Good Oil by Laura Buzo

By Laura Buzo

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He threw the can in the direction of a bin a few metres away. It missed, clanged against the metal and hit the ground. ’ I nodded and pushed back my chair. ‘Oh, and you should join the union, youngster. ’ The weeks went on and I settled into the routine of going to work after school. It was a little harder to keep up with school work, but nothing that couldn’t be remedied by late-night caffeine hits and working through the odd lunch period. Chris often brought drafts of his uni essays in to work for me to read during my breaks.

So true. ’ ‘What? No. ’ I hadn’t really talked to a boy since primary school. My only male contact was with the pushers and shovers on the bus, and they fell short of every expectation. Talking to them wouldn’t be like this, I thought. ’ I countered. He twisted the ring-top on his Coke can and then pulled it off. ’ He threw the can in the direction of a bin a few metres away. It missed, clanged against the metal and hit the ground. ’ I nodded and pushed back my chair. ‘Oh, and you should join the union, youngster.

He refers to his long-standing crush as the Kathyvirus, as it seems to take a relapsing–remitting course. ‘Got a raging case of it today, youngster,’ he mutters, pushing a trolley of stock past my register with white knuckles, watching Kathy talking animatedly to Stuart Green from Groceries at the service desk. ’ and declines Kathy’s invitation to go to the pub after work. Instead, he hangs around after his shift advising me on my English assignment. Kathy is dark, pretty, small – elfin even – and completely uninterested in Chris.

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