There was a line in the small burger joint. It looked like the one I used to work in. I was getting closer to the front of the line; I would be next, but then an older Asian lady with white hair tried to cut in front of me. I glanced at her and said, “I think I’m next,” just so she knew. She stood beside me and as she spoke to me, her elbow nudged into me. “No, I next.” As the words came out of her mouth, one of the women behind the cash register came over to help the next in line. She was also Asian, middle-aged with short cropped hair. I leaned in and said, “do you have custard pie? All I want is a slice to go.” She nodded. “Come with me.”

She led me back to the kitchen, which was huge compared to the small store front. I saw rows and rows of pie racks. She stopped in front of a metal freezer, opened the handle and told me to go in, that I’d find the pie at the back. I walked into the cold freezer. It was empty except for the few items hanging on hooks at the back. There were two donuts that I took off the hook and behind those was one small slice of custard pie hanging there hidden from view. I took the pie and put the donuts back. As I walked back to the front of the freezer, half way to the door, the lady smiled a toothy grin at me, gave a slight bow, and quietly closed the door. I sped up my pace and gave a knock to say ‘ok I’ve got the pie.’ When there was no answer, I rapped harder on the door. At this point, I became aware of the cold in my bones.

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