At first, it was a blink.
But then it was a stare. They would look right at me from the corners of their eyes. I tried to ignore them and go about my business, but it became difficult each day.
I was new to this retail job, so I didn't make friends very quickly amongst my co-workers. I suppose they didn't like to hear me complain, so I tried to keep to myself while I folded clothes.
But they became more blatant.
They would turn their heads towards me and bore holes through me with their cold glare.
I thought I was only seeing things, but a glance in their direction confirmed it: their heads were turned and they were staring right at me. I was frightened by them.
Did they treat everyone this way, or just me?
Sometimes they would follow me with their eyes as I passed. Sometimes they turned their heads and looked down on me. I would bite my lip to fight back the tears.
I got too close one day. She acted normal while I changed the clothes on the display, so I risked a glance. She was looking off in another direction.
But then her head snapped crookedly towards me and she did something insidious.
At first, it was a blink. And then she smiled.
I quit that day and vowed never to work in retail again. My manager demanded to know why I was leaving. My heart drummed against my skin as I grabbed my jacket and briskly walked out.
I never looked up, but I shouted back to him.
"I refuse to dress the mannequins anymore."