As much as he loved all of these things, there was no time to appreciate them now. He cursed himself for not being in better shape as he peddled his bike past Jackson Square. He was running really late and it was his own fault. He knew it was a long bike ride of nearly forty-five minutes, which he was now hoping to make in thirty. Even if he did he was still going to be an hour late.
That morning he got a call from Suzy, his girlfriend of five years. They had begun dating as juniors in high school and had a good relationship and Jon considered them pretty rock solid. They had fights like everyone, but nothing they couldn’t get through. This changed when Jon moved to New Orleans and Suzy stayed behind. He really tried to talk her into coming with him, but it was no use. She was going to college there and refused to transfer. She claimed it was because her parents wouldn’t let her, but he knew the primary reason was because she was scared.
That had been one of the things they fought about. Jon was an adventurous guy, while she always played it safe. He wanted to experience life and he felt like she just wanted to get through it. Last year when he came to New Orleans for Mardi Gras she wouldn’t come because she heard it wasn’t safe. That was when he decided he had to move there. He wondered if she would have come to Mardi Gras with him, that she would have been convinced to move too.
The other thing that they fought about was her jealousy. He noticed the jealousy pretty early on while they were in high school, but figured it was just insecurity and it would fade over time as she realized that he only wanted to be with her, but that wasn’t the case. When they graduated she went to college and he went to work. With more time apart she became increasingly worse.
The long distance relationship was taking its toll. Being able to video chat helped, but she couldn’t overcome the idea that she didn’t know what he was doing all the time. It really upset Jon that he could see the woman he cared so much about slipping away. Today had been the last straw. He posted a selfie on Facebook and didn’t realize that a cute woman had photo-bombed him and it looked like they might have been together.
Needless to say that Suzy was pissed when she called him this morning. Jon had a big problem with leaving when a fight was going on, so he just kept arguing even though he knew he needed to leave. Eventually they decided to break up and he finally left his apartment. Now here he was on his way to his first day at his new job. He really didn’t want this job, but after four months of not finding anything else, and quickly running out of savings, he was out of choices.
He had begun to wonder if Suzy was right and his impulsive decision to pack all of his stuff, empty his bank account and catch the first flight to New Orleans had been a bad one. If he was being honest with himself, the novelty was starting to lose its shine as his money was drying up. He needed this job if he had any semblance of hope of staying here and not running home with his tail between his legs. Of course he needed a second job on top of this, but this was a start.
He pulled his bike up to the front of the store and his heart dropped a little when he saw his new boss standing there staring at him, arms crossed and lips pursed.
“You’re late,” the man said.
“I know. I’m very sorry. I’m normally not-,” Jon began before the man cut him off.
“I don’t want to hear excuses. I just want workers. You are lucky that I don’t have anyone else to do the job or you would be going home. I will give you a chance today and if you are good, you can keep your job.”
“Thank you sir.”
“Just put on the uniform and pass these out.”
Jon didn’t agree with calling it a uniform, but he was in no place to argue so he let it go. After getting the pants and shirt on, he picked up the giant brown mouse head, sucked up his pride and began trying to bring in business.