The Supermarket Girl

Krystal Mayfield, a New Orleans teenager, down on her luck and getting deeper and deeper. Complete short story.

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1. Looking For a Job

 

Looking for a Job

She was frightened now. A good catholic girl has gone and brought disgrace on her family. What was she thinking of? Stealing. And stealing from a JUDGE no less! Krystal Mayfield had been fired from her job at the supermarket two weeks ago for insubordination. She and the store manager couldn’t see eye to eye on working practices so Krystal had to leave. She had not yet told her family about her dismissal for two reasons; firstly, embarrassment and secondly, she was convinced that she would find another job real soon. She didn’t want to worry them none.  Krystal was the breadwinner in her little home. The family shotgun housed Krystal along with two brothers aged two and four, three sisters ages three, five and seven and their old daddy. Daddy was lame from the Iraq war and momma was dead. She had died whilst giving birth to little Lionel.

A tall, thin girl with a pretty face and a ready smile that almost hid her worries, Krystal had been doing the daily trek around The Marigny district looking for store work but was having no luck. She’d been propositioned by a few sleazy tourist types who figured a little black girl dressed up smart and walking the streets of New Orleans must be some kind of hooker. She shuddered at the thought.  She would be eighteen next week and it wasn’t looking like a time for celebration. She still had to chide herself when she thought of mom – And she had to stop herself from cursing little Lionel, the cause of mommy’s demise.

Ambling in the warm breeze along Esplanade she noticed a grand looking car pull up at the kerb nearby and a tall, smartly dressed man got out. He walked up a footpath without glancing her way and was greeted by the householder before he could knock. The woman called him in for tea and a chat. Krystal spotted the wallet on the passenger seat of the man’s car. She unthinkingly and swiftly removed it. “Dear Lord! Forgive me,” she whispered before pocketing it in a flash.

She was shaking as she hurried away. Conflicting thoughts argued inside her head. One voice would tell her to take it back whilst another would holler; ”Open it! Go on, Have a look!” Still wanting to turn back the clock she conceded to the Devil himself and under a tree, she took a peak. “Wow! Five hundred dollars! I’ve got to take it back.” She was desperate for some food. The family would be expecting their dinner. She extracted three $10 bills and hid them away before turning round and heading nervously back to the scene of the crime.

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