Shawn Lane - Car Wash 1 - Car Wash

Shawn Lane - Car Wash 1 - Car Wash by Shawn Lane

Book: Shawn Lane - Car Wash 1 - Car Wash by Shawn Lane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shawn Lane
CHAPTER 1
    Kevin Flaherty stepped off the city bus and pulled his windbreaker tighter around him. The bus dropped off a block from his job and it was damn chilly this morning.
    His teeth chattering, Kevin hurried down the street to the car wash. Okay, so maybe he should have finished college. Then he could have maybe had prospects for a decent job when he got fired from his old one.
    Laid off .
That’s what they called it when they had no real reason to get rid of you but wanted to anyway. Four years at his stupid office job and he’d received what? Two weeks severance.
Kevin was all right with being forced to take a crappy job in this poor economy. Shoot, at least he’d found something . But the killer blow had been having to sell his motorcycle. He didn’t have enough money to keep up the payments.
When he reached the car wash several of the other workers had already arrived. Many of them only spoke Spanish and Kevin only spoke English, but they were friendly. They waved hello and he stepped inside the tiny little office that housed the cash register. He noted it was only slightly warmer inside.
“Good morning, Gabby,” he called to the cashier, plastering on his usual smile. Next to the register was a coffee pot and paper cups. He poured himself coffee.
“Good morning, Kevin.” Gabby Ramirez yawned. She was probably his only real friend there. She wouldn’t tell him her age, but he guessed she was somewhere around thirty-five. He knew she had two little boys who she kept promising to bring by one day so Kevin could meet them. “How you can be this cheerful at this hour, I don’t know.”
“It’s my perky personality.” Which happened to be very hard to keep up these days. No man, no bike, and no job. Okay, a half-assed job. He was behind in the rent for his apartment, too.
“Flaherty, I’m not paying you to drink my coffee,” the owner, Mr. Lewis, barked, coming into the office. He was a large, middle-aged man with premature white hair. “Get out there and wash cars.”
Kevin glanced out the window. “There aren’t any yet.”
“Well, wait for them then.”
He tossed his now empty paper cup in the waste basket and went behind the counter for his burgundy smock. Kevin had come to decide as uniforms went it wasn’t that bad. It sort of matched the dyed red streaks in his dark hair and his first name was embroidered on the front. Next to it Gabby had stitched a little rainbow for him. At lease it gave the ugly thing a little personality.
Mr. Lewis wasn’t such a bad boss. After all he’d given Kevin a chance when he admitted he didn’t really need any more car washers. He was just a tad creepy and liked to pretend he was gruff, but Kevin couldn’t complain. He paid on time and divided the tips evenly.
“Hey, Kev,” Gabby called after him as he moved through the doorway.
“Yo?”
“We’re probably going to get lunch later today. Want anything?” Gabby asked him, her reading glasses perched on the end of her pert little nose.
Kevin bit his lip, his stomach growling in an automatic reaction to the thought of lunch. He’d only had a banana for breakfast.
Removing his wallet from the back pocket of his tattered worn jeans, he opened it to check out his money situation. He had a dollar and some change for the bus fare home. Nothing else. His bank account was negative, too, when he’d checked at the automatic teller machine last night. It wouldn’t even let him take any money out. He was counting on the tips he would receive for the day to give him bus fare tomorrow.
Swallowing back disappointment and a little bit of shame, Kevin shoved his wallet back in his pocket. “That’s okay, I don’t need anything.”
“You sure?”
“Uh-huh.” Kevin walked outside before he gave in to the despair clawing at him. Talk of food and money only depressed him. Wallowing in self-pity wouldn’t get him fed or his rent paid.
Hardly anyone came to have their car washed this early so it was pretty quiet. Some

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