Molly sighed. She should have been happy, it was her 18th birthday in a couple of days, she should be looking forward to the party and the alcohol and one of her final steps into adulthood, but truth of it was, Molly wasn't. Molly wasn't excited at all. She felt disillusioned with life, she was fed up with the constant demands in her life, either from school, from her mom or from her part time job at the family restaurant. She just wished she could go back to simpler times when nothing really mattered other than playing games. She wouldn't tell that to anyone though. Oh no. That would be too much. Instead she would play her part in society, doing as she was told and toeing the line, living on her daydreams of happier, more innocent times.
She brushed a strand of her long brown hair out of her brown eyes and adjusted the black hair band that held her hair out of her faceShe wasn't ugly, not by a long shot, but she had a plain quality about her that just made most people ignore she was even there. Everyone with the exception of Jennifer and Sarah. The threesome shouldn't have worked. It was still difficult to understand how they had come to be such firm friends. Perhaps the fact that they were each misfits to some degree. Either way the three of them were very rarely seen parted.
Molly wandered over to Sarah and Jennifer's table and placed their coffees and sandwiches down.
"Here you go guys. Glad you both could come over and spend time with me at work. It's so dull around here. Time really drags."
Jennifer picked up her hot coffee cup and blew gently on the contents.
"don't mention it. It's not like we were doing much today anyway"
Sarah nodded in agreement but didn't add anything to the conversation as she picked up her sandwich and tucked in. Molly smiled at her two friends. She was about to say something when one of her work colleagues came over.
"Hey. Molly. Once you're finished serving these customers get some gloves and a mop and bucket will ya. A kid has peed in the ball pool again and it needs disinfecting."
Molly sighed as she looked over at the restaurants safe play area for children. So many times she was wanted to take a dip in the ball pool and mess around, instead she was forced to clear the thing out whenever a kid lost a diaper or was sick. She nodded miserably.
" I better go guys." She muttered apologetically at her friends and went to gather the cleaning supplies.
An hour later she pulled herself from the children's play area, a strong smell of disinfectant wafted around the ball pool now that her job was done. She felt satisfied she had done a good job as she pulled off her yellow marigolds. She didn't enjoy her job but she took pride in her professionalism. She wanted to show a girl who took her job seriously. Even the mucky parts.
Her train of thought was suddenly brought back to the present when she realised someone was stood right beside her. She looked up, shocked by the smiling old woman stood beside her. Her shocked expression vanished as she recognised the strange woman that had been coming into the restaurant every day for the past week around lunchtime, like it was now. Molly had even gotten to know the woman a little bit, she was on holiday from Europe, visiting relatives although molly had never seen any of the relatives in here with the old woman.
"Oh hello Mrs Murphy. Can I help you at all?"
Molly's mannerisms were always polite, even when she was feeling depressed like today. Mrs Murphy just stared at Molly for a few moments. Molly wondered if the woman had even heard her question and was about to repeat herself when Mrs Murphy spoke.
"Dear, I go back to Britain today, so I wanted to just pop in and give you something for being such wonderful company here over the past few days."
Molly was stunned, she had been kind to Mrs Murphy but she hadn't expected to be rewarded for something that should be second nature to everyone.
"Oh, Mrs Murphy, seriously you didn't have to do anything for me. It was a pleasure being your waitress"
Molly blushed, her heart fluttered happily that her attention to the customers and her job had been recognised as Mrs Murphy handed her a digital voice recorder . Molly took it and stared dumbly at the device not realising what it was.
She said not wanting to sound unkind, but not entirely sure what Mrs Murphy expected her to do with it. Mrs Murphy leaned in, whispering in a conspiratorial manner.
"That my dear in a reality altering device. Press the red button here, that pauses things then, say what you want into the microphone piece here and TA-DA instant altered reality. I'm giving it to you, because I can tell you'll put it to good use. You have a kind heart. I can tell. I have a sense for these things."
Molly realised the poor old woman was clearly at that age where people started loosing their marbles and she plastered a fake grin on her face and hugged the digital voice recorder .
"Thank you Mrs Murphy. That was awfully thoughtful of you"
Molly didn't want to upset the old woman.
"Go on dear. Try it out."
Mrs Murphy poked Molly in the upper arm eagerly. Molly looked at the device, feeling stupid. She didn't want to dash this poor woman's delusion, but Mrs Murphy didn't seem to want to take no for an answer. Feeling ridiculous she pressed the red button, then thinking what she could do her eyes fell on her two friends, more importantly their hair colour.
"Jennifer hair colour is black, Sarah's hair colour is red"
Molly felt instantly light headed and it seemed that the room grew dark. She felt like she was going to faint, but then the light returned to the room and the sick feeling she had had vanished.
She looked around wondering if anyone had noticed anything strange but the few people in the restaurant were chatting as if nothing bizarre had happened at all. Maybe Molly had just been too close to the disinfectant. It had been pretty strong. She should have used proper ventilation. Her gaze wandered over to Jennifer and Sarah. They were arguing with each other, a common occurrence, but what Molly saw almost made her drop the digital voice recorder . Both her friends hair had changed colour to match her command. Her mouth fell open, gob smacked. Mrs Murphy shuffled off to one side chuckling.
"Well, have fun kiddo. "
Molly ran up to Mrs Murphy.
"Hey, wait. You can't just give it to me..."
Mrs Murphy cut the teenager off mid sentence.
"I can and I have. It's rude to give gifts back sweetie so just be careful with it and look after yourself"
She gently patted Molly on the arm and continued out.
Molly stood in the middle of the restaurant completely bewildered by the whole experience. She rubbed her eyes and looked at her two friends new hair colour.
Her gaze wandered down to the bucket of disinfecting water she had used to clean the ball pool. Reality struck her then, she was still at work and had to be seen to be actually working. Picking up the bucket she headed back to the staff kitchen. When she got there she put the bucket down. The kitchen was empty, she sighed at the amount of dishes needing washing up that she still had to do, but she needed to seriously think about what was going on here. Her mind was still reeling from what had just happened. She looked at the small device in her hand. Unable to really comprehend the power she had. She now had the ability to make all her dreams come true at the press of a button. The possibilities were staggering.
She was torn between wanting to throw the small machine in the bin for fear of accidentally turning reality into a nightmare, but her teenage curiosity screamed at her to try it out more. Do something more extreme. What had she always wanted? Money? Fame? These things didn't really tempt her all that much. She traced her finger around the button, holding her breath. So many ideas on what to do, her mind boggled. She caught sight of the time. She only had half an hour left of work and she hadn't even had her break today yet due to that stupid play area incident. She looked at the bucket of water and the dirty dishes stacked up.
She pressed the button hard. Scrunching up her eyes. She opened them and noticed the muffled babbling from the restaurant had faded. She peeked her head round the door way and saw life paused. Like a still on a T.V screen. Some people had stopped midway through eating and a kid who had been in the midst of jumping into the ball pool hung suspended in mid air.
She quietly returned to the kitchen feeling weak at the sight of something, that up until 20 minutes ago she would have sworn was impossible. She spoke into the machine.
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