Boli Ana

The sun was already low on the horizon. Mergim looked at his watch - ten minutes to seven. Since morning he had been wondering who his last customer would be.

An old Mercedes pulled into the station and stopped just next to him. The driver lowered the window. “Fill her up!” he demanded without looking.

Mergim nodded a confirmation, smiling as he picked up the Diesel dispenser from the pump and opened the lid on the tank. As the plastic digit display on the counter steadily increased, Mergim stared at the horizon behind the station. An abandoned half-finished house stood between tall leaves of grass.

Finally, the counter settled a little over 52 litres - the car had been thirsty. Mergim replaced the dispenser and slurped around the vehicle. “6300 Lek”, he informed the driver, taking the bill already handed to him.

“Have a safe trip.”, Mergim said as he passed the change through the window and stepped back.

As he started the engine, the man barely raised his hand from the wheel in acknowledgement.

Mergim looked after the car until it had joined the highway again. It had been a quiet day; not many people were travelling. He looked at his watch again - almost seven p.m.

Pleased, he started to walk to the office. He would close the station a little early today.