stock room. She was by herself while her cashier was up front to ring up customers, if any straggled in at three in the morning. She was on a ladder getting down some stock for them to put out. She fell off that ladder and broke several bones in her body. She laid there all night bleeding inside and out with no one there to find her and help her. They say she screamed for hours, and no one heard her through that heavy door. Her cashier never checked on her because he was too busy playing his Gameboy to think about what she might be doing. The opening manager found her there, but it was too late,” Ms. Addy said darkly. Joe laughed again, “it was an accident. People fall off ladders, especially the old rickety ones we have at our stores.” I still felt chills run up my spine. “Okay, did you know about the cardboard compactor incident that happened fifteen years ago?” she asked. “No, I have not heard of that,” Joe replied cynically. “Okay, there was a man named Stephan who worked as the night shift manager in Greenville at the time. He was in the stockroom throwing away several boxes from where he had put up the product from the warehouse that night. He jabbed as many in as he could until there was no room left before he turned on the compactor.

He stood there waiting until it made a hideous noise and smoke came seeping out of it. He opened the door and crawled inside to shove the cardboard down into the compactor. Somehow, he fell inside of it and the door slammed shut. He screamed for help, but it was futile. There is no way his cashier could hear him through that door with his being all the way up front. A couple of hours passed, and the cashier started to wonder what his manager was doing. He walked into the stockroom and yelled for him. He didn’t hear or see his manager, so he went back to the front assuming he was in the office. Seven am rolled around, and the store manager arrived. Then, the potato chip vendor arrived. Mrs. Lemon, the store manager, did not have time to try to find Stephan because she had to check in the vendor. After the vendor had been checked in and put out his stock, he went to the stockroom to throw away his empty cardboard boxes. He opened the compactor, threw in the boxes, and turned on the motor. He still has nightmares about the shrill screams that he heard coming from the compactor. Smoke filled the air, and the sound of bones crushing could be heard from within the machine. He had walked away as soon as he turned on the motor, but he quickly ran back to the compactor and turned it off when he heard those blood-curdling screams. It was so dark inside of the machine that he couldn’t figure out what had made the noise. Also, smoke was rolling out of the opening. He immediately rushed to the store manager to tell her what happened. She bravely climbed into it with a flashlight with the vendor standing by. The vendor later said that her screams were almost as traumatizing to him than the ones that came from the compactor,” Ms. Addy animately narrated. “How do you know all of this, Mrs. Addy?” I asked. “I read the story in the local paper. They had video footage from the stockroom as well as the witness accounts. You know, I wrote a story about an incident that happened there thirty years ago, but it was the cashier who was killed,” she explained. “You know, Ms. Addy, I think that is all that I can stand to hear right now. I will be very careful there, I promise,” I said, cringing. “Try not to be by yourself too much. Make your cashier help you and be near you as much as possible. It only happens to people who find themselves alone a lot there,” she warned. “Yes, ma’am, Ms. Addy. I’m going to miss you,” I said smiling warmly at her. “Well, give us a call here sometime, or stop in and visit,” she suggested. “I will,” I agreed. With that, I went home filled with excitement, and well, a new fear about this new position.

-Part Two-

As I pulled into my apartment, my phone rang, and it was Greg. I hit “Quiet” and it continued to blink showing his name over and over again. A few seconds later, my voicemail chime sounded. My heart hurt, and my stomach began to churn. I hated avoiding him, but I just couldn’t deal with my relationship issues right now. I was still feeling that mix of excitement and dread about my new third shift position. I know I’m selfish, but I just didn’t want to deal with someone else right now. I walked into my apartment where my dogs immediately greeted me with a gratuitous amount of licking and jumping. “Okay, okay, I love you too, guys!” I said, heading straight for their food pantry. I fed them and refilled their water bowl, and I fell down onto the couch. I flipped on the television and mindlessly surfed the channels for something to take my mind off of everything. I decided I did want to deal with someone else’s drama that didn’t affect me, so “Grey’s Anatomy” it was. Milo, my border collie, jumped on the couch and toppled onto my lap. Milly followed, but I had to pick her up since her back has been getting weaker. Milly is my little daschund that I’ve had for ten years. She’s still loving toward me and frisky with Milo, but she is starting to have trouble walking and jumping. I don’t even want to imagine life without her.

The phone rang again, and this time I decided to answer so I wouldn’t have to figure out anymore lies to tell. “Hey, Greg, what’s up?” I said. He spoke sweetly to me, and my whole body tensed up in horrible pain. My heart felt heavy. How did I ever get myself into this? “Hey, sweetie, I was calling to see if you wanted me to come over tonight. We could watch a movie and, you know, relax,” he suggested. I knew exactly what he meant by “relax”. I definitely wasn’t in the mood for that. “I can’t, Greg, I have to be up early tomorrow morning for a meeting. I’m being transferred to Greenville for a third shift position,” I replied solemnly. “Oh, well that is good, right? You’ve wanted this for a long time. Why would they have you come in early tomorrow if you’re going to be on third shift?” he asked in his happy, bubbly voice. “I don’t know, it’s just some dumb meeting,” I replied sharply. “Okay, I didn’t know,” he said defensively. I sighed and rolled my eyes. I knew that I was being harsh with him. “I’m going to the meeting in the morning, and I will start the graveyard shift on Tuesday night. So, it’s not so bad. I’ll go to the meeting and get to know the layout of the new store as well as get introduced to this whole new set of people. It’ll be interesting. Then, I can go home and nap for awhile,” I explained a bit nicer this time. He laughed. Sometimes he laughs and I don’t know why or how what I said could be funny. It makes me wonder if what I say is funny when I’m actually trying to crack him up. “Well, that sounds like a plan. So, did you want to go out tomorrow night?” he asked anxiously. “I will call you tomorrow afternoon at some point,” I reassured him.

I sat for a moment staring at my phone. I was trapped, yet again, in a relationship that I did not want. I was going to eventually have to break his heart, but I didn’t want to think about it with everything else going on. I rolled a joint and smoked to get away from my thoughts. I sat there, breathing it in deeply, down into my chest and closed my eyes. I just had to learn to enjoy little moments and not put so much pressure on myself. I smiled to myself and cuddled with Milly. Milo was now sitting on the floor with her toy rope in her mouth, staring at me with a longing gaze. I rolled my eyes as I attempted to pull it from her grip. Her teeth were much stronger than my hand, so I gave up and told her to come join us on the couch. She sneezed from the smoke, and I laughed. I turned on some music and got lost in the moment. Mumford and Sons played for me until I drifted to sleep, still hearing the music in my dreams. Suddenly, I awoke and jumped off the couch to see what time it was. The clock read 4 am, so I had about an hour and a half left to sleep. I sat up on the couch, stretched, and staggered to my bedroom with Milo and Milly slowly following me. I set my alarm to 5:30 and quickly passed out, still wearing my work clothes and suffering from the worst case of cotton mouth.

Band of Horses blared loudly from my radio alarm clock, and I threw everything off of my dresser trying to find the thing before I finally turned it off successfully. I sighed. “It’s only for a few hours, and then I can go home and sleep,” I said to myself. I stripped off my clothes and climbed into a hot, steamy shower. I stood there for a moment, enjoying the heat and the feeling of cleanliness. I felt like crying, but the tears wouldn’t come. So, I laughed. I laughed harder than I have in a long time, but it wasn’t because I wanted to. I washed all of the soap off of me and dried off. Milo and Milly were waiting for me outside of my bathroom door. My bathroom was in my bedroom, separated only by a thin door without a lock. Even though I lived by myself, it was quite convenient. I combed my hair with my fingers and shook my head a few times so that it would look somewhat curly. I didn’t bother with work clothes since this was just a meeting, so I pulled on some jeans and buttoned up a plain white shirt. I didn’t really care too much what I looked like. I needed to figure out what kind of job that I would care about while on hiding in the third shift position. I slipped on some flats, fed my fur kids, and headed out the door.

I drove down the long country road to my new location with the windows rolled down. I didn’t get much sleep, and I still felt a little bit high, but I was feeling a strange euphoria this morning. I needed a change, and I was getting it finally. I arrived at the store at exactly 7 am, so I quickly parked and walked briskly to the entrance. I walked in and about twenty sets of eyes were on me. “Hi, I’m Lisa, the new girl,” I said nervously. Seriously, did I look at the time wrong? Was I actually late? “Everyone, this is Ms. Lisa, she will be our new third shift manager. Why don’t you all introduce yourselves to her? We’ll start over here with you, Ellen,” Mrs. Steepleton annouced. All of the employees and managers who worked at this location were there, and they introduced themselves. I immediately forgot all of their names. “Okay, guys, we are here today because I need to address the problems that I’ve noticed with all of you here lately,” Mrs. Steepleton announced as she handed out a memo to each of us outlining each problem that she had with everyone. As she began to speak, a customer walked in and looked very confused. “Are you open?” a lady with a tooth missing and badly bleached hair asked timidly. “Yes, we are, what can I help you find?” the assistant store manager asked eagerly. “I just need cigarettes, ma’am,” the lady replied, “I’m so sorry to interrupt y’all.” “No, no, we are here to serve you,” Mrs. Lewis, the assistant, replied apologetically. I covered my mouth so no one could notice my laughing. Everyone was standing there staring at Mrs. Lewis and the poor, confused woman just wanting to feed her habit. “Okay, guys, let’s start from the top. Maria, read to me the first sentence on the paper,” Mrs. Steepleton instructed. “The villagers are running amuck!” Maria read enthusiastically. A couple of people laughed. “That’s right, Maria, that is what is happening right now. Read the first bulleted line for me,” Mrs. Steepleton instructed. “A lunch break is thirty minutes and a 15 minute break is 15 minutes. You must take a thirty minute break if you…” Maria started. “Yes, thank you Maria, but I just wanted you to read the first line,” Mrs. Steepleton corrected. I rolled my eyes looking down at the memo. Mike would never have done something like this. He just wrote people up when they did something wrong, and he fired people if they continued to screw up. I hated this store already.

“Okay, all of you are free to go except for the managers. We are going to have a managers’ meeting in my office,” Mrs. Steepleton said. “Except for us who have to work, right?” John, the first shift front cashier, asked. “Um, yeah,” Mrs. Steepleton answered as someone slapped him on the back of his shaved head. He had tattoos going up and down both arms and a lip ring hanging from his mouth. “Get that ring out, John! You know better,” Mrs. Lewis shouted at him. He shook his head and took it out and put it in his pocket. I had no idea where the office was, so I tried to follow the managers, but they were all going in different directions. “Where is the meeting?” I asked Mrs. Steepleton. “Oh, it is in the office, I’ll be in there in a minute,” she replied as she rushed off to the other side of the store. I asked the wrong question. “Mrs. Lewis!” I shouted. She kept walking and talking to one of the older employees. “Where is the office?!” I shouted. “It’s over here, just follow me, geez,” the male manager replied, annoyed. I couldn’t even remember his name, but I didn’t really want to as rude as he was. I followed him into the office, and Mrs. Lewis and the other female manger came in behind us. “Mrs. Steepleton will be in here in a minute. She had something to take care of,” Mrs. Lewis replied. The male manager snorted. Mrs. Lewis gave him a knowing look, and he whispered an apology. There were two books propped up against the computer in Mrs. Steepleton’s office. They were both about leadership. It’s never a good sign to have to read books on leadership in your work office.

Mrs. Steepleton came in and sat down. “Alright, everyone, this is Lisa, she’s going to be alternating third shift with Amanda,” she began. Amanda waved at me. “Well, you don’t have very big shoes to fill,” the male manager joked. I laughed. “Jeff is a really short guy,” Amanda explained. “I know Jeff. We went on a blind date a long time ago,” I revealed, trying to break the ice. “Wow, you must have been blind to go out with him,” Mrs. Steepleton replied. Everyone laughed. ‘Professional’ was not the word to describe these people. “Well, it was just one date,” I explained. “I would hope so,” Mrs. Steepleton replied. She was definitely a mean girl when she was in high school. “Seriously, though, Jeff was useless. He didn’t hardly do anything here, and he didn’t give us a notice. He just handed in his keys and said, ‘Peace’,” Mrs. Lewis added. “Wow, that is pretty unprofessional,” I replied mockingly. “Oh, I’m so glad God sent you to us,” Mrs. Lewis said smiling. I smiled back uncomfortably. “Apparently he got a job as a parking garage manager. What the hell do you even do as a parking garage manager?” Bob asked, laughing. I finally noticed the male manager’s name tag. Everyone continued laughing at Jeff, and I wondered if they’d ever make fun of me that way. I really didn’t care because I was totally going to make fun of this entire ridiculous meeting to Joe. I couldn’t wait to call him and tell him what idiots I was now working with. As I was walking to my car, Amanda stopped me. “So, has anyone told you about the weird sounds in the store at night?” she asked, smiling. “No, but I have heard some horror stories about third shift at this store,” I replied nervously. She laughed. “Just be prepared. Not all of the noises that you’ll hear can be blamed on the rats or the building settling. It can get pretty weird sometimes,” she explained. “Okay, well, I don’t believe in ghosts, so I’m not too worried about it,” I replied, annoyed with this whole situation. She laughed again, and waved goodbye to me. I shook my head and didn’t give it much more thought. I drove home and finally felt my lack of sleep affecting me. I turned up the music and rolled down the windows to keep myself awake.

My phone buzzed, and I knew that it was Greg texting me. When I pulled into my parking lot, I decided to read the text. Oh, he was so predictable. “Hi, babe. After you nap, let’s hang out,” the text read. I rolled my eyes as hard as I could roll them. I did not want to see him. I wanted to spend the day with myself, and maybe with my dogs. I got out of my car and headed to my apartment, shoving my phone back into my purse without replying. “Lisa, how’s it going?” Brad, one of my neighbors, shouted from a few feet away. “Hey, Brad, headed to work?” I asked. “Yes, working on the weekend sucks,” he lamented. “I know what you mean. I’m hoping to someday get out of retail hell,” I said half-jokingly. “Well, I’ll see you around, Lisa,” he said with a smile that lit up the whole run-down parking lot. Man, why couldn’t I go out with a guy like that? I shouldn’t think that way, but I couldn’t help it. I wondered if I could ever get tired of that face? He was definitely on my list of future possibilities, even if he didn’t know it. I walked into my parking lot, and Milo immediately jumped on me and drowned me in doggie kisses. “I see you, I love you, too! We will walk after I nap, buddy,” I said through giggles. I threw down my purse, slipped off my shoes, and laid down on the couch. I smoked a joint and fell asleep with the sun shining on me from the living room window with the slightly opened blinds. It reminded me a little of lying on the beach. It was fun to escape to places like that in my mind sometimes. As I fell into a deeper sleep, I began to dream. I dreamed that I was ringing up customers in that store. I felt like I had been there for hours and couldn’t leave. Then, I noticed that all of the customers had something in common: none of them had eyes. They just had black holes where there should be eyes. I was the only person who seemed to notice this as an unusual thing. I felt terrified, and I wanted to leave so I yelled, “Help!” to Mrs. Steepleton. Mrs. Steepleton and Amanda were there, and they began laughing at me loudly. Then the ceiling began to leak and water began sprinkling on my arm. I woke up screaming, and Milly was on top of me, furiously licking my arm.

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April 4, 2012

Six Year Hiatus

Filed under: Blogging — desi83 @ 7:52 am

I had the year from hell from 2006-2007. I was finally teaching high school English, which was my dream job ever since I was a kid. I was in a relationship with a man who wanted to live with me and possibly marry me one day. He wanted to travel the world with me. I went into that school full of confidence and expectations. I was going to change lives. These students were going to love reading and writing once I was finished with them. I was armed with theories from famous child psychologists and highly experienced professors of education who had revolutionized the field of education. I was going to be the next big inspiration like the teachers in Dangerous Minds, Stand and Deliver, or even Jack Black from School of Rock. Okay, Jack Black? That never would have worked in real life. Michelle Phieffer probably would have been good to just get through the year without being raped killed at that school if it had been in real life. I went into the classroom, and a paper wad was thrown at me when I had my back turned. My classroom was wrecked and things were stolen when I had a substitute fill in for me. There were rumours started about me every time I spoke with a male teacher. I was also teaching students literature and writing who didn’t yet have a grasp of basic grammar and mechanics even though they supposedly learned that in middle school. I had 35 students in one class, the “advanced” English class. Anyone who signed up for it and did not fail freshman English was allowed in that class. I was accused of picking on students by their parents when I attempted to discipline them by giving them demerits when they were disruptive in my class.

I tried these so-called progressive teaching methods that I’d learned in college. The students either laughed at me or became completely chaotic because, what I didn’t realize then, and what my education professors failed to tell me, high school students respond better to structure. Kids like structure whether they want to admit it or not. The best teachers that I had in high school taught using very structured teaching methods. They taught us and treated us as if we were adults. That is why we were all there together, right? The teachers were preparing us for adulthood, for the workforce and individual responsibility. I learned nothing in college about how to teach. I learned how to teach after considering what went wrong and how to fix it. I also learned how to teach by training employees as a retail manager. To top it all off, I have grown as a person. I was 23 years old when I began teaching. I was listening to the same music as they were, dressing the same as they were outside of the classroom, and to some extent, in the classroom. I still had a teenager’s mentality because I had only lived on my own for a few months before I began teaching.

I also was still very naive with romantic relationships. I was in an abusive relationship at the time, which left me feeling weak and powerless. You cannot be a teacher and be weak and powerless. I’m sure the students sensed that in me-the weakness, not the abuse. If your students don’t see you as strong and assertive, how can they respect you? I have been hiding in retail management for six years. I think I have grown a lot since then and learned some very difficult life lessons. I think I’m ready to get my Master’s Degree and come back to teaching as a wiser, more educated, and stronger teacher. I’m good at teaching. I know, because I’ve had employees tell me that. I find myself teaching people how to do stuff all the time because I’m good at explaining things to people on their level, whatever that might be, and I’m thorough. I also am still very passionate about my subject matter. I still read classical literature because I enjoy it, and I learn from it. I still write, obviously, and I’m hoping to do more of that in the coming months in terms of the story that I’m writing. Right now, I am anxious, and I know it is because I’m ready to start my adult life now.

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