It’s My First Time Working Late Nights at a Convenience Store, and If I Keep Getting Demon Lords, Kappa and Other Oddballs as Customers, I’m Giving My Two-Weeks’ Notice
Tonight’s my thirty-sixth time working the till.
“Welcome, irasshaima... Huh.”
“Oh, honey! It’s been ages!”
Our first customer of the evening flips back her short blonde hair, exposing more of her bare shoulders. With a bubbly wave, Kintaro the drag queen comes bouncing into the store.
“So, what brings you here today?”
“Weeeell, I thought I’d pay your manager a little visit. How’s he doing? Good?”
“Yeah, he’s fine. ...He’s asleep in the break room right now, though, like usual.”
“Is he now? Shoot. Well, now what? It’d be mean to wake him up, sooo... Hm.”
Placing a hand on her cheek, Kintaro tilts her head to the side in thought.
“Aw, I even got all dolled up for him, too. See? I tried out a new shade of lipstick today. Isn’t it sexy?”
Kintaro leans in waaaay too close for comfort, her lips puckered in an almost-kiss.
“Uh, yeah. Looks good.”
“Ooh, I really did want to see him...”
She clenches her hands, bunching up the fabric of her sunflower-patterned dress, looking pretty disappointed.
It’s sweet that she’s gone all out for her crush — even if her whole “blushing young maiden” persona is kind of at odds with her muscle-bound physique.
Either way, she did go through all that trouble... It’d be a shame to send her home empty-handed.
“Would you mind waiting a minute? Since you came all this way, I’ll run in and see if he’s available.”
“You’d do that for me? Aw, thanks a bunch! You’re such a sweetheart!”
She squeals in girlish glee, flapping her hands excitedly — which just makes me chuckle.
I mean, I adore my manager, but I get the feeling that his overall look is keeping him from getting too close to the rest of the convenience store staff.
Like, that he finds it hard to strike up a conversation because his face is pretty terrifying. I know that he hasn’t really made his peace with it, so it makes me happy to see that there are more people who are willing to face him head on, and to love him just as he is.
...Okay, maybe I’m a little jealous that he’s got someone else now.
But I really DO want him to have a social life, so I’m just going to have to get over it and learn how to share.
“Hey, Manager? You’ve got a visitor.”
“Hm? Has Pops come by again?”
“No, but...it’s someone else you know? Kintaro? Uuum, the drag queen?”
“...I know a Kintaro?”
My manager is still scratching his head in confusion as he steps out of the break room.
Well, Kintaro’ll be thrilled either way.
Smiling at my good deed, I head back into the store...to find my manager pinned up against the wall.
“Haru... A little help here?”
“Oh my god, Manager...! Hey, Kintaro! Can’t you greet him like a normal person?!”
I quickly step in between the two of them, and Kintaro blurts out:
“I can’t help it! Whenever I see that handsome face of his, I’ve just gotta get right up close...!”
Overwhelmed, Kintaro presses her hands to her cheeks, and I push her a little further away from my manager.
“Well, you can’t! C’mon, the poor guy hasn’t even gone on a date before! You’ve got to take baby steps with him!”
“Ooooh, that’s riiiight. ...But don’t you think that side of him’s just the cutest? Tee-hee! I absolutely LOVE it.”
Kintaro winks, emphasizing her point by using her hands to make the shape of a heart. ...Well, I tried.
“Okay, soooo... How slow are we talking here, honey?”
“You could probably start by, y’know, getting to know each other a little better?”
“Haru, what are you two talking about?”
“Ehehe... Why don’t you and I go have a little chat over there, Manager?”
“Whoa! Um, maybe don’t pull so hard, either?”
Kintaro saunters off towards the seating area, dragging my flailing manager along behind her — looking very much like an extremely confused deer in headlights.
Meanwhile, I’m trying not to die of laughter. I mean, there’s just something inherently hilarious about watching two bodybuilders skip off together, arm in arm.
“My most loyal servants! It has been far too long since we last graced you with our presence!”
In what might be the best example of the worst timing ever, our local vampire waltzes in, grinning from ear to ear. Either some god really has it out for us today, or an evil demon is on a roll.
“Are we interrupting something? Because you appear to be having a splendid time with that tawdry tart.”
For all that Kintaro’s been called names before, I’m willing to bet that’s a new one.
“Excuuuse me? Like you’re one to talk, you walking trash bag.”
She hurls the insult right back at the vampire, who’s wearing a tight-fitting black dress that exposes possibly even more of her cleavage than the last time.
The tart and the trash bag stare each other down, sparks flying from their charged glares.
“Now, now. You’re both two of our most valued customers.”
My manager does his best to diffuse the situation, but the diplomatic reply pleases neither woman.
“‘Customers’? Do you behave this way with all of your clients, you philandering oaf?”
The vampire strolls over to the seating area, draping herself across my manager’s free shoulder.
“Um, miss, you really shouldn’t throw yourself on people quite so freely...!”
My manager’s less flustered and more freaking out at this point.
“That’s right! Keep your hands to yourself, you bitch! Have you no shame?”
“What of you? You’ve snaked your filthy arms around his with no respect for propriety!”
“What’d you saaaay?! Don’t you think that you can run your mouth off at ME, missy! I’m a hundred times better for the manager than your scrawny ass!!”
While they bicker, the vampire comes around to jab an accusatory finger in Kintaro’s face.
“Hmph! Jealous of our youthful beauty, are you? Well, we care ever so much more for him than the likes of you. He would make an absolutely perfect slave... Oh, we would be able to dine on the most exquisite blood each and every day... Ahhh, we cannot wait for that moment.”
The vampire sighs, wistfully nibbling on her thumb.
“Oooh, the nerve! A slave?! The manager deserves a future where he’s happily married! And he’d have that with ME! I’d wake him up every morning with a kiss, we’d end each day with a kiss, and whenever we go to an amusement park, I’d treat our entire family to ice cream!”
Yeah, that’s great and all, but could you please spare a thought for how HE’S feeling?
He’s already had his sleep interrupted, and now he’s been pulled into this nonsense.
My manager turns to me, in silent supplication.
“Hey, you two! Knock it off! You’re forgetting whose decision this is actually supposed to be.”
Both ladies turn their attention back to the man of the hour, their voices overlapping.
“So? Who would you pick?”
“Well? Which one of us will you choose?”
...I’m sorry, Manager. That just made it worse.
He looks up at the ceiling, scratching his cheek in thought.
“To be honest, I’m not at all confident that I could make two beauties such as yourselves happy — though I do appreciate the sentiment. Still, I’m certain you would have your pick of much better men than me...”
“Darling, you’re the only one for me!”
“No other man would do!”
He doesn’t so much as bend under the pressure, though.
“I’m flattered, but... Um, I... I have a blind date tomorrow.”
“A what?! Manager, you do?!”
My startled outburst echoes through the store. Seriously, I did NOT see that one coming.
“A blind date...? You’re kidding me...”
Kintaro gasps, her hands flying up to her face.
“...What IS a ‘blind date’?”
The centuries-old vampire, on the other hand, is understandably confused.