Diego looked up at Joe while washing his hands. He barely heard Joe’s complaint about how Diego’s return to the delicatessen changed his schedule. He now came in two hours later than he used to, which was definitely not optimal for him. He was still searching for a woman to call his own and most people were in bed by midnight, leaving him four precious hours to wine and dine anyone… and much later, to boot.
Joe narrowed his eyes as Diego continued talking, clearly full of himself. “I know exactly how to get you a lady, Joe. There’s this broad that’s been coming to this delicatessen for over a year now. In fact, the anniversary of laying eyes on her just passed by. She was eye fucking me real hard, wouldn’t you know it, so I left for six months to make sure she’d miss me.”
Diego really didn’t pick up on Joe’s nonverbal communication. Joe’s body language screamed, “I’m going to strangle your dumb ass!” However, once it became clear that Diego paused for Joe’s reply, he said something completely different. “What, exactly, is eye fucking?” He was curious because there was a lady that kept making eyes at him. Every day, just about.
“It’s when a woman stares into your eyes and won’t quit, Joe,” Diego replied. He was waiting for Joe to beg him to tell him the secret to making a woman fall in love with you. Diego dried his hands in a Dyson air dryer and turned back to the preparation table he was responsible for. Joe was stationed right next to him, unfortunately for Joe, since he wanted to run away from Diego every moment he stood near him.
Joe worked in silence for a good five minutes before another question occurred to him. “So why’d you leave and come back? What’s the point of making her miss you?”
Diego half-smiled. Finally, Joe asked him exactly what he wanted to talk about. “Because that’s how you make a woman fall in love with you, Joe.” He looked quit proud of himself, Joe thought, as he studied Diego from the adjacent table.
“Okay, but do you love her?” Joe asked him.
Diego scoffed at the very idea, feigning a wounded look. “No, absolutely not… though, I haven’t been able to get her off my mind ever since. She somehow seemed to know my exact schedule and whereabouts every time I saw her, like magic. Every time I least expected it, I’d turn around and there she was, staring at me, basically expressionless.”
Joe got an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach just then. The woman seemed to know his schedule? There was a woman making eyes at him from time to time who seemed to know his schedule. It was impossible to know without being a psychic or a mind reader… every day was a little different from the last. Nothing stayed static, it was too dynamic in order to meet the needs of the customers. Not only that, but the woman who was potentially eye-fucking him was doing the exact same thing… could it be the same woman?
Joe smirked suddenly. If it was the same woman, she was not in love with that asshole, Diego. She was moving on and giving him the eyes instead. Still, what would happen if it was the same woman and she knew Diego had designs on her? Just then, he tuned back into Diego’s monologue about women. “…and, so you see, Joe, it drives them absolutely bonkers to make them wait. It’s easiest to make them wait if you’ve already got a woman, to boot.” Diego was grinning at him, taking the smirk as approval for his dickhead beliefs.
“What if it doesn’t work?” Joe asked mildly, thinking it was almost definitely the same woman. He wasn’t sure if he should ask Diego what she looks like or not; he didn’t really want to confirm or deny that the woman sort of kind of chasing him as the woman who sort of kind of eye fucked Diego. He knew he was lower on the totem pole in the looks category.
“As if!” Diego exclaimed, scraping up all the chopped vegetables he’d been busy with during the conversation. He paused to take them to the chef in charge of creating brussel sprout magic. Once he returned, he washed his hands again, as was routine in the department to try to reduce cross contamination. Too bad they didn’t also wash all the preparation surfaces, which would actually help more.
“She’s gotta be waiting for me, seriously. I knew what she wanted the moment our eyes met. She thinks I’m a grand stud; I know the look. It’s always obvious,” Diego chit-chatted on. Joe was thinking about the woman who locked eyes with him on the regular… He would not say that was a come hither look, himself. Maybe for Diego, it was a different story.
“She’s gorgeous, too,” Diego continued. He sure was talking her up… Joe wondered what would happen if he fell flat on his face, trying all this fancy footwork to get a woman to fall in love with him. From what he could tell, Diego was already in love with her and he didn’t even realize it. “She’s got this anime hair, Joe, where it’s all short in the back and long in the front and she dyes it real pretty colors like purple and pink. She’s even got these preposterous ears that are fox-like that she wears from time to time and they’re like hot pink or something. I’ve been looking for her, but I haven’t seen her in a while.”
Joe’s heart sank. It was the same woman. And she was gorgeous. And out of the two of them, Diego was the more obvious choice for her to gravitate to. Still… if she gave him the same eye contact he’d been receiving from her, he didn’t think that should be called eye fucking. More like… curiousity. Straight up curiousity. Suddenly, he felt like someone was narrating his life just then, hearing an echo of exactly what he was thinking, except in a slower cadence than it actually happening.
That was awkward, he thought to himself. Diego buzzed off to do his work once it became apparent Joe wasn’t interested in gossiping about a gorgeous patron. It was technically against the Wegmans rules, anyway, so they could get in trouble if they were overheard by a rules stickler.
He couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was out there, typing up and narrating his very existence that moment. He looked around him trying to absorb some clue as to why he felt so strangely, but nothing lent to an explanation of that feeling.
What was going on? Why did he feel like there was a silent observer somewhere. Well, not completely silent, but a narrator of some sort turning his story into… well… a story. Could it be that someone was able to hear his thoughts just then? He had no idea how to cope with that, to be honest. It wasn’t something that happened everyday, after all. He also hoped that something great would come of it because, well… to have a story written about you without your consent while you’re creating the story is a little rude, you hear me?!
“What do you want with me?” he asked of the invisible force that was pestering him suddenly. “Shouldn’t you be doing your job?” she replied. “Living is kind of important, you know, and also, may I have your consent since you object so vehemently in regards to this practice? I promise I’ll split the proceeds with you and all the glory can be yours, even.”
He shook his head, deciding that this is not the way he wanted his life to be recorded. She had a sad and decided to move on. “So long!” she called from the edge of the void of nothingness. He was taken aback. He didn’t expect that to be such a short conversation, honestly. He expected her to rape him by failing to acknowledge his “no.” But she acknowledged it, nonetheless, and hit Publish on her WordPress blog, vowing never to steal his life moments ever again.