The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Deli Girl

She is standing by the clear glass display and browsing the various meats. There are two women standing nearby, but after a moment it becomes clear that the girl is waiting alone. When it is her turn, she steps up and speaks clearly, “I’ll need half a pound of smoked turkey and half a pound of Black Forest Ham. Please.” She ends almost in a curtsey.

Behind the counter, the man in a white t-shirt nods, “Sounds good.” He smiles and sets to work.

“May I have it sliced for sandwiches, please.” He nods and she dives into chit-chat, “How are you? It’s not very busy right now, so I bet that’s nice.” The man offers her a slice to examine, “Yes,” she approves, “Like that. Just like that.” He hands her a sample to taste, and she munches while continuing the small talk. “I’ll have swimming lessons this summer and I like a sandwich after I swim.”

Other customers are a bit saddened when the order is fulfilled. “Have a nice day,” the girls calls over her shoulder at the man behind the counter. As she rolls her cart away, the man laughs: “She comes here all the time.”

A woman waiting for pastrami asks, “Is she here alone?”

The man scoffs, “No, no, her Mom is in produce, but the girl told me once, ‘This is my job. This is my independence.’She’s a very polite person, really.” And the customers smile, considering when daily chores were independence instead of obligation, trying to see their tasks with new eyes, and remembering to call as they depart: “Have a nice day!”


4 comments on “Deli Girl

  1. sedge808
    June 1, 2016

    Great story….now I want a sandwich ☺

  2. ME and the Boss
    June 5, 2016

    Love the line “considering when daily chores were independence instead of obligation,”
    sad that political correctness has diminished the role of responsible parenting.
    Love, hugs and have a blessed summer … ME

    • ME, we were all wondering where her mother had gone. When I was her age, I was out all day unattended and got home in time for dinner. 🙂
      Love, hugs, and I hope you’re enjoying the summer as well. (I’m mostly trying to keep cool.)

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This entry was posted on June 1, 2016 by in Travel, USA, Writing.

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