Thank You Gwen Stefani , by Elyssa Nicole Stoner
I remember that day as starting out like any other. I woke up somewhere around half-past ten…I think. I never really remember what time it is when I wake up. I just remember that I couldn’t believe I was late again.
“Aw, crud!” I stumbled from my room and into the kitchen in just my underwear and a t-shirt.
I put down about a quart of caffeine in the form of straight black coffee. My pulse jumped right to life then. I grabbed a pair of jeans off the floor and gave them the no-smell-no-stain test before putting them on. I hit the door with my jacket in hand and not a thought in the world that today might not just be the same old same.
I work at this local music store, earning my guitar lessons with hours of “Can I help you find anything?” or “And your total is…” But I can’t complain, I mean, at least I’m employed at all, right? I was straightening a row of old vinyl records when it happened. There she was, rocking out to something inside those headphones that no one else could hear, without a care in the world, in the middle of the store, her back to me, and it was freaking adorable. If you were to ask me today, I can’t really say exactly what it was about her. I mean, she obviously wasn’t the usual type of girl I saw coming in and out of the store every day. She wore a hat over those headphones and red boots. And then she turned around…
In that moment, everything changed. She was the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen and I almost fell flat on my face. Then I realized that she was looking at me, I mean, straight into my eyes. She took my breath away when she smiled. I stared at her like a moron for a split second.
And then I realized she was talking to me and I mentally slapped myself because now I had to ask, “I’m sorry, what?”
She chuckled like I’d said something funny and I thought to myself, She’s totally into me. “I said, can you tell me if you sell any Gwen Stefani albums? I’m looking for “Love. Angel. Music. Baby” But I can’t seem to find it.”
For some reason, her words got mixed up in my head, and all I could think was that the words Love, Angel, Music, and Baby were code for “Will you go out with me”. But then her request registered and I snapped out it.
I blinked a few times. “Oh, Uh, right… Did you look in the G’s” I pointed towards the CDs.
“Oh, no, I thought it would be under S.”
I shook my head and forced my feet to move. By the way, who glued them to floor?! “Ya, no, we organize them by first names. I know it’s weird.”
She followed me so closely I could smell her perfume. I started searching through the selection of CDs under G, completely too intoxicated by her to really concentrate on anything. I almost completely passed the CD she was looking for, but she was leaning past me and pointed when she saw it.
“Oh, that’s it! That one!”
My hands froze and I couldn’t quite make myself pick up the stupid CD, which was fine because she reached past me to get it and her hair brushed my face. I swore I’d died and gone to heaven.
She smiled at me again and in my head I asked her stop or else I really might end up doing something to prove my idiocy.
“Thanks so much!” She said and she turned around.
I kept expecting her to look back…wave…acknowledge me in some other way. But she didn’t. That’s when the truth hit me and I realized she wasn’t the least bit as interested in me as I was in her. I was just the music store guy who helped her find the CD she wanted. I watched her shop some more from behind the cash register with my head in my hand. Every once in a while I hoped our eyes would meet again she’d realize that the Skull Candy earbuds were much less fascinating than me.
I glanced up at the plaque over the door by the annoying little bell that rang every stinking time someone entered. It read, “Music is what feelings sound like…Music is love in search of a word”. A light bulb went off over my head…no really my boss was changing the light right above me… If I wanted to impress this girl, I knew just how to do it. I went over and changed the music that played in the overhead speakers all throughout the store to Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape… And then… Facepalm! I forgot she was wearing headphones.
“You idiot!” I scolded myself.
My boss turned around with a warning look and I immediately put up my hands defensively.
To my despair, I was still on the register when she came to check out. I almost ran for it, but that would’ve been more embarrassing and I’m no coward. However, I avoided her gaze the entire time. When I took the CD to scan, my hand clumsily bumped hers and I started to blush.
“Nine thirty-seven is your total.” I mumbled to her.
I lifted my head as she fished through her bag for the money, she took out a crumpled 5 dollar bill and 4 ones but couldn’t seem to find change. I shoved my hand into my pocket. You see, there are advantages to wearing the same jeans over and over again. Sometime you leave things in your pockets. Useful things. Like 37 cents in change.
“Don’t worry about it.” I said, dropping the coins in the register.
“Aw, that’s so sweet, thanks!” I cringed at the way her tone of voice implied that I was already stuck in the “good friend” phase and I hadn’t even gotten her name yet.
She gave me her money and took her CD without a bag. She’s probably some weird earth-saving vegetarian hippie-chick or something. I told myself with disgust, looking for a PETA pin on her bag, but there wasn’t one and it didn’t convince that I wasn’t totally in love with a girl I didn’t know. Consoling myself now was pointless.
But then, time really did stop. She turned and took out a pen from somewhere under her hat (what the heck) and took my hand. I was too startled to see what she wrote there, but I managed to smile back when she said, “I love this song.” Pointing to the over-head speakers, and then she left. That bell over the door suddenly didn’t sound quite so annoying anymore… Sounded more like that sound when angel’s get their wings.
And then I looked down at my hand. The words “CALL ME” were written in all caps with an arrow pointing to her number. I counted the digits to be sure she wasn’t playing some cruel trick on me. Yup, all 9 of them were there! I nearly died a happy man right then and there. The other customers gave me weird looks when I hoisted myself onto the counter and started dancing, and I almost got fired for it too, but I didn’t care. My ordinary monotone routine day had turned into the best day of my life. Thank you Gwen Stefani.