“Anyway, I have to go. Congratulations on your new job.”
“Thanks. Later, Dad.”
Exchanging a quick hug with his father, Alex waited until he left and brought Bailey out front, taking him for a walk soon after. Hearing his phone ring during the second lap of his block, Alex answered it to find Trevor on the line. Wondering what his boss would be calling him about, his first thought was he was going to ask for some more information from him. As it happened, the call was a request to fill a shift and, in the same stroke, get some training on the floor.
“So, two to seven tonight? Sounds good.”
“Great. I’ll see you then.”
Arriving at the comic shop fifteen minutes early, for a weekday afternoon, there were more customers than he expected. Most of them seemed to be in their mid-20's, with the one odd child running around.
“Oh God, I hope no one expects us to babysit some loose kid.” Alex thought to himself. He recalled the stories Catherine had told him about parents leaving their kids inside the bookstore where she worked.
Walking past the front counter with his Blue Moon T-shirt and backpack on, he was met by someone he hadn't seen the other day. The name on his badge said 'Daniel.' “Hey. Are you Alex?” he asked, putting aside the comic he was browsing.
“Yeah, that's me.”
Daniel offered his hand to Alex, who returned the shake. “I'm Daniel.”
“Nice to meet you. Kinda busy in here today.”
“Yeah. During the afternoon and such we get a lot of customers.”
“Hmm. Marcus told me the same once.”
“Ah. Did he also tell about the secret room we have here?”
Alex smiled as he heard that. This had to be another joke, but he was up for playing along. “No, he didn't.”
“That’s good. New hires have to earn their way inside.”
“Let me guess. A treasure trove of rare comics, right?”
Daniel's face didn't budge, but Alex knew he had messed up his joke, intentionally or not. “More or less. Trevor's in the back, but I can show you some of the basic stuff if you need.”