Saving Sophie

It’s the middle of the day, and business is pretty slow. There are a few customers browsing throughout the store, but otherwise, it’s a typical dead Wednesday afternoon. Most of the staff is hanging out in the home theatre area for some excitement.
I’m walking through the gaming department, straightening products and cleaning up shelves, when I hear shouting. It doesn’t come from just my radio earpiece, but from across the store. I don’t need to hear the words to know it means danger. But, the words confirm it anyway.
In the midst of the adrenaline beginning to pump through my system, I manage to mentally congratulate Sophie on staying professional while in whatever danger she’s encountering. I sprint towards the back of the store, telling a customer to stay away as I pass him. We don’t need additional risks. As I’m approaching the back, I slow down and assess the situation.
Sophie is backing up, with not much room left before she hits a wall covered in laptop bags. There is a man stalking towards her, looking like a complete wild animal. Spit is flying from his mouth, which is placed on a beet-red face with veins bulging out all over. He is obviously out of control.
I figure that I have about ten seconds to do something before Sophie gets whatever this guy thinks she deserves. I quietly run behind the guy, making sure to motion to Sophie not to make it obvious that I’m there. Either she’s a great actor, or she doesn’t even realize I’m there. I march up behind the guy, and cough.
He spins around, livid and ready to beat me to a pulp. Maybe even me. I don’t know. But, before he completes his turn, I slam the side of my fist into his face. Hard. I’ve never hit anyone before. All I know is that punching with the front of your fist is how you break something of your own, and that using the side is just as good.
The guy’s eyes widen momentarily, before I kick at his feet, and he falls to the ground.

If I wasn’t so wrapped up in adrenaline, I would laugh at how much like a felled tree he looks. I immediately kneel on his back, and roughly pull his arms together behind him.
Now that the danger is over, I look to Sophie.
“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”
“N-n-no. I’m okay. Oh my god, thank you so much.” She starts to tear up, and falls to the ground, curling up. She looks at me with wet eyes, and lets out a quiet laugh.
I look at her, as I hear some other staff run up behind me.
“What’s so funny?”
“I don’t know,” she says, looking at me with a smile. “I’m just glad that didn’t turn out much worse. Thank you.”
“Hey, anytime. I’m just glad you’re okay.”
I call out behind me, “Call the cops, Jordan. And come help me drag this guy to the conference room until they get here.”
Some hours later, with the guy taken away by police, and the store closed for the night, a small meeting has been called to discuss what happened.
“Sophie, could you explain what happened for us?”
She sighs. Even though it seems like a relatively small incident, it was still obviously traumatic for her.
“Yeah. So, I was wandering around the computers, looking for something to clean, when that guy came up to me. He didn’t seem weird or anything. Actually looked completely normal. He wanted to know how to return the laptop that he just bought. I’m not sure why he was coming to me, and not returns, but obviously he wasn’t exactly entirely there. Anyway, I asked him when he bought the computer, and he tells me it’s been forty days. So, not only past the computer return period, but the regular thirty-day one too. I tell him that, which is when he lost it.
He started with, like, fierce talking, I guess. Just really intense, telling me about how we should be honoured that he chose to buy from them, and that if we wanted to even pretend to be a Canadian company, we would return his laptop. He threw his laptop on the ground, and just started screaming as he walked towards me.
That’s when I called for help on the radio.”
We’re all mixed between giving her some sympathetic looks for the shit she had to go through, and bewildered ones. We’ve all heard stories about some pretty insane incidents. Someone pulled a gun a few cities away, but given that city, it’s not exactly unexpected. Even in our store, we’ve had a heart attack happen to a customer. But, no one ever expects something like this to happen in a nice city like this.
Paul clears his throat.
“Sophie, I know everyone is really glad you’re okay. If you’d like to take a few days off to recover, just let me know. You’re too young to have to deal with this and be expected to push though.”
Sophie nods at him with a smile. She’s strong, and I don’t really expect her to skip any work. But I know she appreciates the offer.
Paul looks towards me.
“You were a real hero today. You risked your own safety for Sophie. If you hadn’t, I don’t think anyone else would have gotten there in time, by the sounds of it. You stopped this from getting a whole lot worse. Thank you, on behalf of everyone.”
The small number of employees at this meeting look at me with smiles, and clap proudly. I smile back at them, and nod. I don’t really have anything to say, so I look at Sophie. She’s clapping along with everyone else, but she has a different sort of smile on her face. I don’t really know what it means, but I smile back.
We go over some other administrative details, and finish up the meeting. As people start to leave for the night, I head to the employee lounge to get my bag.
​As I open the door, I hear running footsteps. I turn and see Sophie coming at me. She stops in front of me, breathing a little heavily.
​“Hi.” She looks almost like a deer in headlights as she says this.
​“Hey,” I reply, “Heading out for the night?”
​“Yeah, but I was, uh, wondering if I could talk to you for a minute.”
​“Yeah, of course.” I hold the door open for her, and then follow her in.

We’re alone in the lounge, and I see that she’s sat herself down on the couch in the middle of the room. I take a seat next to her, and ask her what’s on her mind.
​“I know I already thanked you, but I still want to tell you how much I appreciate what you did. I-“
She stops and takes a deep breath.
​“I’ve never had anyone stand up for me like that. I know you would probably do that for anyone in the store. I would too, I guess. Well. I wouldn’t be able to do much, but you know what I mean. But, even my parents never really gave me a lot of support. I’ve been on my own for pretty much every award I’ve gotten. And I just want you to know that it means a lot to me. Really.”
​Her eyes are looking a bit wet again. I know that took a lot to admit. She isn’t one to open up like this to just anybody. I think it’s because it would mean she has to depend on them. Which, as I’ve just learned, isn’t what she’s used to.
​I look into her brown eyes. Even with tears, they’re like clear tunnels into her thoughts. If anything, the tears make her eyes more beautiful.
​“You’re welcome.”
​I put as much meaning into those words, so that she knows I’m also thanking her for telling me a bit about herself at the same time. It doesn’t really make sense, but she seems to get it.
​We both sit back and let the quiet wash over us. The store gets surprisingly silent without any customers, and all the electronics shut down for the night.
​Suddenly, she turns towards me. I look at her, and see fire in her eyes. I’m pretty sure what’s about to happen, but I don’t make a move. After what happened, I won’t push anything.
​I think she realizes that, as she leans in towards me, and presses her lips to mine. Even though I expected it in the few seconds before it happened, I still freeze up. Then, slowly, I move my hands around her, and hold her tight. We’re locked in this embrace for the longest dozen seconds ever, before we move apart.
​Her eyes search mine to see if I was okay with what happened.

​“I probably should have done something else to show how much I appreciate your help. That wasn’t really appropriate.”
​I smile now. Sophie is just about the sweetest girl I know, and I’m crushed by an overwhelming desire to show her how much I appreciate her appreciation.
​“Do you have any plans tonight?” I ask her.
​She smiles back at me, realizing that I’m fine with what she just did.
​“Yes. My parents won’t notice I’m not home.”
​“Alright. We’re going to go do something.”​
​“Like what?”
​I have no idea. But I’m not going to tell her that. I’ll figure it out as I go. So, I just smile at her again and shrug, getting an exasperated look from her.
​“You’d better not have saved me just to nap me tonight.”
​“From the sounds of it, a napping would probably be better than going home anyway.”
​I know that isn’t the right thing to say the second it leaves my mouth, but it’s too late to do anything about it now.
​“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.”
​“I know, it’s okay,” She pauses for a moment. “My parents aren’t exactly great, but I still love them.”
​I nod, and the moment turns awkward.
​Before it’s too late to recover, I ask her if she’s ready to go, and she tells me she is. We leave the store, when I remember I rode my bike to work. I’m not really sure how I forgot, since I’m holding my helmet, but I must have been too wrapped up in planning our little date to think about it.
​I look at her, and then the bike, and she gets it right away.
​“Nice planning there, genius,” she says with a laugh. “I think we can manage though.”
​“Here, you’ll have to wear my backpack. And take my helmet.”
​“No way. You risked yourself once for me. I’m not going to let you do it again.”
​“Sophie, I’m not offering you a choice. I didn’t save you just to have something else happen to you on my watch.”
​She grumbles a bit at this, but does what I bid.
​I unlock my bike, and get on it, sitting as far forward as possible. She gets on behind me, and squeezes forward on the tiny seat, wrapping her arms around me. I don’t think two humans can get any closer without being naked.
​That image makes me conscious of just how perfectly I can feel her. Every curve. I can feel the difference between the soft parts, and her toned muscle. I’m suddenly very glad that I’m facing away from her.
​“I think I would call myself a genius if I actually planned this.”
​She hits my shoulder.
​“Shut up, or I’m leaving. Don’t make this any more awkward than it already is.”
​I’m a bit disheartened that she considers this awkward, but I decide to just enjoy my position as I push off from the curb and start cycling towards our destination. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I decided that the nearby peer would be a great place to walk around, with a bit of a romantic setting.
​After a bumpy, mildly uncomfortable, but very enjoyable ride, we arrive at the peer. I can see that she thinks that it’s pretty cliché, but she doesn’t say anything as I lock up my bike.
​“Shall we?” I ask her.
​“We shall,” she responds with a smile that tells me she’s enjoying this so far.
​We start to slowly stroll down the wooden peer. The half moon hanging in the sky and the globe lights lining the peer create an ideal scene. We make small talk, but generally just enjoy each other’s company. We pass one of the few food vendors left at this time of night, and I ask her if she wants to grab some cotton candy. I know, can it get any more cliché? Well, be quiet. This is my night, and I’ll do whatever I want.
​As we continue our stroll, this time with delicious puffy treats in hand, I steal some glances at Sophie. She’s several inches shorter than my six foot two, with brown hair that reaches her middle back. With the lights around us, it hits me just how well her dark hair offsets her pale complexion. She really is quite a striking girl.
​Sophie catches me staring, and I look away quickly. I hear her snicker to herself.
​I blush, and wish I had a snappy comeback. But, of course, I don’t. I ignore her, and keep quiet. I can feel her smiling without even looking, though. She knows she got me. I smile to myself as well.
​As we get to the end of the peer, we take a seat at one of the empty benches. She scoots closer, and leans against me. I look at her, as she looks at me, and then put my arm around her.
​“This is nice,” she tells me.
​“It is. And I’m glad you think so.”
​We go quiet for a bit before I ask a question that’s been on the edge of my mind.
​“So, are you going to take Paul up on his offer of a few days off? I mean, you know you could use it after what happened.”
​“I don’t know. What do you think?”
​“Well. You’re fun to have around. So, it would be a boring few days. But, if you think you need it, you should take it.”
​She gives me an indignant glance.
​“Fun to have around, am I? That’s it? Video games are fun to have around too.”
​“They are. But you know what you can’t do with video games?”
​I lean in for our second kiss. Our lips meet, and open, allowing access to each other. After that, I’m not entirely sure what happens. It’s several minutes before we stop, and they’re some of the best minutes of my life. The tongue war he had at some point left my mouth tired, but knowing why it’s tired makes me happy. I’ve thought that Sophie was cute since I met her a few months ago, but I never really thought that we would be a good fit, her being a couple years younger than me. Normally that small gap doesn’t matter too much. But, it’s a little more significant when you’re both still teenagers. It seems she doesn’t care too much though, judging by the blush that has spilled onto her cheeks, and the sly smile in the middle.
​She stares into my eyes, and I stare back. It’s almost as intense as the kiss. Finally, she looks away with another smile, and then cuddles up closer to me, and rests her head on my shoulder.
​It’s been one crazy day, and while I’m not sure how this is going to turn out, I’m happy with how this little date has gone. I do a mental cheer to the future, and sink into the cuddle, enjoying every second.

Comment if you want more of this story! Next one would have all the naughty bits. :)


No comments!

Please sign up or log in to post a comment!