The last hour is always the longest, and an extra, unexpected hour is double. She told me she told me she was going to be  thirty minutes late but I couldn’t remember. I’m told so much so long ago, it’s impossible to keep it all inline. It doesn’t matter,  I told her. I’m being picked up later anyway. 

For writing,  I didn’t tell her. 

For myself. 

It doesn’t matter. Everyone knows I live in the store and I will die in the store. It’s a running joke. It was funny once, but it’s been told too many times. 

Oh good, she said. Then it all works out. 

I marked it read without response. 
It doesn’t matter: if I give thirty mins of myself, I’ll still have thirty left. Time is precious. I’m trying to hoard it but it’s like clutching at sand. 

I do everything I wanted and everything I needed to stay sane tomorrow, and every time I tap the till I see more minutes dying. My precious minutes that I’d hungered for since 7:30 this morning. I’m pitied by my team member who says she’d be mad if she were me. I tell her I’m too tired to be mad. It’s true. The last hour is the longest. She’s leaving soon for college, just as they all do, with their whole futures that aren’t here. That’s the real joke but I’m not about to explain the punchline. She’ll get it eventually. Hopefully. 

I did tell you, she says when she comes in an hour and two minutes into the Me Time I’d spent wiping yogurt streaks from the floor. And she shows me the text she’d sent a month ago, delighted not to be wrong. 

I tell her it doesn’t matter. I’m always here anyway. She laughs. 

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