The Ugly Cover of a Beautifully Unfinished Story

“I promise, he’s fine, he’s just being difficult,” I assured the cashier at Gopher’s Mini Mart. David was hanging out of the shopping cart with his eyes closed and tongue hanging out. Apparently he needed the last bag of Skittles to save him, but since I wouldn’t buy them, he “died”.

The cashier smiled, “Eh I get it. Kids’ll do that.”

He grabbed the bag of bread off the belt and ran it across the scanner, “How old’s your kid anyway?”

I hesitated, gripping the bottom of my rain jacket, “Well, uh, he’s not my kid…but I kinda help take care of him, yah know. But, uh, he’s six.”

“Oh…got it…”

He continued scanning groceries and punching produce codes, avoiding eye contact. But I couldn’t blame him, I think I made it much more awkward that it had to be.

David suddenly came back to life, “Are we done yet? I wanna go home.”

“Yeah, we’re almost done buddy. Just have to pay. Okay?”

He settled back into the cart, “Okay.”

“That’ll be 15 dollars and 67 cents. Cash or Credit.”

I rustled in my pockets, pulling out the 20 that Mom gave me for my birthday.


He punched some more numbers into the register and the cash drawer popped open. He handed me my change and receipt.

“Have a nice day!”

“Yeah, thanks…” I quickly stuffed the change into my pocket and pushed the cart towards the door.