Strawberry guy

It's the obnoxious strawberry guy from the store yesterday... There is NO WAY I'm going to ask him for help. But he's my one and only chance. Wouldn't it be a waste of time?

 I rush over to him, pushing past a few people who appear to have bathed in cologne. He had his hands in his pockets and his face was expressionless until I grabbed hold of him. "What are you-" he exclaimed, surprised. "Please don’t act weirdly. Pretend to be my boyfriend," I said quietly. ‌ ‌

Strawberry guy, as I call him, stares at me blankly, then looks at the men behind me and then back at me, his face neutral. 

"No, miss, he's not your boyfriend, he doesn't even know who you are-" the second guy began, but was cut off. 

"Do you have a problem with my girlfriend?" Strawberry guy raised his hand. That caught me off guard, but I quickly masked it, afraid they'd figure out I was lying. Thank goodness he understood what I was saying!

“Oh, this lovely lady is your girlfriend? So lovely.” They kept mocking us. I looked at Strawberry Guy and told him to do something—anything...

When I felt Strawberry Guy's hand tightly clasp mine, I mentally gasped. I looked up at him to see if he was serious about assisting me. He took some money from his wallet and threw it on the three guys' faces with his other free hand.

 It took the guys a moment to realize what was going on as the money fell to the floor, but they were quick on their feet and were already kneeling on the floor to retrieve the money.

“Is it money you seek? Then come here, get everything, and stay out of my way. This is going to be the last warning for you.” Strawberry guy from beside me said in a low and deep voice, attempting to intimidate them while still holding my hands. 

I could feel my palm sweating from his touch, and I silently prayed that he wouldn't notice and mock me later...

I guess it worked because the three guys were still on the floor, unconcerned about us.

"Now, if you'll excuse us," Strawberry guy said, dragging me away from the scene, and I stumbled slightly as he picked up the pace, pulling me along. I slung the shopping bag across my chest. As we exited, a wave of relief washed over me... I hadn't realized how much sweat had accumulated on my brow until now.

Once we were out of the mall and on the streets, he let go of my hand and stuffed his hands back into his pocket.

He gave me a cold stare before walking away without saying anything else.

I felt a little guilty for dragging him into this mess.

I also owe him gratitude.

"Hold on!"

I called out, but he continued walking.

 I was thinking about his name...

 I don't even know what his name is!

"Strawberry guy!" I yelled. That was the first thing that came to my mind.

He freezes, and I take advantage of the opportunity to catch up to him.

"First and foremost, I apologize for dragging you into this.” I started when I managed to grab his attention. “Those guys keep asking me if I have a boyfriend. I didn't have any, so I was desperate to find a guy just to play a part. And then you appeared, and I reasoned that you might be able to assist me because you owe me money." I rambled a little too quickly. 

"Strawberry guy? And what do I owe you?" He asked after I was finished.

Is he serious? Are those the only words from my speech that he remembered?

"I'm afraid I don't know what your name is. And you are obligated to apologize to me.” I answered him. 

"Is it necessary to apologize? You were the one who required my assistance so I helped you. You should be the one thanking me. You've got guts, miss.” He said this with a blank expression on his face. 

I'm not sure why it bothers me, but it does. Can't he show even a smidgeon of emotion to allow me to read him?

 I let out a sigh. "You still haven't apologized for how you acted yesterday, you know, back at the shop if you don’t remember? Plus, those words you said were quite harsh," I said, making a sense out of hum. 

He rolled his eyes at me and mumbled, "Childish and shallow," 

I glared at him, "Hey, I heard that!”

"Why don't you stop wasting my time and just thank me for what I did earlier?” he asked as he crossed his arms. ‌ ‌

I snorted at that before responding, "I will only thank you after you have apologized.” 

"No, I will never." He replied. 

Ooh, is this how he wants to play? Damn. My temper is quickly rising, and I'm sure I'll lose control of my desire to punch that face any minute now. At the very least, I might agree with some of the sentiments expressed. "Fine by me," I said dismissively, gathering my belongings before walking away, leaving him behind. 

Screw him.

I wished I hadn't chased him down and given him his change! Why did I even bother to show kindness? I should've known he'd turn out to be an obstinate jerk! ‌ ‌

***‌ ‌

After that incident, I quickly went home and prepared for another day of work at the shop. Customers weren't as frequent, and I had to restrain myself from playing games on my phone out of boredom.

 I'd learned my lesson the first time around. It's time to get to work. I reminded myself of this. 

I was thankful that Mr. Tim, the owner, and manager of this store, is on vacation because if he hadn't caught me playing last time he was out of town, I would have been fired. Strawberry Guy's words came back to me. ‌ ‌

"If I were the owner, I could have fired you for playing in the middle of your work," 

I rolled my eyes at that. “Fire my ass." That irritated me to no end. Though I despise admitting it, he had a point. At work, I had been irresponsible and careless. But at the very least, he could say it politely! 

Emma was still at the store, beaming excitedly when it was my turn in the shift. "Do you see that man?" She asked, motioning for me to get closer. I took a look at the direction she was secretly pointing and saw it was a strawberry guy. 

I raised my eyebrows at her. What about the strawberry guy? That rude guy? ‌ I had already known that Emma likes handsome boys and that man is sure hot but she wouldn’t want a very rude guy like him right? 

"He had been asking where you were and stayed for an hour," she said, squealing excitedly..

Strawberry guy noticed us and turned to look at me, our eyes suddenly meeting.  Emma let out a squeal watching us. 

She gushed at me, "Is that one of your admirers?” Before I could even reply to her, she asked another question again, “Is this going to be your own romantic love story, Snow? Omg! I can sense it!"

 I gave her a sidelong glance, sighing at her state. . Emma and her irrational fantasies. Tsk. I thought I had already grown accustomed to it, but it can still be too much at times. 

"Aren't you on your way now? It's my turn to work." I said, cutting off her delulu state. 

She looked at me in disappointment, "But I want to see your love story,” I playfully hit her at that and she stopped, “-never mind.......bye, Snow!" she yelled, before walking away. ‌ ‌

In displeasure, I crunched my nose at what Emma was just saying. 

Is it a love story? I scoffed at the suggestion. I couldn’t help but glance at the strawberry guy again, who was still looking at me with an expression I couldn’t read. 

What brings him here? Is this about the incident yesterday at the mall? If that is, then he’s surely immature for that. 

Strawberry guy stood up and walked around like he owned the place. My gaze was drawn to his cold green eyes. 

"What do you want to talk about, strawberry guy?" I spoke up.  If he's going to mess with me again, I swear... I couldn't even conceive of what I'd do. 

He turned to me, leaned on the counter, and glanced at my name tag placed on my chest, "Your name is Snow, right?” 


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