Hannah strolled amongst the flowers, brushing her hand across soft petals as she walked on route to the market. She knew she was late for her shift, but she also knew Rolf would not fire her. She had been late almost every day since she began working there the previous summer.
Rolf loved her. She could tell. She smiled at customers all day as she handed out samples of new products. Every time Rolf came by, he smiled at her. His eyes would not leave her face until he had to turn the corner. He made her giggle.
His attention made her feel pretty, so sometimes she dressed up. On those days she wore heels, even though her feet needed ice packs when she arrived home after work. One day, maybe I’ll ask Rolf to give me a ride home on his Vespa. Then I will have a reason to put my arms around him.
She held her arms out in front of her in a circle, pretending they were sneaking their way around Rolf’s belly. It wasn’t small, he had a paunch. She swayed from side to side. She didn’t mind.
She didn’t mind that his brown hair with silver slices was thinning on top, either. Or that sometimes she would spot a bit of mayonnaise or gravy on his tie. Those things didn’t bother her. She worked hard to take care of her invalid mother and bedridden aunt, and she knew those things happened with age. She wouldn’t mind when he began to complain of creaking bones or aching joints either. I could take care of him.
She spun in a circle, dreamy thoughts taking over. We could go for a walk holding hands. Maybe he will take me to the beach. Or to an Italian restaurant where we feed each other spaghetti. Or he may take me for ice cream. I will wipe away the little bit that drops onto his chin.
I just have to finish this last year of high school.
Realizing she was almost to the market door, she shook herself. She knew she shouldn’t think about him like that. He was married after all.
But his wife was mean. Maybe he will leave her.
She plastered a smile on her face and entered the market.