Pizza Delivery!

Fourteen miles to 432 Carolina Street, that was the only thing standing between Joseph Palmer and free pizza. It was also the only thing standing between me and a stern talking to by my boss. The task was simple: deliver the customer’s pizza in thirty minutes or less and they had to pay. Easy as pie right? But if a delivery person went over that limit, well, bad things could happen. I’d heard stories about former workers that had exceeded the limit but none of them were good. I immediately started my route. My 1993 Dodge Daytona roared when I turned the key. I tossed the freshly made pizza boxes into its “Pizza Sleeve” (a patented invention that keeps pizzas warm for thirty minutes exactly. How innovative, I know). My car's interior constantly smelled like mozzarella cheese and crispy, mouth-watering pepperoni, and the occasional anchovy as well. I rolled the windows down, crank-style, of course, and cruised towards my destination. 

     30 Minutes: Joseph Palmer would be receiving his pizza on time tonight! I hit the first stoplight of the ride, and man was it a long one. It took a whole five minutes just for the light to turn green. 25 Minutes: I know I work at the most popular pizza place in town but I get tired of it you know, and plus, I’m not a huge fan of pizza in the first place. I got this job in order to surprise my mother with a Christmas gift. You may be asking, you’ve been planning that long to get a gift for her? Well, I don’t come from a family with a lot of dough (see what I did there?) so in order to get extra spending money, as well as gifts for my family I got a job at a pizza place. 20 Minutes: I got a call from a friend on the way there, but because I’m a safe driver, I pulled over and called him for a little bit. Besides, I have plenty of time before Joseph Palmer can even think about his free pizza. We talked about plans for the weekend, the science project we had due, and a little bit about his girlfriend too (that brought the most arousal on his end). 10 Minutes: I decided it was time to hang up the phone and get back to driving. I mean Mr. Palmer was certainly waiting hungrily for his delicious combination of cheese, sauce and all the good spices. I got stuck in traffic as I pulled back onto the road. 5:30 was a pretty busy time of day in my town, understandably of course. The roads were filled with horn sounds, impatient drivers, and the occasional middle finger from the angriest ones. 5 Minutes: It was going to be close. Just as the light turned green, I got another phone call, this time from the owner of the pizza shop. He always calls five minutes before our thirty minutes is up to make sure no one is getting free pizza. These calls normally go swell but seeing that my delivery was going to be close, he sounded a little impatient. I assured him that the pizza would be delivered on time but he didn’t seem convinced. He left with this message: ‘time is running out.’ His words sent a chill down my spine as I made the final turn onto Carolina Street. 1 Minute: I found Mr. Palmer’s house and sprinted up the steps to the doorway and rang the doorbell. A kind-looking old man appeared in the doorway. He smiled and tapped his watch. My heart sank with fear. I had failed, my boss would certainly be firing me; or even worse

“Just in time!”

“Ex-, Excuse me?” I was confused, I thought I had certainly gone over the limit.

“You rang my doorbell with five seconds left. I almost got some free pizza,” the old man said with a chuckle and a fake look of disgust. 

“Well sir, I apologize for making you wait. I hope you enjoy your pizza.” 

We exchanged pizza for the money as well as ‘goodbyes’ and ‘good evenings.’ But the last thing he said stuck with me for a long time.

“Hey kid, our lives are shorter than you think. Trust me, I’m old — I know. Do something with your life; time is running out.”

Posted in response to the challenge Out.

Xander Oshoniyi


16 years old

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