Jack’s beginning #2

“Can’t wait to get out of this Hell hole,” Jack wipes the sweat from his forehead as he flips another burger. The kitchen is always stifling this time of year.

“What you thinkin’ of doin’?” Mav asks. The stretched ears and full beard make him look more like a hippy than he is.

“Mercenary work,” Jack states with a dauntless sense of pride.

“So you wanna go around killin’ people?” Mav smirks.

“Nah,” Jack tosses a couple more patties on the grill, “It’d be like doing anything I’m good at, but nothing in particular. ”

“Uh huh,” Mav ponders on it for half a moment, “So… murder.”

Jack gives an amused laugh, “Not particularly.”

The summer heat in the kitchen is rising and the line of customers is just starting to die down.

“I bet if I were making five grand a month it wouldn’t have been so easy for her to walk away,” Jack ponders.

“Man if you were making five grand a month I’d be your girlfriend,” Mav gives his earnest support, “Well dude, there’s a party happenin’ tonight if you wanna come. Let those troubles slip away?”

Jack nods. Sounds too good to pass up. Anything to help this hollow feeling disappear. Anything to forget he works at a fast food joint. Forget Livia.

“Jack, can I speak to you for a minute?”

It’s the boss. She walks through the room to the back office without making eye contact with anyone. She’s wearing that pencil skirt again. The one that gives him the urge to become her boss. He follows her into the office.

“Jack, I have to let you go.”

“What?” His face drops. That can’t be. Not yet.

“It’s clear you don’t want to be here, so I’m going to make it easy for you to move on to something else. ”

“Wait, that’s not a legal reason to fire someone. I do a stand up job here.”

“You want a reason?”

He pictures taking his aggression out on her.

“You’re wearing flip flops, ” she states, “It’s against dress code. Unsanitary. Closed toe shoes only.”

“You don’t know the kind of day I’m having, ” he says gritting his teeth.

“You were also late twice this week.”

“There’s no way I could have predicted those traffic delays. Anyone would have been late.”

“A customer just complained that she found a hair in her burger. It looks like yours and you’re the only one not wearing a hairnet.”

“Seriously?”

“Should I go on?”

“Do,” he challenges her knowing there can’t be anything else.

“You eat the food as you cook it.”

“That was only one time! The customer was a 90 year old guy who changed his order in the middle of having it made. It was going to be garbage!”

She shrugs, giving an unempathic smile. He nods silently and promises himself to some day turn the table.

But first things first. There’s a party awaiting his attendance…

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