don't concern yourself with the secrets of evil people, alone in the dark
Xo Violet Tendencies…
Some Secrets Weren’t Meant To Be Told
Claire straighten the ugly green smock she wore, trying to relieve the pressure at the back of her neck from the twenty different articles of clothing hanging off her. She felt like a goddamned coat rack, but she was being paid eight-fifty an hour, more than any of her lazy-good-for-nothing-mooching-sons-of-bitches friends got, and she was willing to be degraded for the money. It wasn’t like anyone she knew would ever come here.
The front door opened and Claire spun around on her stepping stool, not really looking for a person, but smiling just the same. All she needed was for her boss, the beast known as Christy, to tell her that her customer service was so low she was tagging… again. So Claire forced a smile and looked for the person she was addressing as she spoke.
“Welcome to The Children’s Orchard. Today all of our yellow tags are…” Right then Claire caught sight of who she was speaking to. Jeans. T-shirt. Hat. “Patrick?” She threw the clothes down and jumped from the step ladder. As she dodged the clothing racks she tried to straighten herself up before she got over to him. She had only met him last night, but she was almost expecting to see him again. This soon made her happy.
“What are you doing here?” Claire asked, more than slightly flustered. She smiled at him and his surprised expression. Clearly he didn’t expect to see her there anymore than she expected to see him there.
“My older brother, he’s about to become a father. I thought I would get them some things and I know that this place sells baby things cheep.” He smiled slightly, looking around with an overwhelmed expression on his face. “And, clearly, they sell more than baby things, too.” He laughed nervously and Claire was forced to smile.
“Come on, I know were all the cute little stuff is. I’ve hung most of it, anyway.” Claire spun around, walking through the crammed clothing store to what the employees called ‘the infant wall’. To get there it took them a second, dodging small children and strollers coming at them left and right.
“I didn’t know you worked here.” Patrick said softly as he tried to stay as close to Claire as he could. “Do you like it?”
“It pays the bills.” She answered as she began to search the clothing for something that might appease Patrick’s taste in children’s clothing. “What is your brother having, again?”
“A little boy, just like he wanted.” Patrick said, he too looking now to the blue things on the wall. “What bills, though? Your 18, what could be so expensive?”
“Try living with your brother and his two friends, only one of which, besides me, has a job? Gas, food, utilities, rent. Shit adds up, my friend.” She stopped, pulling out a little baby blue romper set, to which Patrick wrinkled up his nose and shook his head.
“What about your parents?” He asked, picking at clothing he really had no interest in.
“Some things are better left unsaid, Patrick.” Claire said suddenly, pulling a dark blue shirt and jean shorts. The shirt said “Am I Really Related To These People?” She shoved the clothing at Patrick and turned around, heading back to her forgotten job of dusting. Patrick, suddenly holding onto the clothing Claire had given him, followed her like a sick puppy, wondering what he had said wrong.
“Claire?” Patrick called out to her. She didn’t say anything, wondering how long it would be until he was ready to leave her alone. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know that was a touchy subject.” He said softly, turning towards the cash register to pay and to leave. Claire let him go about what he was doing. She was still sore.
It took the whole time through the line, and as Patrick was walking out the door, before Claire was over what ever it was that pissed her off.
“Patrick, what are you doing around seven?” she called out, smiling. He stopped in the doorway, turning back to grin up at Claire.
“What ever it is you are about to suggest we do, I’m assuming.” He said. She smirked and nodded. That was what she wanted to hear.
“Meet me at the square at seven fifteen, and please, please, please don’t be late. I have somewhere to be by nine.” She smiled and then, after he left, she sighed.
What have I gotten myself into?
Claire pulled at the pink poke-a-dotted hoodie she wore as a shirt, looking at her watch. It was seven fifteen on the dot. Patrick should be showing up any second. She cast a worried glance at the sky, looking to see how long she had until nightfall. She hated being out after dark, not to mention her brother would flip if she was gone that long. But, thankfully, summer was just beginning and days were starting to outlast the night and the sun didn’t fully disappear until a little after nine. She still wished Patrick would hurry up.
“Hey.” Finally Claire heard from behind her, just when she was about to leave. “Sorry it took me so long.” Claire spun around and smiled at Patrick, shrugging like it was not a big deal.
“It’s cool. Come on, lets get going.” Claire said quietly, touching the necklace she wore. She hated being out in the open for too long. Patrick just nodded, ready for whatever it was that Claire was going to throw at him.
This was weird for both of them to act this way. Both were shy by nature, with good reason. Claire had been raised to be on her toes, and Patrick had been shown that people never are nice without reason and personal gain. Yet when it came to this right then, both were at ease with what they were doing.