She smiled and laughed and promptly responded with, "I promise I won't go full-on lesbian, if that's what you mean."
Or something along those lines. This was the last conversation I would have with her face to face. I was giving her a ride and all I could think of was, why can't I get past my Hero Complex and instead of trying to save her, just help her, just... guide her.
Blondie was an interesting Chapter; it all started when I had gone for training at another store. The first time I laid eyes on her, briefly, was when I entered the building and proceeded to find the break room. The layout of the store was identical to mine, and perhaps it was the fact that it was early that I was thrown off, dizzy almost. I remember I walked up to a clerk and asked where the break room was, I figured if the layout was exactly identical, then the meeting room where I needed to go would be next to the break room. As I walked towards the stairs, I almost ran into another clerk, she was wearing a black vest, had her sunlight blonde hair down, and I didn't catch her name-tag. Instead, I apologized and kept walking.
After the meeting, I left that store and that town and headed home. It wasn't until much later that I would run into her again. I was a cashier at the time, well, a desk-op which meant "almost a manager." There was a small period of slowness to the day and as I stood in front of a cash register, I realized a new person to the building. She was wearing a black vest, her sunlight blonde hair was down, but there was something oddly familiar about her, I just could not place it where it came from.
She introduced herself and that alone peaked my interest; that voice in my head was mainly focused on her hair, as it always starts.
She cracked a joke and since that moment, I wanted to know more. And so I kept asking questions and she kept telling me about herself, little by little. I started to realize what we had in common. Something about her situation resembled mine and it only made her more interesting.
But she was my boss; it was extremely difficult for me to let loose around her sometimes, and sometimes, it even scared me.
I was still having a hard time trusting anyone, and I kept to myself.
But it wasn't until that good ol' Hero Complex started to kick in and I wanted to help her, I wanted to save her from self-destructing, a path that I had been all-too-common with and was starting to see in her.
But months turned into years, and sooner than later all I could do was stand there and watch as the chaos around her swallowed her whole. I realized then that no matter what I said, or did for her, there was no stopping what was coming.
Sometimes you just can't save everyone.
And so Blondie, like others, disappeared one day and was never to be heard or seen from again.