It was days like to day that made Sara wish she had never taken the manager position at Disc Jockey.
She thought that all the big album signings happened in cities like New York or LA, but alas she had to put up with all the crazy fans today because JC Chasez decided to grace her record store with his presence. She was having a hard enough time keeping Schizophrenic on the shelves and now as she looked out at the floor all she saw was empty shelves and trash everywhere. That man had autographed everything from arms to the CD to teddy bears. Sara would give anything to have the store magically clean, but instead of wishing, she took a deep breath and picked an isle to start cleaning.
She was halfway through straightening up the second isle when she reached down to pick up a Moby CD and noticed a ten-dollar bill. ‘Well, at least I get a tip today’ she thought as she pocketed the bill. When she reached down to pick up another CD off the floor, she heard a noise.
She thought everyone was out of the building except her and when she heard the noise again, it sent a chill up her spine. She grabbed the first thing she could find to protect herself, a poster tube, and walked back to the employee lounge where the noise seemed to be coming from. She knew she had asked David to lock that door before he left so whoever was inside couldn’t get out to her. She put her ear against the door and jumped back when the handle rattled.
She held the tube over her shoulder like a baseball bat and yelled toward the door, “You better stop what you’re doing. I’ve called the cops and they’re on their way and I have a gun so don’t try anything stupid.”
The voice on the other side of the door replied, “Please let me out of here. My name is JC Chasez. I was here for the album signing and I got locked in.”
Sara rolled her eyes and unlocked the door. She saw JC with a look of relief on his face. “What the hell are you doing back here? I thought you were a psycho or something.”
“Fiction will have you believe that every noise you hear at night is a monster. But no, I asked one of your guys if I could chill out on the couch back here after the signing until all the fans left and I guess I must have fallen asleep and got locked in.” He then looked at the cardboard tube in her hand. “Nice gun.”
Sara ignored his comment and began walking back to the front of the store. “Well, we’re closed now, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds. I’m just cleaning up the store then going home.”
JC looked at the floor and saw the isles that still needed to be straightened. “Did I cause all this mess? I can help if you want. I’m gonna have to wait on my ride anyway. Oh, you might want to call off the cops.”
Sara shrugged and picked up another handful of CD’s off the floor. “ I never called them.”
“Well, how’d you expect to scare your supposed robber?”
Sara looked up at JC and smiled. “You were locked in. I had plenty of time to call.” JC just shook his head. “And you don’t have to help me. There’s a phone behind the counter that you can use to call your ride. But don’t you think that they realize you aren’t with them?”
“I told them I wanted to check out the shops down here by myself and I’d call when I was ready. I’m a fan of small town stores.” Sara shrugged and went back to cleaning.
JC made his call and when he hung up the phone picked an isle and began working. “They said they’d be here in about twenty minutes. Maybe that’ll be enough time to get this all cleaned up.”
“Hopefully.” Sara sighed. “Thanks. You really don’t have to help.”
“I know. I want to.”
The pair straightened the rest of the time in silence until they were surprised by a knock at the front door.
“That’s my ride,” JC said as he waved at the tall black man at the door.
Sara looked around the store. It looked pretty close to perfect, so she went to grab her purse, turn out the lights then let them both out.
“Thanks again,” Sara said as she retrieved a pack of Marlboro Lights and a cigarette lighter from her purse.
“You’re welcome and you know that will make your mouth like an ashtray,” JC said as he lit the cigarette for her.
Sara laughed. “I know that your life is stressful or whatever but when you are a normal person like me with a job like this and trying to be a full time student sometimes you just need a cigarette. When you take a trip to the bank and empty the safe for me, then I’ll think about quitting.”
JC took the cigarette from her, took a long drag, lifted up her nametag to read her name then handed it back to her. “Well Sara, we’ll see about that.” He then blew out the smoke, got in the awaiting car and drove away.
Sara shook her head, locked the front door then walked to her car to go home.
Tell Jessica what you thought of her story!