“Oh C’mon man…are you kidding me…I can’t even enjoy a lunch break.”
“I’m coming!” Jack screamed as he rushed through the garage to the gas pumps of the Sparrow service station in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania.
“Ok, that’s enough,” he said under his breath.
There are no vehicles at the two gas pump islands. Just a scrawny kid named Anthony on his white and blue BMX bike. Anthony laughed from the top of his lungs at a nearby parking lot and pointed to Jack after he rode over the two driveway hose signals.
Every weekend afternoon shift Anthony would ride his bike over the signals, at least once or twice, and Jack would warn him: “One of these times, I’m going catch you and take that bike.”
Anthony was ten and an only child with a single mom. He found a place of social comfort at the Sparrow. The employees thought of him as a nice kid, he would always help out, do odd jobs like pick up trash from the parking lot, or clean the garage. Everyone welcomed him except Jack, who didn’t want to be bothered on his shifts.
As Anthony sat on his bike, he moved his handle bars toward the hoses like submarine radar and torpedoed himself. As he approached his target, Jack intercepted and the DING turned into a HONK! A car slammed its brakes as it came off the road and Jack grabbed Anthony while his bike hit the far island of the gas pumps.
“Where did you come from?” a trembling Anthony said.
“You’re going to be ok, don’t be scared. I saw the car coming and so I ran out to stop you,” Jack responded.
“Why do you care now?” Anthony mumbled as he stood and stared at Jack.
“How ‘bout you come in and we’ll get some chips and pop? How does that sound Anthony?”