I Was Almost Robbed
My day started with the smell of something foul even before I opened my eyes. Misty’s heavy panting too close to my nose was a signal that she needed to wake me so she could be let out of the house to “take care of her business.” I brushed her aside and rolled over for a few more winks. Or so I thought I’d get a few more winks. A new body tick disturbed me more than the bad breath of my doggy. It was like the loud sound of a whistle blowing on an old fashion train telling travelers to board or be left behind. There was a strong sense of urgency completely swallowing me. This new tick or sensation was actually the unrelenting cry of my tummy for breakfast. It was time for a Dutch Chocolate shake. Why fight the power.. I got up.
Sitting at my computer I assessed quickly that I had a busy couple of days coming. I looked around for a clean chef jacket and pants, answered a few customer questions, did a few new proposals, and created a listing of products I needed from the restaurant wholesaler. This wasn’t going to be a typical Thursday. Thursdays were quiet days. People have a tendency to slow their workload by Thursday only to save it until “manic” Monday. I so wanted to stay in my pajamas and spend the afternoon peeking out the window while Mr. Grose finished priming my new porch. All my nosey neighbors were watching. I deserved a lazy day too. It was hot outside. The interior of my truck was probably over 100 degrees. I never turn on the air conditioning anymore. It burns too much gas.
Before I realized how much time had flown by, my cell phone buzzed a warming that another Medifast meal needed to be consumed. I stopped daydreaming, heated my favorite chicken noodle soup, grabbed a caramel nut bar to chase the soup and jumped into the truck to start my shopping.
My route to the restaurant wholesaler would lead me to terror first.. If only I had known I would have driven another way….
The terror started at the gas pump. The gas was cheap. That is the only reason why I decided to fill my tank. I have stopped here before and never felt any harm would come my way. As a matter of fact, it was one of my favorite places to be late nights after a long day of catering.
The first signs of terror struck when I got out of the car. I instantly felt the tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. At first, I ignored what was happening to me. I just pumped my gas. I smiled at the woman using the pump across from me. She smiled back. I stood there watching the dollars on the pump increase faster and faster while the numbers representing gallons moved slowly upward. But I couldn’t keep focused on the numbers for long. I suddenly realized I was about to be robbed. I froze.
The attack hit my nose first. I closed my eyes and whispered to myself that I should stay calm. I felt the urge to run but I had the pump in my hand and the tank wasn’t full. I was stuck.
My eyes started to tear up. I was about to be robbed and I felt helpless. I wished that my catering partner,Tujana, was with me. She would make me strong. She would protect me. She would help me. But Tujana was no where in sight. I had to fight this battle all on my own.
My hand gripped the pump so hard that my fingers turned white. I slowly opened my teary eyes. The robber would not move. I was the one who had to move. And I did…
I turned to my right knowing full well that the robber may win if I looked at it straight on. I saw the bright blue and white colors. The big letters that said, “R-O-Y-A-L F-A-R-M-S”. But it was another sign that would be my killer, “F-R-E-S-H F-R-I-E-D C-H-I-C-K-E-N 24 HOURS A DAY”.
I stood silently, in a long stare, taking in the killer scent of fresh fried chicken and I remembered what it was like to have its greasy, crunchy taste on my lips. I was like a lion about to pounce on its prey. Royal Farms was trying to rob me of my success with Medifast. And, I was scared to death it would win. Chicken was the enticer but bottled water would bring me into the store. How slick they were those Royal Farms people.
My throat was parched. I needed water. My teary eyes darted back and forth as I thought up this excuse to enter the store. I would try not to look at the chicken, I promised myself. I would walk right by it to the refrigerated cases for bottled water. I’ve been strong. I can be strong again. I can face this fear. I wasn’t going to run. Royal Farms would not rob me.
I paused. I finished my gas pumping. I faced Royal Farms and stared at its doorway. For a few moments, I watched people enter and exit. I took a few steps….but then I ran. Not to the store but back around to the driver’sr side of the van. I whipped open the door, shuffled for my keys, flipped on the ignition and sped away screeching the tires as I crossed the parking lot. Tears were streaming down my face… I was hysterical.
A few blocks away I pulled over. I continued to cry. I was almost robbed and I felt horrible about almost letting it happen. I will never stop there again. Not for a long time to come. I reached for a Kleenex in the glove compartment. I started the car again, checked my rear mirror and pulled off on my way to the wholesaler.
Just then, my cell phone buzzed me that it was time for a Medifast meal.