As a lifelong introvert, Tricia Montgomery has long admired and envied the extroverts of the world. They always seem to have the most fun, and striking up conversations seems no more difficult for them than sitting still for hours with nothing other than a book for company is for her. She wishes she could be more like them and has tried to be on numerous occasions, but she is who she is, and today she’s just another shy woman looking for picture frames at Michaels.
According to their slogan, Michaels is where creativity happens, and Tricia is definitely hoping to put a different spin on the pictures she took on her recent trip to Thailand. She spent a day at Surin Islands Marine National Park while she was there and was seriously tempted not to return home after falling in love with its beauty. It wasn’t really a practical option, of course, but at least she can now look at the pictures she took anytime she needs to mentally escape. Is matting the way to go? Should she use a wooden frame or a metal one? Plain or decorative? Maybe the young lady working behind the counter in the framing section will be able to help.
“I was surprised, too when I came in this morning and found out that all frames are now thirty percent off,” is the first thing the shop girl says.
“I wasn’t expecting it either, but I’ll take it!” Tricia says in return, trying to be cheerful the way she has seen extroverts be.
“It’s a total drag we’re out of plain black frames, though.”
“Are you?” Tricia asks. “Oh well, maybe a brown one would work better with the way my photos are lit. I was thinking about having them matted, or has that been done to death?”
“I don’t care if Clara has a cold. She’s always claiming to be sick. Tell her to get in here. We’re short staffed as it is,” the shop girl then says.
“I’m sorry?” Tricia asks, unsure of what the shop girl just meant.
“And I need to switch my lunch hour with you. I have an appointment. Hold on, I have a customer. Hi, may I help you?” the shop girl asks as she turns to face Tricia directly.
And that’s when Tricia notices the tiny little headpiece with the attached microphone that the Michaels’ employee is wearing. Tricia has been talking to someone who has been having a conversation with someone else entirely this whole time, likely someone in the back store room.
“Um, no. I’m just looking for frames. I’m good for now.”
Only Tricia won’t truly be good until she runs out of the store as fast as she can and reaches the safety of her car.
“This is what you get for trying to talk to other people,” Tricia berates herself. “Why oh why can’t I just live all alone on the Surin Islands?!”