3 a.m. in Oakland is for tight skirts and wobbling feet, unsteady as they traverse uneven sidewalks.
Nic paused and turned around, heading in the direction of Fred’s car, “Actually, I think I will join you, thanks,” she said crossing in front of yellowed headlights illuminating her way to the passenger side.
As she drew closer to her destination, the car once audible from several yards behind, pulled up alongside her. Nic avoided eye contact until she heard the voice of a young man.
In the short time that she’d known him, Nic had already seen Aman in three different moods, and she decided not to stick around for a fourth...
Nic decided her only option was to entice him. Bryant was gone, and her funds were next in line for departure. The man in the gas station seemed skittish, but not dangerous. Almost anxious as if he was anticipating some unlikely event.
On the previous Friday, they packed their bags and planned their escape. Just Nic, her best friend, Bryant, and $750 between the two of them which was running out sooner than they’d anticipated.
Out of money, no ride, and no rescue in sight. In a moment of clarity, Nic picked herself up from the gravely street, gathered her belongings, dusted off her pants for non-existent onlookers, and began walking down the road — destination unknown.
Tuesdays were the worst days at the store. Calvin, the regional manager, came in for a weekly team meeting, and whenever he was there, my manager, Rahul, acted like he cared about his job. This should have been a good thing, but for whatever reason, not having free reigns to bother me made him even weirder behind the scenes. I know what comes to mind when people hear about predatory supervisors, but our store prided itself on being a youthful company, so there was no HR department, which was only cool to college students and creeps like Rahul.
Everybody hates a kleptomaniac until they befriend one. Just like any person addicted to petty crime, Marcelle was a little off. I mean, not all the time. He had moments of clarity where he offered up some of the best advice I’d ever received, but then he’d spot something he lacked and he’d get that distant look in his eyes again.
I could feel it coming to a halt. Sitting around the table, I looked on at my friends, all laughing and joking around, seemingly unaware that this was the end of an era. We’d never be this young and old again. And although I was aware that that was a concept everyone is forced to face, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was the best it got. What happens when there’s nothing left to explore – no newness left to overturn? We would soon find out.