Jennifer Fernandez writes short stories and some non-fiction. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Jennifer was a theology, ethics, and philosophy professor. She’s been published in academic and non-academic arenas. She lives outside Seattle, Washington with her husband Michael and their dog Hanx. She is currently working on a collection of short stories titled ‘unsaid.’ Find her on Instagram @jfernwrites
Let's Make A Deal
I sit in the tiny cubicle feeling the blood creep up my back. The salesman has gone to talk to his supervisor about my offer. I know it’s a scam, of course. There is no talking, there’s a supervisor sure, but they’re not talking about my deal. They think they’ve already decided and now they’re just buying time. But there’s no way they’re going to say no. I won’t let them. The entire dealership is empty and I haven’t seen a customer come in since I arrived two hours ago. The blood, I’m sure, is already staining the scratchy light grey fabric of the stackable office chair and I don’t give a shit. Let it. He makes me wait a good long while, not more than 10 minutes or so, but when you’re sitting there alone and there’s nothing to look at it feels like a long time. When he returns he smiles, walks around the desk and sits down, all the while smiling his smile. “So, here’s what we’re gonna to do.” He goes into the plan that “we’re” going to do. Which of course, we're not going to do. I'll sit here all day staining your chair, buddy. Zero shits given. I explain to him that I'm not going to take his deal because as I see it, he’s a chump. This company is huge, buddy. Huge. Do you think they give a shit about a measly couple thousand? No. They don’t. It doesn’t hurt them. So here you sit arguing with me with your smile and your nice guy attitude but they don’t care about you, and you shouldn’t work so hard to protect them. Now here’s what “we’re” going to do. I tell him this and I go over my original offer once again. He sits there with this ham hands so thick they can barely make a fist around the ballpoint pen with the red logo. He drops his head and right before he does, I see something change in his eyes. Then he says he’ll try talking again with his supervisor. Maybe I can catch him in a good mood, he says. He walks out and I sit in my hot wet chair and smile my smile.