Disclaimer: I don't own Target, Red Bull, Chuck E. Cheese's, the Backstreet Boys (I wish), or Shugo Chara!
And by the way, I didn't use honorifics here because this particular fic seems very . . . American.
And I'm still a little confused about them. Please bear with me. XD
This story is dedicated to my llfel.
If you're reading this . . .
Don't flame. ^_~
"Rima Mashiro? Please come into my office, Rima Mashiro. Thank you."
I looked up after hearing my name being called over the intercom, as if God Himself were speaking to me.
Bah. The manager probably wants to reprimand me on my 'passive and bored' attitude again. So what if I really didn't want to be here right now?
"Rima, you'd better go. Mr. Manager doesn't like waiting long." Yaya yelled at me from across a row of booths.
"Well, I don't like Mr. Manager." The children at the table I was serving gave me a confused look, wondering why I didn't like working in their paradise. Their parents exchanged a glance.
"What? Would you be ecstatic working here?" I asked, with attitude. The mother figure shook her head. "I didn't think so. I'll be right back." I slowly trudged to the back of Chuck E. Cheese's.
Confused? I don't blame you. I still don't see why I continue to work here, either.
See, next year, I hope to attend college. That is only going to happen if I can cough up some cash, at least enough for the initial fees. Then it's off to the magical land of student loans for me.
Sadly, registration and the textbooks themselves are rather pricey. I need this job, even if I hate it, if I hope to get anywhere in life.
I'm not exaggerating as much as you think.
Then again . . . I don't have it nearly as bad as Tadase, who's in the same boat. I didn't have to wear the mascot-like costume and take pictures with sweaty children. I only had to serve them raw carbs. Excuse me; I had to serve them our food.
I took a deep breath outside the wooden door. If this is what I think it is, I'll be turning in my tacky nametag for good.
"Mashiro?" My manager said. I had forgotten his name a few minutes after he introduced himself two weeks ago. For now, let's call him Jimmy. Jimmy motioned to the hard-looking chair in front of his desk. "Take a seat, please." He waited about 3 seconds before he started talking again.
He liked to hear himself talk, doesn't he?
"As you can see, I am the manager of this chain." Jimmy gently fixed his nametag so it was parallel to the tag that stated he was manager, as if he were proud. "As manager, it is my job to talk to the employees about their performance."
I nodded, knowing where this was going already.
"I believe I have called you into my office more than any other employee here. And you've been here for less than two weeks!" His point?
"Mashiro, we've been getting numerous complaints about your behavior. Why can't you be more like Yaya? So full of life, bubbly, great with the children!"
Okay. That got me mad. "Well, I'm sorry I can't be as hyper as you'd like! I'm a normal, teenage girl. I would have to take 3 Red Bulls every morning to reach Yaya's level!" I said, angrily.
He stared at me for a few moments. Then, sighing in defeat, he brought something up from behind his desk. Was that . . . Was that a Red Bull?
"No! No. It's all right. I'll be fine. It was just a figure of speech!" I said, quickly.
He nodded, and slowly returned the Red Bull to its original place. "Mashiro, you know this means we're going to have to let you go."
I figured this was going to happen sooner or later. This was my third job in two months. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. My only regret is that I didn't make it to another paycheck.
Without saying a word, I got up, and walked out his door, feeling like this has happened way too many times before. I waved goodbye to Yaya, who had already figured what had happened. I wondered for a moment what had happened to the family I was serving.
For the finishing effect, I unclipped my nametag and tossed it in the trash.
-The Next Day-
"Rima . . . I'm getting a little worried about you."
Amu and I were in a coffee shop a few blocks from the restaurant where she worked. Lucky girl, she probably made tons of money off tips. But I've decided, I'm not taking another waitressing job anytime soon.
She was on lunch break, I had finally told her about my predicament.
"Why? I'm glad to be out of that place . . . The pay was nice, though."
"This is, what? Your fourth job in two months?"
"Third." I said, probably a little coldly. Amu sighed and took a drink of her smoothie. I hadn't ordered anything, at this point, I was trying to save every last penny.
"You know, I could talk to Ikuto about this? I think they're hiring."
"NO! Please, please don't. I want to save the little dignity I have left."
Ikuto, Amu's fiancé, was the manager of the local Target.
"Come on, Rima. You're desperate here, I can tell. Give it a chance! At the very worst," she giggled. "At the very worst, you'll only have wasted, what? What's your new record? Two weeks of your life?" She then burst into a full giggle-attack. What a great friend.
People were starting to stare.
"Fine, fine. Just stop giggling. You're causing a scene." I muttered.
There goes the rest of my dignity.
-One Week Later, 8 A.M. -
One week and a few sexual favors later (the sexual favors being from Amu), I am now a Target employee.
Dressed in my new red polo and black pants, I walked through the sliding doors, only a little tired from biking a mile. The next thing I know, I was looking at the worst thing imaginable.
No, not whatever you're thinking of. WORSE.
I saw Nagihiko.
So early in the morning, too? Now my entire day is shot. Wonderful.
The same four words were repeating in my head as I slowly walked away from him.
Please don't see me, please don't see me, please don't- He conveniently turned around just as I was making my great escape.
"Rima? Is that you?"
"Uh, hey. Nice seeing you, but I have to go, I just realized I forgot to . . Uh . . . Feed my cat." I walked backwards towards the sliding doors.
What was Amu thinking? She knew I didn't like this asshole. Yet she recommended a job in which I would see him every single day.
Yes, he worked here. He was also wearing the exact same outfit.
We were matching. Gah.
"Wait, Rima- why are you wearing the uniform? Are you the new worker? Omigosh, Ikuto didn't say anything about this!"
Did . . . did he just say 'omigosh'?
"Here, I'll show you to the office where you can get your nametag!" Before I could form a response, he grabbed my hand and speed walked down the rows of cashiers.
He grabbed my hand.
His hand was touching mine.
We were holding hands.
It was taking me a while to process this, and I was feeling a little dizzy.
"Rima, are you okay? You look a little flushed." Nagihiko said with concern.
"You're right, I should leave, I'll find another job some-," I said, trying to get out of his now death-grip.
"Do you want me to drive you home?" Why does he continue to pester?
"No, no, I'll make it, I feel fine! Honestly."
"Then, in that case, you'll be okay. We'll be working buddies!"
What, now he plays mind games?
While we were speed walking (well, he was, I was being dragged), we passed a wall entirely dedicated to the current and past Employee-of-the-Month awards. In tacky lettering, it stated that Nagihiko has been winner for the last 18 months.
I wasn't all that surprised about the Employee-of-the-Month thing, but he could hold a job for 18 months?
We finally reached the door marked 'Manager's Office', and Nagihiko let go of my now numb hand. He opened aforementioned door to find . . . nothing.
The office was empty, but the window was open and it's curtain fluttering, which was a big hint.
Nagihiko sighed. "Bad timing, Ikuto . . . I swear, someday the superintendant is going to come, and he's going to be out on one of his adventures . . ." he muttered.
"This happens often?"
"More than you'd believe."
Hm. I've been here for less than twenty minutes, and this place was turning out to be rather interesting.
"Fujisaki! Who's the new recruit?" a voice yelled from behind us.
Was that Kukai? What was this, a former Guardian's reunion?
I looked up and saw Kukai walking towards us, along with some other person who was using way too much hair gel. He looked strangely familiar.
Nagihiko sighed. "Hello, Souma. You remember Mashiro? From grade school?"
"Oh yeah, Mashiro! I remember her!" He gave me a bear hug. My feet weren't even touching the ground! "She's still so little, like a doll or something?" He swung me around, and was about to continue, but something made him stop. I took three steps away the second he so kindly set me down.
Why was Nagihiko glaring at him?
"Idiot. Don't scare her on her first day here!"
Kukai was about to defend himself, but at that moment, Ikuto decided to stroll in. He walked over to the four of us, and stared at me for about ten seconds.
"Who's she?" Ikuto bluntly said, pointing at me.
"Uh, you hired me."
"I hired someone?"
"I'm Amu's friend. Remember?"
"Oh, I remember." He grinned. Creep. "I haven't gotten your nametag yet, so you can use Mari's." He reached into his pocket and handed me a nametag labeled, 'Hello, my name is: Mari. Serving Target since 1972.'
"You, Backstreet Boy," Ikuto motioned to the still unnamed person in our little huddle. He was obviously making a reference to his ridiculous hair. I had almost forgotten about him. "Show Chibi Girl around. Girly boy and Cupcake, come with me, some kid tossed his cookies in house wares. It's a job for two."
Nagihiko and Kukai shuddered, but still trailed after Ikuto.
What's with these nicknames?
I turned back and faced 'Backstreet Boy'.
"Uh, um, hi, Rima Mashiro!" He stuck his hand out for me to shake. "M-my name is Kirishima Fuyuki." His hand twitched.
What? I don't bite! . . . Often.
-One Hour Later-
Kirishima finally finished my tour. I don't think he went a single sentence without stuttering. He ended by saying, "B-but, you're going to be a cashier, so you don't really need to know all of this!"
What a waste of my valuable time.
"Later, Fujisaki can show you how to operate the cash r-register!" He stammered. "He's also a cashier! Souma works in customer services with me now since he didn't like being a cashier, but Ikuto still confuses him for the j-janitor, which is odd, because he's worked here the longest."
I nodded and walked back to the employee's lounge. This kid obviously wasn't going to get me anywhere.
Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!
Was it too rushed? OOC?