The End of the Beginning
Do you remember dating that one boy or girl who made you dumber, do dumb things? Stephen was that boy. After awhile, I couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to end that confusion. At that point I’d been working for a few months, mixing up the smoothies and helping myself to frozen strawberries, and noticed there was a certain someone who paid me a lot of attention. It was Mr. Kiwi! He was always supportive, always listening, always asking to give me rides home. Can’t look a gift ride in the mouth, right? So I got to know him better, and I admit it, I liked him because he liked me – yes, it’s wrong.
We began to talk on the phone every night, and we’d hang out while we worked, I’d even come in a couple times when I was off and he was working, just bring my friends in for a free smoothie. Then came the day a girl came in and started to chat him up. What? What is this? No no no, he may not be mine, but he’s not yours. So, later that night I took the initiative, and told him he was now taken. Bossy britches, right? I call it being a strong woman! Now that we were dating, we went to movies (Seven Years in Tibet was our first, Seven Years in the Theater, I call it) and out to dinner, hung out with my friends- they loved him, while at that point (at my bitchiest), I was ambivalent. In real life, I am the most neurotic person ever- I eat weird, I have weird habits, and I’m a nerd. At that point, I hid all my neuroses and just played the “Normal” girl routine. I should have known that wasn’t a good sign.
Our relationship spanned the few months of my birthday, Christmas, and New Years Eve. During that time, he treated me like a queen, buying me presents and even going beyond boyfriend territory- he took a week of my shifts when I had pneumonia/asthma and couldn’t breathe, much less work! Despite his caring nature and his complete unselfishness, I was getting annoyed. I treated him badly, and picked fights constantly. My friends told me I was being a total a-hole (their words), and that I would regret what I was doing to this innocent, loving man. The situation wasn’t made easier when our boss found out about our “secret” relationship, and decided it would be cute if we were scheduled together for all of our shifts. Cute? More like the kiss of death.
When you’re young, you tend to do stupid things, right? Watch out, here comes one of mine. Although Mr. Kiwi was the sweetest person ever (I’m totally not exaggerating, he really was), I was bored. I wanted something more exciting, someone who would fight with me- just a little arguing. You must remember, I grew up in quite the volatile home, so fighting was normal to me. Anyway, Mr. Kiwi would not argue. He was quick to give me what I wanted, all the time. I got tired of having my way all the time (did I seriously say that?), and told him on one fateful day (his birthday, four days before Valentine’s day, and four days past our 3 month anniversary) that I just couldn’t do it. I even spoke the cliche- “I’m not ready for a relationship”. So, we broke up. On his birthday.
Four days later I received a call from him. He was in front of my house, and pleaded with me to come outside. “You can’t just show up like that!” I told him. His response? “You can’t expect me to just give up, can you?” Wow. I’d never had a person actually care enough to fight for me. So, I went outside, and there he was with a stuffed penguin (I had a theory about penguins and why they need fingers, something I had apparently spoken about frequently), and a huge bouquet of cream roses (“I couldn’t remember if you liked white or yellow, so I got cream”). I took the flowers, feeling so bad (but not bad enough to change my mind), and thanked him.
When we had to work, we avoided each other at all times. Things were awkward and I was paranoid something would happen. A co-worker would tease him about me, and since no one knew we had broken up, Mr. Kiwi would snap. HERE’S that anger I had been looking for! Someone else took a picture of us taken at Jamba Night (a party with all branch workers), and ripped it in half, and posted it on the office bulletin board. Now, I probably should have mentioned that Mr. Kiwi was my boss at Jamba Juice, all of which made our break up even harder, as he wouldn’t ask me to do any of my chores, and I wouldn’t take his orders, either.
Eventually, word got out. The golden Jamba couple had broken up. What would happen? Well, Mr. Kiwi would quit, and I would get his job. What happened after that is a completely different story.