Story Sent in by David:
In college, I worked part-time in a coffee shop, where another student at my college, Vanessa, worked. Vanessa and I were often scheduled together on shifts, and so we spent a lot of time with the same nasty customers, the same spills, and the same coffee shop hijinks. Bluntly, we bonded pretty quickly, and we hung out, sometimes, after we left the store for the day.
I was interested in her, but I couldn't tell if she liked me or not. The one time I tried to kiss her, she pulled away and said, "No. Too soon. I don't want to rush into anything." I took that to imply that there would come a time no longer "too soon," and so we kept hanging out and I kept opening my heart to her. She seemed to like the attention, or else I guess she wouldn't have kept spending as much time with me as she did.
One morning not long after, I was scheduled to open the store. A blizzard was socking the town, and so I arrived at the store extra-early, around 4am, just to make sure that I'd make it there in time to open.
I entered through the back entrance, took off my wet jacket, and sidled through the back room. I went to the bathroom and then made it into the store proper. It was dark inside, and I made for the lights, but silhouetted on the floor of the store, not far from the counter, looked like a pile of… rags? Clothing? It wasn't moving, whatever it was.
I leaned in closer. It was two people, sleeping on the floor. My heart pounded. Was there a break-in? Were they homeless? I thought about calling the police, but then, my mouth moved faster than my common sense.
"Police," I said, "Get up!"
They stirred. Half-dressed, a shape rose up from the floor. I hit the lights. It was Vanessa. Another, older co-worker, Andy, stood up next to her, even less-dressed than she was. He glanced over his shoulder at the store windows. He hissed, "You stupid asshole! Turn off the lights, now!"
I didn't. My attention was focused on Vanessa, who held a blanket around herself. I said, "You could've just told me that you were interested in someone else."
Andy stepped closer and said, "I said turn the lights off. You have three seconds to do it or I'm going to beat you into a–"
I flipped the lights off and said, "Lights are off. But the store security camera's been on all night."
Andy said, "It couldn't have seen us. It was too dark, and we didn't say anything." He glanced at Vanessa, I guess hoping for a confirmation.
I replied, "But it wasn't dark five seconds ago, when I had the lights on."
Andy didn't say anything else, but he scooped his clothes up from the floor and shoved past me into the back room. Vanessa didn't say anything, either, but she followed suit.
It was a little awkward when I discovered that Andy was on the schedule to open with me that day, but I was sure to tell the manager to review the security footage.
Both Vanessa and Andy were canned. Vanessa never spoke to me again, nor was I expecting her to. I hope it was worth it for her.
Story Sent in by David: