Little Girl at the Gas Station

Thanks, I think?

Lisa Marie

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Photo by Mehluli Hikwa on Unsplash

I whipped my then-boyfriend’s Chevy Aveo into the Speedway parking lot and slid next to a gas pump. As I shut off the car — rudely interrupting Adele in mid-belt — I took a few deep breaths. I was working as a merchandiser at a clothing store at the time, so my feet were screaming in agony in my cheap ballet flats (our workplace dress code recently banned sneakers — a policy clearly written by some idiot in a suit who has never worked outside an office setting before).

Even so, the car was hurting for gas even more than my feet were hurting for rest. Plus, my stomach was begging for a Diet Coke, one of the few luxuries I afforded myself while I was earning just barely above slave wage. So, I had to make this quick little detour on the way home.

It was the middle of the afternoon, meaning the gas station was full of life. People coming and going, patrons pumping gas, delivery drivers congregating near the fringe of the station to smoke… the usual things you see at an American gas station.

The little girl who approached me (or, rather, was compelled to approach me) was not in my sight as I waddled from the car to the convenience store attached to the service station. I tried to ignore the sharp pains shooting through my foot as I moved.

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Lisa Marie

College instructor who writes about life, pop culture, and social issues from the perspective of a left-leaning elder millennial.