There is something about grocery mart's playing worn out elevator music. It's like it's their super weapon. Maybe subliminaly its making us, shoppers, feel the need to shop faster and more irrationally. I mean, if you think about it, when was the last time you were in an elevator listening to the same tracks and not been itching to get out of there.
The isles were pretty deserted. It would make sense. Who goes shopping at...
I look down at the illuminated screen of my phone that displayed a photo of me and Eric posing silly together, me with the over-used duckface and him with an unusual snarl that for some reason looked rather funny. with the time in the lower corner.
Wow, was it only that? For some reason it felt later than that... What time did I wake up?
Whatever. That didn't matter now. I had to grab what I needed to eat for the next few days and get out of here. The faces of the employees that I kept walking past looked like they were close to death. Gloomy and depressed as all get out. Ugh.
What did I need.... I ran a list of foods that sounded good in my head and then scanned through them with what I wanted versus what I really needed. I was on a tight budget before my next paycheck came.
Bread. That I needed along with skim milk....or, who am I kidding, I want whole milk. Then there was cereal... Peanut butter, a new apricot jam and, mmm, some nutter butter bars. I proceeded to walk down each isle and throw items into the cart. So there was some that I really needed, and some that I didn't... But I needed food. Desperately. And going shopping with an empty stomach wasn't helping.
I kept looking down at my phone every other minute or so expecting something would be there. A message, a call, anything. Most of all, I missed Eric. I know that I am really crappy at showing my affection, let alone how I feel, but you can't blame me if I was never hugged or kissed by my parents.
That nagging feeling was prodding me inside telling me I should be the one texting him and not the other way around. It felt like he was always the one to start a conversation and maybe it was true. I had to face it, I had to change if I was to be remotely close to anything he would want. For the life of me I couldn't even imagine what he saw in me... The things that came to mind that described me was shy, awkward and a brick wall. I knew he didn't want me like that. I had to be better.
I pulled my cart to the side of the isle just in case someone was needing to pass beside me and began to key in the letters of the message.
I paused and thought about writing more, but it might come across too.... fake. I sent it.
The sound of another cart became louder as it glided in my opposing direction. The sound was jittery and the front wheel was stiff and wobbled awkwardly as it glided across the tiled floor.
They were walking really fast in my direction. I lowered my head and wondered if they couldn't notice me staring at them as they were walking by. My eyes avoided theirs as I just focused on their figure. Their body build was thicker which made me think that it was a middle aged man. His hands looked worn and weathered by possibly his occupation. A permanent scowl was drawn on his lips, but I did not dare to look any further. I turned away and looked back at my phone that was vibrating between my grasp. It was Eric.
I put my phone against my ear.
"Hey, Flora-bug." His familiar and comforting voice won me over and a smile crept across my face. "I just had to hear your voice right now... And I wanted to know how your morning has been."
"It's been pretty ordinary... You know the kind. I just happen to be at the store since I had absolutely nothing to eat this morning besides Cheerios." I cringed and I bet he was imagining that as he laughed back at me in a joking way.
"Flora. What's the matter with you? Who doesn't love them?"
"Obviously me." I said back quickly and matter-of-factly. "How about you come over on one of your next days off and you can take them back with you."
His tone changed and his voice became soft. "That sounds great."
"So..." The line grew silent. "How has your day been, then?"
"Work is work. Stressful and dangerous like normal. It's just hard being here when I want to be with you, y'know. But money is what keeps the world spinning, it feels like. Anyway, I should let you go. I'm about to drive through a canyon... I'm glad I got to talk to you though."
"Me, too." I said back quietly. As much as I didn't want to admit it, I hated to disconnect his calls. "I love you."
"Love you, too."
I waited through the silence of the line and listened to his faint breathing, the muffled sounds of a diesel engine. I didn't want to hang up. I wanted to be there with him, or vice versa. Then the line disconnected and the noises ceased.
Heaving a sigh I looked over my shoulder to see if that stranger was still there. I was the only one down the isle and a creepy aura fell over me. It was like I was casting in a horror show during a point that something wrong was about to happen. Quite honestly, I wanted to get to the register and check out already.
I turned the cart around and began heading to the front of the store before the wheels jutted to an abrupt stop. What the...
Trying to push it forward it again, the wheels would jut across the floor accompanied by a scraping noise. I bent down on my knees to check out what was hindering the wheels.
Just beneath the grimy wheels was a gold chain. Leaning to grab it, I lifted it between my fingers and noticed a quite heavy teardrop shaped turquoise stone suspended from it. My eye transfixed on it as I admired the delicate detail work of the pendant that somehow captivated me.
Quickly I looked around me. Someone must have possibly dropped this recently... But who? Standing up I wheeled my cart around the corner and looked down the isles but they were all empty except for the occasional employee that was restocking the shelves.
A part of me wanted to turn it over to them... but the other wanted it for myself. My eyes shifted around and I began to wonder if whoever dropped it would ever really miss it. I quickly slid it into my purse's side pocket alongside my phone and proceeded to check out.