“I don’t know,” she said to the young male shop assistant who was offering to supersize her drink. “I don’t really want twice as much. I don’t think I would be able to drink that much.”
“Well,” said the young male assistant looking around to make sure no one could hear him. “I could help you finish it. I get off in a couple of minutes. If you wait just at the back door of the restaurant, I could …”
“Sure why not.”
“Serious? Really?” His face beamed, he had tried this line on a million girls, but it had never worked before. Wow, this was Jennifer McKay. He had often dreamed about her.
“You’ll be there right?” he wanted to be assured.
“Give me five minutes?”
“Yes, I’ll be there,”
Speechless, he handed Jennifer the supersized drink and walked to the office to sign off. “Please don’t be a dream, please don’t make me wake up, not yet. Please, God. Please let it happen. Let it happen.”
His heart was beating at 1000 miles an hour. In another 50 years, such a rate would cause a massive heart attack in his chest that it would kill him. On that day he will be implanted in between his wife’s legs heaving away. She will be almost asleep waiting for him to finish.
His heart will snap.
He reaches the back door of the restaurant. He takes a deep breath “Please God, please.” The door gives way easily and swings open. He exits and looks around in the splash of that single light bulb hanging above the door.
She is not there. He lets out a huge breath of air deflating not just his lungs but all his hopes and desires as well. At the bottom of the step is the supersized drink. Almost two-thirds are still left. Below the cup is a note. He lifts it up to the light. It is written in a pretty, feminine hand that draws hearts over the ‘i’ where the dot should be.
“Here you go,” he reads, “I told you I couldn’t drink all of it. This is your bit. Have a great night.”
In 50 years’ time, he will be thinking about this night. This very night. What could have happened? What may have been? He looks down at his wife. It is not Jennifer McKay.
“You look funny” his wife will say.
“What?” he will say, not hearing her properly through his heavy breathing. “You think I’m funny?” His heart will be beating as strongly as it did tonight. And he is thinking of Jennifer.
“Your face, it looks funny.” says his wife a little louder. “It’s contorting like a …” And those are the last words he will ever hear.
Jennifer McKay puts the supersized drink on the step and places the note under it to keep it from blowing away. She plans to tell Emily about it tomorrow and they’ll both have a good laugh at how clever Jennifer has been.
Boys are boring to her. They’re all grunt and slobber; hands out of control, and heavy breathing. The boy behind the counter tonight was no exception.
She looks around and sees a red, souped-up Holden, driving slowly on the other side of the road. Three boys hang out like dogs with their tongues slobbering over the doors. “Hey, Jen what are you doing? Want a ride?”
She shakes her head, “no thanks”. She enters a shop to escape and watches them drive down the street.
“Can I help you miss?” says the shop keeper behind her.
Jennifer jumps, “Owww!” she screams in fright. “You scared the shit out of me.”
“Well don’t just stand there,” he says with a smile on his face, “make sure you clean it up.”
“Oh, ha, ha” replies Jennifer in disgust as she walks out the door.
She climbs over a small fence at the back of the shopping mall. A sparsely lit path leads across a small park. Across the way, Jennifer can see a series of blinking lights where her home sits snuggly amongst a suburban cluster. All she has to do is go around the rubbish tip that is in front of her. Jennifer being Jennifer decides to go through it. Much quicker.
The plan for the rubbish tip has been to eventually turn it into a park. It’s one of the reasons her parents bought here. Eventually, the view would be of parklands and the value of their house skyrocket.
Over the last couple of days, there has been a reshaping of the area to start flattening it out. In the daylight, this would all be quite clear, but tonight, in the dark, the change cannot be seen by Jennifer. Her foot slips on a group of banana peels that came from the zoo. She falls backward onto the sharp edge of a large wooden beam thrown away by the local carpenter.
She can feel blood seeping through her head and she tries to reach the cut but her fall has also broken open a container of quick-drying glue. Her hands are stuck to the wooden beam and are immovable. Her legs are stuck.
She struggles wildly but all it does is bury her deeper and deeper into the rubbish.
Thrown away cotton balls from the local Manicurist fall into her mouth as she tries to scream for help. The cotton balls covered in nail remover do a great job at muffling her voice, the smell works to overwhelm her and she starts to gag uncontrollably.
Following 3 hours of gagging discomfit, Jennifer dies. And she is never found. There were no suspects and eventually the whole thing was forgotten.
And then a funny thing happened. A couple of years later, the local council found that the soil that filled the rubbish tip could be contaminated. Tests were inconclusive but there was no way that a new council was going to take the risk.
They decided to take the second option for the tip. For years the town’s cemetery had been running out of room. The Council agreed that the tip was an appropriate location for such a service. The resolution was put forward and passed. And Jennifer’s final resting place was finally an actual place where you bury your dead, not your rubbish.
One person who never forgot about Jennifer was the young, male shop assistant who had served her on that night so long ago. Every now and then he would recall the pretty, young Jennifer McKay who he had lusted after.
Little did he know that 50 years later he would be buried in that very cemetery, right on top of Jennifer’s bones. As the casket exterior rotted away into the soil, his bones would get to lay directly on top of Jennifer McKay’s bones. His wish had finally come true.