She eventually decided to go ask the woman up front for help. The woman had long, curly brown hair that stretched halfway down her back. She had on one of those little, plastic nametags glued to her purple shirt near the top of her right breast. On top of it was written “Maxine” but who would notice it with that low cut, sleeveless tank top she was wearing that left little to the imagination. She was also wearing faded, blue jean booty shorts that rode low on her hips. So much for professionalism, Pearl thought. There goes any hope those conservative people had for changing the world.
Pearl gave her the little post-it with the title and author of the book she wanted stretched across it in messy handwriting. “Oh, I’ve read this book. It’s great. I go on an adventure every time I read it,” Maxine said. Terrific, someone who’s gotta voice her opinion. Gotta love the enthusiasm, other people say. Yeah, not so much, Pearl thought. Whatever happened to those shy, mousy girls that looked after bookstores before? They’d just leave you alone. Just nod and smile, Pearl thought. Nod and smile. Maybe then, she’ll get the hint.
Maxine skidaddled off to some foreign aisle in the back of the bookstore. Five minutes slowly passed and in those five minutes, something screwy started happening with the lights. They started flickering and for a moment, complete darkness fell onto the store. Thirty long seconds ticked by and Pearl heard Maxine’s voice call out to her, “Don’t worry. This happens all the time. Just wait one second while I get the lights back on.” No, I’m going to go jump off the top of the Sears Tower! Of course I’m going to wait here, Pearl thought with annoyance. I want my book!
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