t w e n t y - t w o

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Your mind can sense someone staring at you, even while asleep.

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"We don't sell a-alcoholic beverages here, sir. But, you can try some other other items on the menu! We do vegan and vegetarian dishes as well." the boy offered an explanation, pointing to and fro the list of items available. "T-today's special is sweet and sour chicken with fried rice. Items like cheesy fries are around the clock."

The man's bloodshot eyes followed the boy's wild hand gestures with a face void of all expressions. Sage internally released an uneven breath, anxious about the customer he was dealing. The man had demanded three shots of Tequila twice, in spite of the employee's explanation that they were a diner, not a bar. It was a bitter pull to swallow, dealing with difficult customers, but it had to be done; after all, a partial reason Randall invited him to work at Taste Buds was to come out of his shell a little.

"So, sir? Will you be having anything or..." Sage trailed off when he discovered something. The man wasn't paying attention. His eyes were fixated on the boy's chest, which prompted Sage to glance down, to see if a stain or tear was there.

A barely noticeable grease stain. What was so interesting in that?

The man's eyes shuffled further, subconsciously swiping his tongue across his lips as his eyes dwindled further. Eyes snapping back up to Sage's face, he asked, "Say, forget the food. I wanna have you instead, kid."

Awkwardly shifting his weight, Sage then became incredibly uncomfortable. He couldn't stop the embarrassed redness creeping up his neck. Sage straightened his back, taking a deep breath. "A-ah, no, s-sir. I'm not on t-the menu ... t-that's not l-legit..." he stammered, looking away from the man's Morbid gaze. For the second or third time, he reminded himself why he didn't ask Nyx or Vera to take care of this one for him - because he needed to learn how to handle situations himself.

Randall was on sick leave, so it was just them three, and a few other other employees.

A wry smile manipulated the man's thin lips, and he leaned further onto the counter. Opening his mouth to speak, Sage cut him off. "I-I have other customers, sir. I must go now and t-take their orders." if only his voice sounded convincing enough...

Thankfully, that was all it took. The man tiredly rubbed his face, sliding a hand over his cue ball bald head. "I'll have whatever you're having." turning, the man walked away to sit at one of the booths, head in his hands.

Sage couldn't understand the man's order, but nonetheless, was he glad to have gotten past having to deal with him. What kind of man, old enough to be a boy or girl's father, hits on them? It wasn't much help that the man had a face only a mother could love anyways...

Broken from his thoughts, he returned to the now by the beeping of his watch, notifying him that his shift had come to an end - 7 pm. Since he quite the football team, he was able to leave school earlier, hence get off work earlier. Taste Buds closed at around nine o'clock on a normal day - maybe later on a busy day - but Cecilia was adamant that she wouldn't have him working so late into the night when he should be doing homework.

Sage went through the door, heading into the bathroom to adjust his appearance prior to leaving. He perused at his attire, after a while deciding to leave in it. Not that he had anything to change in, anyways. The only thing he did was remove his hat, placing at a secure location for the day to follow.

"I'll be going now!" Sage announced to his friends. He pulled the straps of his bad up his arm, fixing it on his back.

"Already?" Vera pouted as she lay down the box she was carrying. Sage nodded to show confirmation.

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