A Girl Named Hope Ch. 01byScott_Free©
All characters in this story are 18+
Like most evenings at work, this one was boring. Not just boring in the "I have nothing to do" way, but boring in the "why am I wasting my life in this dump?" kind of way. I think most people feel this way once in a while at their place of employment. My employer gets a bad rap from a lot of people, but to be totally honest, I really like my job. I work at for a certain big-box-retailer, in a smallish city in Minnesota. I won't name any company names here, because like I said before, I like my job.
The one name that I can tell you is mine. My name is Robert. It seems easy enough. It contains six letters, and those letters are arranged in two syllables; Ro-bert. But no, customers always seem to want to call me Bob, which I hate. Bob is not a name, it is a verb that is defined as: "a short jerky motion," or "to bounce up and down." Bob is the motion a woman uses when she is giving head. It is not my fucking name. The only worse scenario is when a customer calls me Rob. Rob is also a verb, and when they address me as such, I want to "Rob" them of their consciousness.
Other than my name, I am an easy going guy. I am a shade over six feet tall, with brown hair, and eyes. I'm not really fat, but then again, I'm not really thin either. I'm not some muscle bound ox of a man; but then again, I'm not exactly a scrawny fellow. Almost, but not quite, has been the story of my life. I have only one real thing going for me: I know how to talk to women. It doesn't sound like much when compared with other super powers. I mean, it's not as cool as being bulletproof, like Superman. It also really doesn't compare to being able to do magic like Harry Potter. But those guys are pure fiction. Me, I'm the real deal. Before you get the idea that I'm some kind of big time player who fucks a lot of women, let me tell you; I don't. In fact, there has been only one woman in my bed for the past five and a half years. Yep, that's right, I'm married. I've been married for almost five years now.
So I bet you are thinking to yourself, "big fucking deal." You might be asking yourself, "What good does it do a married man to have a real talent for talking to women?" That is an excellent question, for which I have an excellent answer: it keeps me entertained. It can take the most boring day at work, and turn it into an adventure. A female customer comes to me looking for a widget, and within a few minutes of conversation, I not only sell her a couple more widgets than she was looking for, but I get her whole life story, and usually her phone number too. The conversations, I cherish. The phone numbers, I diligently throw away, always uncalled. After all, I wouldn't want my wife to get upset after finding some girl's number in my wallet. It is just a little innocent flirting.
Like I said at the beginning, I was bored. All my aisles were straightened, all of my returned merchandise had been put away, and all of the stocking that the day shift was required to do was done. That left one thing to do: clean. Cleaning is the bane of my existence. Whenever work seems like it can get no more tedious, a manager will come by and tell you to get out the paper towel, and the glass cleaner. My section has about a dozen huge display cabinets, which are always in need of a good polish, thanks to the sticky fingers of grubby little children. Just as I began to dread the prospect of becoming Mr. Clean, the department manager from the next section over cruised by, looking like he wanted somebody to tell off. This was his second time by in less than fifteen minutes, so I knew that this self-important prick was on a mission. I quickly looked for a customer that I could assist, but I had no luck. The only customer in sight was being helped by my section partner, Bailey. Damn!
"When is the last time that you checked for returns, Robert?" The smug bastard asks. At least the bastard didn't call me Bob.
"I finished them about ten minutes ago, Mitch." He looked me over closely, like a cop who was trying to tell if I had been drinking, or not. Unfortunately, I hadn't been drinking. Otherwise, this day probably would have been much more awesome.
"Maybe you should clean the display cases." He paused to see if I would protest. I didn't, because I had known from the minute I saw him that I would be buffing some glass in the near future. "It's not good for the other managers to see you just standing around like that." What he meant was, "It's doesn't make me look good for my boss to see you not sweating, and busting your ass for your measly pay."
"Sure, Mitch." I gave him my most winning smile. This smile had got a woman's panties thrown at me twice, when I was in college. Yes, I went to college. Why am I working here? Well, that's a long story. But Paul was unmoved by what my wife calls my "Million Watt Beam." I was not totally disappointed, because if Mitch did happen to wear panties, I did not want him to throw them at me. In fact, if he did, I would probably have to give him an old fashioned ass whooping. He turned, and walked away, probably thinking of his next intended victim, or more probably of the kittens or puppies that he tortures in his free time. Watching him walk, I wondered for the millionth time, what he could possibly be smuggling up his ass to make him walk that way? With any luck, I will never find out.
I went behind the checkout counter, and got the gigantic, industrial-sized roll of paper towel and a spray bottle of window cleaner. I walked over to the iPod display, and sprayed a generous amount of the blue liquid across the clear surface. Yes, I forgot to tell you before, I am probably the asshole who sold you that television that you watch fourteen hours a day. I finished the top case, bundled up my used towels, and crouched down to spray the lower half of the case. I put the spray bottle down, and began to unroll some more paper when I caught a glimpse of motion out of the corner of my eye. I hate to admit it, but my very first thought was of Mitch throwing his lacey undergarments at me while I was otherwise occupied. Thankfully, this was not the case, and although it was a pair of panties that had caught my eye, they definitely did not belong to Mitch "the Bitch."
They were very small, and lacey, and red, and hanging from a hanger that was held by the woman standing next to me. The term woman was probably stretching it a little. Girl, would probably be more accurate, or at least, young lady. She was a pretty little thing. She stood maybe 5'1", and if she weighed over a hundred pounds, I would gladly eat that lacey red thong. After a full twenty seconds of looking, I decided that I would have no problem eating that miniscule article of clothing, provided that she was wearing it at the time. She was absolutely stunning. Her long blonde hair was pulled back into a pony tail. I try not to actively fantasize about other women, but I couldn't help but wonder what that hair would look like flowing free... down her back... her naked back... and maybe a little damp with sweat from our lovemaking.
I tried to pull myself together, and stop my mind from wandering. Unfortunately, that is when she pivoted about a quarter turn, and I caught sight of her best asset. No pun intended. I have always been a butt man, but I had never seen one in person to match hers. It was unnaturally large, perfectly heart-shaped, and it was stuffed into the smallest possible pair of lime green soccer shorts. The color of the shorts only highlighted the thin strip of cloth, that was obviously from a thong, exactly like the one she held in her hands, except for the color. It was peeking out of the top of her ridiculously small shorts, beneath her too small tank top, that left a full three inches of her flat belly bare.
I was almost afraid to stand up, because in all my not-so-secret gawking, I felt my cock start to stir. Unfortunately, my slightly baggy khaki pants leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to erections; and if things continued to develop this way, mine would be in undeniable evidence. I stood up anyway, though. I had to talk to this stunning creature. This is the entertainment that I had craved all afternoon, and I wasn't going to let it pass by unexplored because I was afraid of getting a woody, like some fourteen year old boy.
"Hi," I said smoothly, "Can I help you find anything today?" Her blue eyes darted towards me, and she smiled. I have no idea why, because the almost, but not quite also extends to my looks. I have never let my lack of ruggedly handsome appeal stop me from talking to women. After all, girls don't always want some bad boy that will treat them shitty, sometimes they want a guy that they can take home to meet mom. And very occasionally women just want a guy who can bang them until they forget their own name. This is probably how I got my wife, who is also ridiculously out of my league.
"Yeah, maybe you can. Do you know anything about laptops? Mine died yesterday, and I'm thinking about buying a new one." A scenario ran through my mind where I offered to fix her laptop, and afterward, I grudgingly accepted sex in lieu of payment. Even for me, this fantasy sounded farfetched.
"I happen to be the resident laptop expert. What exactly are you looking for, and about how much were you wanting to spend?" I wasn't lying about my expertise in the field of computers. I have been building my own machines since I was twelve years old.
"Well..." she started, tilting her head sideways, and unconsciously twisting her hair around her index finger. It was adorable. "I'm just mainly looking to get online, and get on Facebook, and do some word processing, you know, for school."
"Oh," I said, and gave her another glimpse of my pearly whites, "what college do you go to?" Rule number one, women always like to talk about themselves. Most guys always want to monopolize the conversation, that way they can tell the woman repeatedly how great they are. Women see through this in an instant. But a woman is usually always flattered when a guy asks her about herself, and actually pays attention to what she says.
"I go to North Central University." She smiled devastatingly at me again. She was surprised at my interest. This was going just as planned. "It's in Minneapolis." It was probably about a forty minute drive to North Central from our store. Bummer, she probably didn't even live around here. "I'm majoring in accounting."
Most guys would give her a compliment here. They would tell her how smart she is, or how good looking that she is. In comes rule number two: never give a woman a sincere compliment. Once you compliment them, they know that you are putty in their pretty little fingers. The only compliments that I ever give are veiled insults. If a woman is perfectly fit, and trim; tell her that you don't mind a woman with a little junk-in-the-trunk. This may sound like a compliment, but au contraire. The fact is, the better looking that a woman is, the poorer her self-esteem usually is. She will interpret this comment as, "he thinks that I am fat." So her self-esteem will take a small blow. Enough of these small blows and that chick will blow you just to prove to herself that she is good enough to do it. It sounds crazy, and it totally is, but the majority of women have a fucked up psyche; and this especially applies to good looking women. Why, you might ask? I'm no certified expert. Try it for yourself. Think of it as a social experiment, and see if you don't catch more flies with vinegar than honey.
"That is a pretty decent school," I allowed, with a smug grin. "It is in a really shitty part of town, though. Be careful of all the sick-pervert-rapists around there, and those are just the people on the city council." She giggled softly. It was a musical and adorable sound. "So what exactly is wrong with your laptop?"
"Well, it turns on, then the screen lights up, and I get all of these error messages. It won't do anything, it won't even reboot. I have to hold the power button down for it to go off. It really sucks, because the warrantee just ran out a couple of weeks ago, and it is a nice computer. I think my dad paid like nine hundred dollars for it."
"It sounds like a software problem to me. I don't think that there is actually anything wrong with the laptop itself. Maybe you got a virus, or something. Do you use antivirus?" I saw a guilty look on her pretty face.
"I had a year free, but it ran out with the warrantee." She blushed deeply. "I've wanted to get something else, but money is tight. I work part time, but they recently cut my hours down to almost nothing."
"I can understand that. Do you have the disks that came with it? The system reboot disks?" Her face fell at this question.
"No..." she paused, and looked like she was feeling stupid. "It didn't actually come with any. I was supposed to make a set of backup disks, but I never got around to it." She looked like she was about to cry. I genuinely felt bad for her, which is honestly not my usual reaction. Maybe it was just because she was so damn good looking. "Is there anything that you could do to help me out? I don't want to have to put a new laptop on my credit card, because my dad will find out; and I don't want to take it to a shop where they will rip me off. Maybe you could take a look at it?" Her beautiful blue eyes were pleading with me, and I found my resolve weakening. Why shouldn't I help this poor girl out? I realized that I was rationalizing. I could do just as good of a job as a shop, and would charge a few bucks, or a few beers, or...
"If you give me your number, I'll call you tomorrow, and come by and take a look at it. Where do you live?" She flashed a gorgeous smile at my positive response.
"I live in Bloomington, right off of I-35. Do you have a piece of paper, so I can write my number?" I went to the register, and ejected three inches of register tape, and handed it to her along with my pen. She wrote on it, and handed it back to me. It was a phone number, and her name printed in a script that looked almost like calligraphy. Her name was Hope. She jumped, and grabbed me around my neck in a tight hug. It was comical because of the extreme difference in our heights. "Thank you so much! You don't know how much this will help me out. I'll be at home all day tomorrow, just call, and I will give you directions." Her hair smelled delicious, like strawberries, and she had some kind of light perfume on that complimented it perfectly. She held the hug, and I eased her back down to the floor.
"I'll call tomorrow around eleven." She flashed me another smile, and thanked me again, and turned to leave. I couldn't take my eyes off of her while she walked away. Her hips swayed enticingly in those little green shorts. I did something that I had never done before. I tucked her number in the inside fold of my wallet, where no one but the most thorough snoop, or a C.I.A. operative would be likely to find it. My wife was neither. I guess that I was tucking the number into my wallet when Mitch "the Bitch" saw me.
"I need to talk to you in the manager's office immediately." His pissy demeanor left me no choice to follow him into the back room. He was on his walkie talkie calling Jerry, the assistant manager over my area to come back to the office, so we could have a "meeting."
We waited outside the office for ten minutes on Jerry, since "the Bitch" wasn't important enough to have keys to the office. We all three got in the office, and Jerry invited us to have a seat, and sat down himself.
"What seems to be the problem, Mitch?" Jerry had a vague expression on his face, which seemed to mean that he only nominally tolerated Mitch's bullshit, and that he felt a little bit sorry that I was stuck in his sights at the moment.
"The problem is Robert's continuing pattern of fraternization with women while on the clock; it really seems to be getting out of hand. I just watched him talk to a girl for at least ten minutes, he got her phone number, and I'm almost positive that she is under age." Jerry sighed. He wasn't really the manager over my department, but he worked opposite shifts of my boss, and he was in charge when my boss wasn't working.
"Mitch, those are serious allegations to make. Robert, can you tell me what happened out there?"
"Sure, Jerry. No problem. I was approached by a customer about a laptop. She is a student at North Central, and she is not under age. She said she was having problems with her laptop, she described what was wrong with it, and asked if in my professional opinion if she needed a new one. I told her that it sounded like a software problem, or a virus, and that she should have it looked at..." Mitch cut me off.
"---See he is costing us sales. He should have recommended that she buy a new..." It was Jerry's turn to do the interrupting, and it seemed like he genuinely enjoyed it.
"Mitch, Robert has sold a higher dollar amount than any other electronics employee since he was hired, and nobody else has come even close to him over the last six months. We have had a half dozen letters to corporate commending him for his excellent customer service. If he told this young lady that she didn't need a new laptop, then she probably doesn't; and she will probably remember his customer service, and will return to purchase other items from our store. That, Mitch, is the big picture."
"But Jerry, I caught him putting her phone number into his wallet." Mitch's voice was getting whiney. What a fucking bitch! I could tell that Jerry was in total agreement with me.
"Did you put her phone number into your wallet, Robert?" I could have fessed up, and vindicated Mitch, but instead I voted to play the system.
"No, I don't know what Mitch is talking about." Mitch looked like he was about to bust with indignation. "It was all coincidence. I was checking to make sure that I had the cash to buy what I needed after my shift was over, and Mitch pulled me into the office. I think that he is just harassing me." Jerry had clearly had enough of Mitch for one day.
"I think we are done here, Mitch. Thank you for your diligence in protecting the company's bottom line from our best salesman. I want to talk about these charges of harassment against you with Robert. Alone." I never thought it was possible, but Mitch paled at this statement. I had thought that pasty was at the bottom of the range of human complexions, but he surpassed it somehow. Mitch got up, left the office, and closed the door. Jerry visibly relaxed.
"Thank you for sticking up for me, Jerry." He smiled.
"So if I ran those cameras back, I wouldn't see that sweet little blonde writing down her number, and you putting it in your wallet?" Jerry knew he had me. He had even scoped out the tiny blonde.
"Of course you would," I said. He laughed out loud.
"I thought that you might be losing your touch, Robert. You know that you have quite the reputation around here. I'm not the only one who notices the way female customers hang on your every word."
"It is a totally undeserved reputation, Jerry. I'm one hundred percent faithful to my wife." Jerry grimaced.
"After seeing that blonde up close, I would say that's a damn shame."
Eleven o'clock the next day rolled around and I picked up the phone to call Hope, as promised. Thankfully, my wife was at work, so I wouldn't have to explain the call. I punched in the number, and hit send on my cell. She picked up on the second ring.
"Hello." Her voice had a musical quality to it. It was perfectly pitched, and it almost sounded like she sang every word that she spoke. I knew it was her, but I played it cool.
"Can I speak to Hope, please?"
"This is Hope. Is this my computer expert, Robert?"
"Yay!" Her little cheer was so cute that it brought a smile to my lips. "Can you come over and take a look at my laptop today?"