Together – The Call Pt 2

“Vanessa? I hope this isn’t a bad time.”

“Who is this?”

“It’s Rick. The only guy who would call that phone and ask for you.”

“Point taken. You managed to catch me during prep time. What do you need?”

“You hung up on me earlier before we figured out what we were going to do about swapping our phones back.”

“I did? Good. I thought we’d settled on something and I’d just forgotten. It’s been one of those days.”
“I’m familiar with those days. They’re part of what keeps me employed. Along with bachelor and bachelorette parties.”

“So, are you working at the bar again tonight? I can drop by on my way home later.”

“It’s actually my night off. I’ll be back at the bar tomorrow but you probably need your phone back before that.”

“Yeah, that’s the number most of my colleagues have and while I doubt there’ll be a snow day tomorrow or any other emergency, I don’t think you’d appreciate having the principal wake you up.”

“I can think of better surprises to wake up to. So you’re a teacher?”

“I thought I told you that last night. Must’ve been that internet reject of Susan’s. Yes, I’m a teacher. Well, actually I work with some of the special needs kids and I have a group of kids with learning disorders that I meet with periodically. But, you’re probably not interested in all that.”

“Sounds more fulfilling than what I do but I like my hours better. I’m not much of a morning person. Of course, you get snow days and school vacations. Those were always my favorite thing about school.”

“I was too but it’s amazing how little those help when you’re not a student. I spend most of that time catching up on reports or prepping for meetings. I can’t believe how much time I spend in meetings.”

“Don’t have much in the way of meetings at the bar. Every so often there’ll be a resurgence of the mandatory weekly staff meetings but we never seem to keep them going for more than a month before management stops showing up. After that, they’re kind of pointless so the rest of us stop going too.”

“That sounds… horrible.”

“Not really. They run out of things to talk about pretty quickly. We already spend a lot of our time around each other in awkward silences because of what some drunken patron has said. It’s more uncomfortable when it’s our bosses and they’re sober.”

“What, no politics or competition? No one sucking up to get the perks or the good shifts? I don’t buy it.”
“There was an ambitious guy here for a while but he was kind of paranoid. He didn’t believe the rest of us when we told him we didn’t care about things like that or didn’t want something in return for swapping shifts. Freaked out in front of the manager once and he ended up letting him go not that long after.”

“Wow. Okay, so not at the bar. Well, where do you live? If it’s not too far out of my way I can just swing by.”

“Wouldn’t you like to know. If it’s all the same, I’d rather not.”

“Why not?”

“Does it matter? What about dinner? I have to go out later to get something to eat. How ‘bout we meet up somewhere with food.”

“Are you… asking me to dinner? Like a date?”

“I was thinking we could meet up at the food court at the mall. We can both get food but it doesn’t have to be from the same place and we can sit at separate tables if you want. Not a date… unless you want it to be. You were trying very hard to turn everything I said last night into a pickup. If you want this to be a date, it can be.”
“I do need to eat and I don’t really want to have to cook tonight. I kind of like the separate tables idea though. We can decide after we see how things go whether or not it was a date.”

“Takes the pressure off, doesn’t it.”

“A little. Just remember to bring my phone. Five o’clock too early?”
“Not at all. I’ll be at the food court around five so we can conveniently run into each other and trade phones back.”

“Okay then. I should probably go. The kids are going to be back from gym soon and I have a meeting this afternoon that I should finish prepping for.”

“Good luck with your meeting.”

“Bye Rick.”

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