The next day was a Tuesday. I ate my breakfast early and left the apartmentaround eight o’clock. On my way to work I passed a hairdresser and a café. Thecafé is called the Light Café and they specializes in raw food. I had beenthere once and the food was okay, but the concept of it being cold did notinterest me at all. The supemarket where I worked was situated at the bottom ofthe street. I had recently started working as a cashier there and I reallyenjoyed it. It was a peaceful and ordinary environment, which are two qualitiesI cherish very much these days. I walked around to the back of the store wherethe staff entry was. Outside the door was one of the other cashiers, a woman,who was a few years older than me. She was leaning against the wall and smokinga cigarette. Before I passed her I took a deep breath, and held it until I wasinside. The smell of cigarette smoke causes flashbacks and still makes me sickto this day. In the back of the store, beside the storage room, there is adressing room for staff to change into their work clothes. The work clotheswere obligatory, black pants and a bright yellow shirt. Many of the staffmembers complained about the clothes, but I kind of liked them. They wereconsistent and they make everyone look the same. I got dressed quickly and as Iwas walking towards the checkouts I bumped into someone. It was the manager.
“Sorry.” I said quickly.
“It’s fine. You're the woman that started working here a couple of week ago,right?" The manager asked me.
"How is it going? Do you like it here? Or do I need to find me a newcashier?" He said jokingly and smiled.
"No, I like it here." I answered and looked at the floor.
"That's wonderful. By the way, one of the cashiers are down with theflu so I was wondering if you could work tomorrow as well? I know your contractonly says 15 hours per week because of your... ehm... you know... eh... Youhave already worked 10 hours, but I will be grateful if you could swing bytomorrow at four, working the evening shift." He looked embarassed.
My faced turned red, I felt embarassed too. I didn't want to say anything soI just nodded as an answer.
"Okay then. Have a nice day." He said, smiled and walked away.
I continued my way to one of the checkouts and sat down in the chair as Ilooked over the store. The only customers were an old lady and a mother withher child. I could hear the child screaming because his mom wouldn't buy him anice cream. There were only five more customers that day, some teenagers,families, and an old lady. Even though I hadn't much to do, I was busy in myown thoughts so the day went by rather quickly. When I got out of the store Iturned right instead of left which was the way back to my apartment. I startedwalking to the park which is situated in the center of the town.
There were a few dog-owners walking their dogs but other than that thestreets were empty and quiet. I like the silence. It makes you hear everythingaround you. The wind blowing, people walking and talking, the chirping of thebirds, and, if it is quiet enough, you could even hear your own heart beating.I could never live in a city full of noise, it would be rather disturbing forme. I stopped for a second, trying to hear my heartbeat. It only took a fewseconds before I heard the regular beats. When I was younger, I tried making myheartbeats different. Like a song. I would even hum along or sing some lyrics Ihad made up. Even though I like quiet surroundings now, it used to terrify me.Making different songs, was a way to break the silence.
When I got to the park I turned right again and crossed the street. When Iwas very young I lived in a big city, and I think I liked the noise and peoplestressing everywhere, but then he came. He changed my life. I was a livelylittle girl growing up and I played with and teased everyone. I never sat stilland I was definitely never quiet. It was a big change in the beginning. I wasonly allowed in a dark room without any windows or furniture, left alone withmy thoughts. After a while I got used to it. When I got back eight years later,nobody recognized who I had become. They wanted me to be like I was before, butI knew already at the time that I was never going to be what I once was.