I closed the glass doors that displayed our perfumes of many scents. Most popular where the Channel (# 5 which was the top of the line), then Halston, my favorite along with, Heaven Scent, Nina Richie and of course, “Tabu”. Every week it was a part of my job to take each product out of the glass case and dust thoroughly and replace and restock the cabinet preparing it for those who wish to purchase perfumes, toilet water, cologne or the like. I loved this part of my job. I was able to develop a sense of what scents I liked or didn’t.
He came into the Elise Drug Store just as I was finishing up this weekly task. Given my young age of 16 years , I felt suddenly flushed and flustered by His presence. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon,and so it was a full day to work and there weren’t many customers. We began to chat about school, etc. I didn’t know if he had known that I worked there or if he had just stopped by, but whatever the reason, he was talking to me . Very excited by this, and nervous we had become comfortable with the conversation. I was flirting with danger. The owners were not in yet and so it was easy to have this fun conversation without the pressure of someone watching over and scrutinizing the fact that flirting had become a part of my job.
The Drug store had a grill and so he wondered over and bought a Coke and then returned to my counter to continue talking. As it was in those days, smoking was a natural thing to do at any time or any place, and so he lit up a cigarette and I did not bother him with “you should take that outside” because in those days even the Doctors smoked in their own offices. So, he offered me one as well and out of my mind crazy by this scenario , I accepted although I really did not smoke. As he lit the cigarette for me, I remained behind the cashier station leaning into the lit match, catching his smell and a quick glance when our eyes met.
As I drew in my breath when pauses were necessary to contain this fresh new feeling that was happening to me, It was my boss who walked through the front door( which sometimes he arrived that way on purpose) and I saw his expression was not anger but shock. The horror of his face was because the match that was used to light my cigarette had been tossed in a trash can in front of the perfume case. Well that cleared the room as the flames began to rise and the delivery guy, Kevin came to the rescue and grabbed the trash to carry it outside.
As the blood drained from my face, and not aware of my visitor’s disappearance, I said in my young voice, “ I promise never to smoke here again”. My bosses reply was, “ and you won’t”!