Riley Franklin's the name, unemployed teenager's the game. Or was. I know the story of some 16-year-old's first job isn't exactly the most exciting read, but considering what my first job was, I've come to the decision to write it all down for posterity. Here's how it started.
After a long day full of rejection I had to admit, things weren't exactly going my way. I found myself sitting on a bench in the middle of the park with the last copy of my (lackluster) resume next to me. In that moment I was somewhere between the corner of crushed and desperate. I'd gone to every place I could think of, traveled all around town, only to find nothing. Even now, sitting alone as I was, the stars were shining and the moon rising. The sun had dipped beneath the surface hours ago, the remnants of a perfectly good Saturday, wasted.
I huffed, resting my chin in my hands, and them in turn on my knees. I looked down for a second and cringed.
"Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to wear rainbow socks today..." I thought. And maybe it wasn't. I mean, if I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to look mature. But since it was a Saturday and seeing as I was 16 my decision in hosiery that morning seemed inconsequential. After all, people are hired based off qualification, right?
Anyways. As I sat staring up at the stars twinkling in the sky, goosebumps began to crawl up my forearm as the temperature dropped. I was thinking that I should probably start getting home, when something about the stars caught my attention. It was quick, a silver line dashed across the sky, then was gone. I stared after it for a solid minute. Maybe it was the comet, or maybe it was my desperation, but to this day I'm still not sure what made me do it. I stood, looked up at the sky and said,
"C'mon. I just need this one shot. I'll do almost anything, just please, give me a chance, Big guy."
Nothing happened. I stood there, watching the sky for any kind of sign, but none came. Suddenly, there was a strong breeze. I heard a rustle and turned around, only to find that my resume was being carried off.
"No! No no no no!" I whispered and chased after it the best I could, my dark hair streaming around me. I ran down the cobblestone path of the park and prayed that the paper wouldn't get caught in any of the branches of the old oak trees lining the way. No matter I how fast I ran, the darned thing always tumbled away. Finally, I was within arms reach of the paper. I stretched out my arm, my fingers extended. I was close enough to brush the corner of the sheet. Then, as if the wind was toying with me, a final gust carried the paper away. Out of reach and out of sight.
I stopped and stared after it, one last quiet "no" escaped my lips. I huffed, stomped my foot and groaned. After all that trouble! After walking up and down all day only to find rejection after rejection my last hope of finding a job was gone. Literally blown away in the wind.
I slouched in defeat and decided to go home.
On the way, I muttered, "Guess it just wasn't meant to be..."
That same night, Riley Franklin wasn't the only person to feel discourage. Sitting in a chair with half-lidded eyes, both from discouragement and fatigue sat the owner of a very popular restaurant located in the middle of main street, USA. His tiny form, normally alive and jovial, was now slack against the back of his chair. His clothes were slightly rumpled and the tip of his skinny tail drooped down to the floor. At this late hour, the club, better known as the House of Mouse, was deserted. Only he and his best friend/ business partner were there, the others had gone home long ago. They sat in silence, facing each other. Mickey looking tired, Donald looking annoyed.
"Aww Donald," Mickey said, "If we can't find another waiter, I don't know what we're gonna do! Ever since the penguins quit, all the orders keep getting backed up. If things keep going the way they are, Pete'll have us outta business before we know it."
Donald only muttered something unintelligible in response. Mickey opened his mouth to ask for clarification, then thought better of it. Something inside told him he didn't want to know. They sat there for a few more minutes before Donald stood up and started to waddle away.
"We should lock up. We'll keep trying tomorrow." he said.
Mickey shrugged and followed, "Well I- I guess you're right."
While Donald went to turn off the house lights, Mickey went to lock the front doors. He shuffled through his pocket and fished out the key. With slow movements he put the key into the keyhole and turned it to the right. Then he jiggled the door to be sure. With a sigh, he turned and began walking away when he heard a strange, exceptionally quiet sound. He froze in his tracks, then turned back to the glass doors. He squinted a little and saw that a sheet of paper had blown right into it. Curiosity got the better of him and guided him back to the front doors. He leaned in and squinted at the sheet, trying to read the heading. It was a resume.
All at once his eyes widened and he fumbled with the key and the lock. Once the door was unlocked he wasted no time in opening it and snatching up the paper. He read it over quickly. He did admit, it wasn't the most genius thing he'd ever read, but hey! They were desperate and this girl seemed up for the job.
"Donald!" he called, "Hold on just a minute! I think I found someone!"
God, what time is it?I awoke to the noise of my phone ringing. I looked to my digital clock. The numbers read 12:03 A.M. Great. Who the hell could be calling me at this hour? I swung my legs over the side of my bed and walked over to my phone. I squinted at the phone. The screen was too bright to look at. Without reading the number, I picked up and answered with a groggy, "Hello?"
"Ah, yes, is this Riley Franklin?" a voice asked on the other end. It was unusually high pitched.
"Yeah, that's me. Who is this?" I said, still half asleep and glaring at nothing in particular.
"I found your resume outside my restaurant," the person went on, ignoring my question, "and it just so happens that we're hiring!"
"Really?" I asked. The prospect of a job snapped me awake, "w-what for? Where?"
"We need a waiter. Are ya interested?" they said.
"Yeah! I mean, yes, definitely! Where?" I answered, a million thoughts circling through my mind.
"Great! How about you come down and see the place? We can meet tomorrow afternoon."
"Perfect!" I said, " Where is it?"
The owner gave me the address and I jotted it down. "Thank you so much!" I said.
"No, thank you! Oh! And one more thing," the owner said.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"The only way for you to find this place is to travel through West Point Bridge. Ya know where that is?" he asked.
"Sure," I said, picturing the our town's famous landmark,
"But why can I only go through there?"
"Ah, you'll see tomorrow," he answered, " See ya real soon!"
Then the line went dead. I stood there, staring at my wall for minutes straight. A slow smile spread on my face and I couldn't keep still. I had a job! Or at least an interview! Still, something was something! I knew I wasn't getting any sleep tonight, so I ran over to my parents room to tell them the good news.
"Thank you!" I muttered at the ceiling, "I won't let you down, you'll see!"