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I believe submarine sandwich shops get a boost in sales the first week of every January. Everyone revolved to eat healthier takes a trip there before resolutions crumble. It’s the reason I decided to enjoy a delicious sandwich a few days into the New Year.

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I found myself concentrating hard on communicating with the woman behind the counter. She was from far, far away, a place much warmer on the other side of the planet. I wanted my sandwich made the way I enjoyed and was trying to get this across to the newcomer, but it was proving difficult. My accent to her must have been as confusing as her accent was to me. Add into the mix that English was not her first language. This was not going to be an easy time.

With the selection of vegetables and toppings spread out between us, I leaned on the glass screen and began to tell her what I wanted on my sub, but when I started to list off the ingredients and point out the items, her gaze would drift over my shoulder and stare out at the world through the huge window behind me. Maybe the fact that winter didn’t exist in her home country amazed her and she couldn’t stop looking at the snow. Maybe she was thinking of a love a world away. Maybe her thoughts were on family. Maybe she was wondering if she turned off her stove at home. Whatever, it was oblivious she no longer heard what I was saying, so I stopped talking.

The silence distracted her from her daydream. She asked if I wanted cheese on my sub not noticing the cheese she had already placed on the bread. Taking a deep breath mentally, I again started listing the ingredients I desired and pointing out the items I wanted, talking both slow and clear.

Before I had finished she was gazing out the window once more and I knew I had lost her to dreams in daylight.

I was Intent on getting the sandwich I wanted. My resolution depended on it. Customers were lining up to the left of me, but I failed to notice them, focused as I was on the half-completed sub behind the glass. A fist pressed to my shoulder and pushed. Off balanced I staggered to the right towards the cash register. A thought of fear entered my mind. That sandwich maker is going to presume I’m finished decorating my sub when I’m not done. I was going to end up with a half made sandwich all because some pushy bully couldn’t be content to wait their turn and shoved me ahead.

I turned to face the bully expecting a huge brute, a towering ogre, a disgusting troll. The pretty little thing had a lovely smile and her eyes sparkled. “Hi Brad,” she laughed and I realized that being pushed around was not such a bad a thing after all.

I smiled and was about to say hi. Here was a chance for me to flirt a little. Of course that was when the daydreaming woman behind the counter decided to come out of her coma and began sliding my half-finished sub down counter to the check-out, “Do you want the meal deal or just the sandwich?”

I looked at her with a puzzled expression thinking to myself, sandwich, what sandwich? She glanced down at the barren, unadorned submarine sandwich in front of her. Oh that sandwich. Realizing I was holding up the line I quickly nodded yes, then remembering my sandwich wasn’t completed loudly stated no! The lady behind the counter slid my sandwich back to the vegetables and condiments. Unrest rustled amid the customers behind me. I thought I heard murmuring. Flustered, I once again listed off the ingredients I desired, stuttering a little; hearing my voice crack. My face reddened and the tops of my ears burned.

I finally ended up with the sandwich, completed as I wished .

I turned back to the pretty acquaintance of mine, to whom I still had not yet said hi and sadly realized any attempt to flirt with her after that bumbling display of confusion was doomed to fail miserably. I politely ask her something about her sandwich, mumbled something unintelligible to her response, turned and ran away.

The next day I went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and thus ended my resolution to eat healthy.

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2 thoughts on “The Woman Who Stole My Resolve

  1. This was a great “slice of life” piece. I liked it and as usual, I fnd it compelling when you take something small and ‘elevate” it with more meaning and significance. One question – – did you know this girl or how did she know to call you Brad? I was really surprised that it turned out to be a female! Shoving you? lol

    • It’s amazing how many of those life slices we have all experienced, yet a week later have completely forgotten. Everyone remembers the big events, the occasions that changes us, but all the little stuff, that shapes us into who we are as well. Some of those small occasions I was fortunate enough to be in the writing mood and jotted them down when they happened. I believe everything happens for a reason, it all has a meaning, even the little things. Some times I share that meaning outright, sometimes I hint at it, and other times I leave it for the reader to find for themselves. And then there are the occasions when I simply have to write in order to figure out for myself what it all means. As for your question, this girl was someone I had worked with before, but this was a rare encountered with her outside the workplace. She had never shoved me while on the job, so this was a surprise to me as well. I wonder what it all meant?

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