“Please, Phil. Come on! C’mon you know you want to. Please Phil, please help me out here I’m not asking for much. No, no I’m not asking for much at all. Really. All I need is just a little teensy weensy bit more Courage.” Her fingers were pinched together to exemplify all she was asking. Her face bent in as her eyes focused on the small gap between the two fingers and mouth was in a deformed smile. She held his eye contact for just a few more seconds until she dropped her gaze and arms and threw her head back over her shoulders and sighed audibly. “C’mon Phil please for the love of all that is good and holy in this damned world do not make me ask anymore this stuff is wearing off, so soon enough…”
“That’s what I’m counting on.” Phils hands swept over the tiny glass he was polishing with a roughly used handkerchief.
“No. No no no no no. Phil this is not what we discussed.” Her hands pulled at the roots of her hair as she pulled it back and released it in a grand gesture for emphasis.
“Mason, we discussed absolutely nothing.”
“Ugh!” She clicked her tongue and shook her head with disappointment. “Lies, lies lies!” She tripped over her words and leaned her dark elbows on the granite countertop. “Phil please. Please.” Reluctant but sympathetic, he let out a breath, untied his apron from his waist, put down the glass he was now working on and stepped through the curtain to the back where she could no longer see him.
After almost four minutes of pacing the four paces from wall to wall of distance that the store provided her with, he came back out.
“So, that’s a yes?” Her winning smile caught him off guard though it should have been more than expected by now. He tilted his head to the side and said with a gentle firmness, “No.” He placed the purple bottle on the table. “That’s a ‘No, I would never give extra to a minor without permission and I have no idea why a little Courage is missing from the back. And if I did know who took it, I would expect them to never do it again, ever.’ Okay?” He raised the glass and his eyebrows in unison.
“Yes. Yes, of course. Yes, no I would never expect something like that out of you Phil, I mean you would be fired without question- no I would never want that and I would never think you would do such a thing so we’re all in agreement it seems. Everyone in agreement say ‘aye’. Aye!” She lifted her hand just above her head and pointed a finger with the other hand to see if there were any other takers on her vote. She quickly let the act fade and let her fingers wrap around the bottom of the bottle.”Aye.” She repeated.
“Aye.” He closed his eyes and released his grip of the bottle’s neck.
“Thank you thank you thank you Phil. You won’t regret it!” She walked backwards out of the store with the bottle in hand so that she could retain eye contact with him all the way until she hit the door and the bells chimed.
He ran his hand over his brow, “Hey Mace!”
She turned back around to see him as she opened the door. “Yes, Phil?”
“Tell me you at least had fun last night?”
“The time of my life.” And with that, she bumped the door open with her hip and was out of sight before the bells could even start to chime.