Worst Job Ever

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The alarm went off, same as usual, at a quarter to seven in the morning. A slightly aged hand reached out from underneath the muave bedsheet and hit the alarm into silence. A muffled groan escaped from the pillow.

It was time to begin another day.

As Raymond pulled himself out of bed, like he did every morning, his feet met with the cold rug laying on the floor. On top of the rug lay his time-old slippers that he feebily tried to house his feet in as he erected himself. He rubbed his eyes, cracked his back, gave a great yawn and defeatedly walked towards the bathroom.

Raymond Montague was a man of habit. Fifty-something, he had gray hair attempting to take control of his once elegant jet black hair. He had the appearance of a man who had been fit and physically adored once; now his once-muscular body was slightly overweight with sagging skin around his jawline and wrinkles echoing his years. He was not a man who had aged well, but his loneliness over the past two decades might have aided the aging process. As a young man, Raymond had been eager to be a bachelor and stay that way; until he woke up in his mid-thirties and realized that nobody wanted to be with a dried up old man with little money and no prospects.

Over the years, Raymond had come to live with his loneliness. It helped that he was, as mentioned, a man of habit. His days were filled with specific tasks that were carried out in specific order; all of which helped take the edge off the day. He had taught himself long ago to just grit his teeth and go with the motions.

Like every other morning, Raymond took a cold shower, shaved, brushed his teeth, combed his fading hairline, got dressed, made the bed and left for work. Every day he worked the same shift: eight until four-thirty. Every morning he would get a cup of coffee from the little cafe nearby, walk to work and be settled in ten minutes before his shift would start. From there, he would change into his work attire, punch in and begin his duties for the day.

Raymond worked at a little bakery. It wasn't much, but it felt more like home to him than anything else. There would be his regular customers that would come in every day and get the same thing. One business man would always order a small coffee, black, and a garlic bagel. Every day, Raymond would remind this man that eating garlic would ward off the vampires. The man would only smile politely, give a curt nodd of his head and move along with his own day. Another customer, a mother, would come and order a box of doughnuts for her family. About twice a week, she would get something extra for herself; usually a cruller. Sometimes a muffin. Raymond knew instinctively on which days she would want something extra because she would come in looking a little more tattered than usual. Perhaps one of her children had overslept and she would have to rush them to school on time. Maybe a couple of her children were fighting. Raymond would never ask specifics, for he thought it was rude, but he would always wonder.

There was also a teenage girl who was not a daily regular, but Raymond did remember her by sight. She wore mostly black and loved to listen to her headphones. He never saw her without her music. She never smiled and never spoke. Raymond always thought that was a peculiar existence but, as with the mother, he never pried. He did, however, once see the teenager's eyes light up. He once snuck her a double chocolate chip cookie with her usual order of a large coffee with no cream and three sugars. Her eyes gleamed like a four year old at Christmas, but she grabbed her beverage and cookie and ran away before thanking him.

The cafe saw more people than those three customers, but those were the regulars that stuck out most in Raymond's mind. They all seemed to have something in common, although he could never put his finger on it. Still, there was something naggingly peculiar about those three people.

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