Amelia laughed. Kansas’s “Carry On, Wayward Son” was blasting through the store’s speakers, and her friend Winnie was doing a fantastic air guitar between the CD racks. It was Friday afternoon, historically the slowest time for Gunther’s CD Warehouse, when everyone really had something better to do with their weekend than searching through the sloppily organized stacks of new and used CDs. Rodney, her manager, took that opportunity to try out new mixes that he’d worked on all week. They were usually so chaotically put together that they’d drive customers out, but Amelia didn’t care. They were fun, and Winnie would always dance to make the time fly by.
Winnie was a slight girl with bleached blonde dreadlocks adorned with clay beads, who always looked like her thin tank top and peasant skirt were three sizes too big for her small frame. She loved to dance, took every opportunity to do so, and really, she seemed most herself when she did. “The Galway Girl” came on the speakers, and Winnie laughed. “Time for the saddest dancing song ever!” She winked at Amelia and then jumped up on one of the long tables Rodney had left out from sorting inventory. She danced and spun and stomped along to the music.
Amelia laughed again and clapped along to the beat. “How is this depressing? It’s romantic!”
“Have you listened to it? It’s about a one-night stand and he never sees the girl again!” Winnie hitched her skirt just enough to jump down from the table as the song ended. A string quartet came on. It was the first song that Amelia couldn’t place.
“Wow, Rodney really went all over the place with the mix this time, didn’t he?” Winnie commented, and then the song sped up, sounding for all the world like the Black Eyed Peas mixed with Middle Eastern music played on strings. It was almost hypnotic. Winnie raised her hands high and began to spin. She turned her head quickly, so she was always looking towards Amelia even as she spun away. She reminded Amelia of a video she’d seen in her history class, of men spinning as fast as they could, hoping to reach religious ecstasy. Winnie collapsed to the floor as the song came to an end, wobbling a bit from spinning too much.
“I think I’m going to dye my hair. What do you think? Should I go purple? Or maybe teal…” Winnie fingered her dreads in consideration. “Maybe I should just cut it off. Spike it up, short and black?” Amelia smiled at her.
“Whatever you do, Dylan will follow you to the ends of the earth.” Dylan was her slightly younger, slightly annoying boyfriend. Somewhat ironically, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” was currently blaring, and Winnie’s feet were independently tapping along.
“I’m not worried about what Dylan thinks. I’m just bored. The dreads are a pain, and I’m ready for a change.” She lifted them up and waved them at Amelia to emphasize her point. Amelia backed up a bit, after one tickled her nose.
“School will be out soon, that’s change enough for me.” Amelia ruffled her short, mousy brown hair and then shook her head. “Full day shifts here, with Rodney’s mixes and a book are all I need for a change.”
“Suit yourself. I’ll see you in an hour. I think I’ll get a peacock blue pixie cut.” Winnie stood, brushed her skirt a bit to shake out any wrinkles, and waved at Rodney coming out of the back room. La Roux’s “Bulletproof” came on. Winnie danced out the door, and continued dancing down the street as though she could still hear the music.
“She finish her dance routine already?” Rodney came to a stop a few feet from Amelia.
“Mmm. Good mix today.” Amelia smiled at Rodney and then picked up her book and settled into the chair behind the counter to read.
“Don’t go ignoring the customers with that, now.” Rodney smiled at her as she glanced up quickly to check the store, hoping someone hadn’t slipped in unnoticed. “No worries, we could almost close when its dead like this. Then you’d miss out on my awesome mixes though, so better not.”
Amelia grinned. “Wouldn’t want to miss out.”
Rodney chuckled and turned. “Off to do inventory. Call me if we get swamped.” He walked away, chuckling still at his own jokes.
Amelia opened her book and smiled.