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It was ten days before Christmas, the temps dropped and the sky was dark and uninviting as Kelly rushed out the door to go to work, her coffee canister in hand. She got into her car, an old Chevy that needed tons of work but she just couldnt afford it right now, her cashier job at Walmart didnt give her enough pay, she barely made ends meet. Her trailer also needed work, but sigh, that took some extra money too.

"I know mom, the bills are piling in, i got my hours cut and i am doing the best i can." Kelly told Margaret, her mom who lived back in Boston with her big shot boyfriend Max Engels. Kelly didnt really like Max at all, who was callous and flirted with her behind her mother's back when she wasnt looking, and he was entitled!! Ugg, Kelly had never told Margaret about it either, Maggie would only scoff angrily at her and tell her what a little slut she was being. Maggie had been dating Max, a big slightly overweight clerk who worked for a medical billing company, and Kelly found him repulsive.

"No mom, i dont want to move back there to save money, i like my independance, and the RV is fine, its warm enough and comfy." she thought not to tell her about the leak on the roof, the draft that came in near the bed, always giving her a sore throat in the morning even though she huddled under her comforter. Kelly would have loved to get herself a nice little bungalow in town, Providence would have been a nicer choice - the little shops and the people were so pleasant since tourists flocked there every summer to enjoy the seaside.

"Ok mom i promise i will call you on the weekend, maybe come for Christmas if i can get the time off work. We are open until six pm Christmas Eve." Kelly sighed tiredly placing her cell phone into her purse as she started the car now, taking the 30 minute drive to the store. Kelly got the job at Walmart after she'd finally gotten the courage to leave her mom, after Max had flirted with her when Maggie was in the shower. The memory never faded, Kelly shivered with rage more than fear now, as snow began to fall heavily when she pulled into the lot of the town's only Walmart, which was always busy.

She ran into the store, punched in her arrival on the clock, and went to check the roster to see which cash she was going to be at for the next 9 hours, the holidays offered extra time and she took advantage of that.

"Kelly, Rossaland wants to see you in her office right now." Leona, her manager said to her abrubtly as she was about to go to the cash. "Ok, any reason why?" She conversed, hoping it was not anything serious, she needed her job, she knew a few of the other staff had gotten laid off last week due to poor performance records. Working for Walmart was not for everyone, it was a fast paced job that required a lot of energy.

"Not sure she just asked me to tell you to go see her." Leona answered back huffing off to her station. Kelly went to the back of the stock area and knocked twice before entering the manager's office. Rossalind was bent over papers on her small shabby desk.

"Hi Kelly have a seat." Rossaland motioned for her to sit at the chair in front of her. Kelly forced a tense smile but could feel her forehead warming with sweat from the anxiety in her stomach, she just didnt need to get laid off right now, she silently said a prayer.

"Ok, i have been going over your record, you have been here for four years, your work performance is great, you get along well with your co-workers, and always punctual." Rosaland beamed at her, Kelly was a pretty young lady, red hair and big blue doe eyes, her face dusted with freckles, the girl next door, she mused at her employee. "I am going to make you an offer, you can think about things, accept or refuse and stay where you are in your present cashier position." Rossalind studied her. Kelly was bright, and she have a degree from a community college in business. That showed ambition on her part. Rosallind knew Kelly lived in the RV park full time, wondering if she liked it or would rather live in Providence.

"I have an assistant manager opening coming up, its hard work, you will have to train of course, and a probationary period would be offered, it's more money of course for you, and i think you would be suitable for the area proposed. We need a retail assistant manager in the ladies clothing area - it's busy, and the responsibilities can be overwhelming, plus you have to take care of the employee's...." Rossalind went on to describe the duties, and she handed Kelly the sheets for her to read.

"So, the bottom line is, the job is yours for the taking." ......Kelly drove home from her last shift that night, the snow falling heavily now, her scratchy old car radio playing some Christmas songs, and all Kelly could do was smile from ear to ear, - and was thinking about her new life ahead, the one she had dreamed about since she got to Providence. 'I will never ever go back to that house again and have to deal with him.' she said to the snow outside, and pulled into the lot of her RV - and she thought about moving to Providence, the commute would be longer of course, more like a 40 minute drive to the store, but that was okay, she didnt care about that. Now could get out, and she worked hard for it.

"Are you serious kiddo, that's great, i am so proud of you." Maggie told her, after she had dinner and called her mom on her cell phone.

"Thanks mom. I decided to take the offer, i can get out of here, get a new car or get this one fixed." she reported back. Maggie hung up the phone and was now thinking of that day, back in Boston - Max had cornered her against the fridge door.

"Stop it, leave me alone." She'd cried, angered as he began to paw her with his grubby sweaty hands and the bitten nails. Ugg, he was a pig, through and through. Her mother wanst young anymore, she was in her fifties now, had gained weight, her hair greying from time and age. She thought the world of Max though, he had moved in and helped pay the bills, Boston was not a "cheap" city to live in, and their two bedroom flat had a fireplace. The damp winters was enough to make anyone's bones ache from the chill on a November morning, let alone January.

"I can't tell mom about him, she would not believe me anyway." Kelly shook herself, always the idea of telling her mom what he did to her that day was there for the thought, but her instinct told her otherwise, she did not want to hurt Maggie.

And now, she had a new position at the store, she could move on, and if Max did something to someone else, well then it wouldnt be her fault. But Kelly didnt want that to happen to anyone else either, what if Max did it to someone outside that they didnt know, what if he were a sadistic rapist or a stalker? Kelly had to tell her mother, she had to risk whatever the outcome was, because she knew she could not live with herself if Max struck, he was evil through and through, Kelly sighed, put her head in her hands tiredly, and picked up her cell phone.......Christmas was coming.

December 18, 2020 11:08

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1 comment

Kathleen `Woods
09:21 Jul 30, 2021

This was nice to listen to while sewing. I liked how much her slight shift in position at her work affected her, as well as the tension provided by her trauma in relation to it. Thanks for writing!


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