Bread. Hamburger. Lettuce. Toilet paper. Can't have a grocery list without
toilet paper. I studied the short list in my hand and dropped my purse in
the basket of the grocery cart. I hated shopping. Wasn't there someplace
on online I could pre-order weekly groceries and they show up on my front
I pulled the cart
out of the cart choral, feeling lucky that mine had all four wheels.
Glancing down the isles, I couldn't believe the crowds. Why did I have to
pick the day everybody and their cousin came to town? School let out a few
weeks ago and the place was packed with tons of what I termed Mall Brats.
You know the type; baggy pants down to their knees, a cell phone glued to
one ear, a earphone from their IPod in the other, and brand name shoes
that cost more than my monthly car payment. I sighed and got a grip on
myself. I wasn't going get any groceries by standing around and
complaining. If I wanted to get out of this mad house, I'd better get
I headed down the
coffee isle. Coffee. Creamer. Coffee filters. I knew the minute I spied
the neatly empty shelf this was not going to be my day. There were two
cans of coffee left on the shelf, and ahead of me, some dude was making a
beeline for them both. No way pal. Nobody comes between me and my coffee.
With a quick glance around, I left my cart in the middle of the isle,
darted down the side and around the dude, snatching a can of coffee from
me, I mumbled politely, dancing out of his way. He looked up at me and
smiled. He had a nice smile, and nice white teeth, a nice tan and dark,
sorta curly hair. Not bad looking, actually.
I know the feeling. Can't function till I've had my morning coffee,
either, he said and retrieved the last can from the shelf, dropping it
in his cart. His accent had that New England twist, the 'o's a sounding a
little rounder and the 'r' a little soft on the edges.
I smiled back,
dropped my goods in my own cart and made my getaway. Alright. Three items
down. Too many more to go. I rolled around the corner to the next isle,
the man and his nice smile just a hazy memory as I contemplated the boxes
of donuts. I needed chocolate donuts. You can't have coffee in the morning
without chocolate donuts, right? Again, the fates seemed to be plotting
against me as some tall Nordic looking dude stood right in front of MY
donuts. I feigned interest in the snack cakes, hoping he would move, but
he just stood there. This was not my day.
Finally he looked
in my direction. He had nice eyes, a clear sky blue, and short wheat blond
hair, nearly white. Sorry, am I in your way? he asked. I liked his
voice, just a touch of Chicago in there somewhere.
just need a box of donuts, I replied, tossing in a slight smile. He
responded with a smile that I swore could have lit up the whole eastern
A girl after my own heart, he replied as I added a box of donuts to my
cart. Was this dude flirting with me? No way, not when I looked like
something the cat dragged it. The tee shirt I was wearing still had paint
splotches on it from painting the living room two weeks ago, and the jeans
had one knee blown out. My hair I had simply pulled back in a pony tail,
nothing fancy. This dude was way too cute to be flirting with me.
one of my many vices. Nice talking to you, I gave him a slight wave and
pushed my cart down the isle, bypassing two grandmothers in a spirited
conversation about their grandkids. I wheeled around to the next isle,
dreading what I might find. But the canned vegetable isle was practically
empty and I was able to grab what I needed and make a exit. I should have
know this was too easy. The next isle was cookies. Who should I find
standing there but the dude from the coffee isle. He looked up at me and
gave me that smile, a little higher on the wattage this time. He was
really cute, in a lean greyhound, kinda way.
meeting you again, he said with that smile. I felt something in the pit
of my stomach flip flop. He was really, really cute. I did a quick glance
at his hands, looking for gold. He wore a ring on his left hand, but it
didn't look a wedding ring. Some kind of class ring maybe?
that, I returned, edging towards the soft marshmallow and devil's food
cakes. I tossed two boxes into my cart. We really should stop meeting
like this, I said. If some random Nordic dude could flirt with me, I
could flirt back with tall, dark and handsome here. What he said next
maybe we could met someplace else, later that is, if you're not busy.
His eyes sparkled and I felt my mouth go dry.
nice, but I don't even know your name, I replied.
I get carried away sometimes. Lee. Lee Crane.
I rolled the name
around in my head for a few minutes, certain that it was familiar, but I
simply could not place his face. Hi Lee. I'm Katrina. Katrina
Lee held out one
hand and we shook, his fingers lingering in my palm for a just a fraction
of a second longer than I expected. Did I mention this dude was really
don't I call you sometime? he asked me. I kind of stood there before
realizing he had asked me for my phone number. I snatched at my purse, dug
through it until I found something I could write on. I scribbled my name
and number down and handed it to Lee. He looked over it and stuck it in
the pocket of his well fitting black jeans. Just then, a cell phone
beeped, and Lee rolled his eyes and dug the phone out of his other pocket.
on, this won't take a second, he said and stuck the phone to his ear.
two isles over. What do you need? No peppers. I don't care if they're your
favorite, the last time you ate those things you had heartburn for two
days, and I had to listen to it. Stick to the list, that's an order! He
snapped the phone shut and turned back to me. Sorry about that, he
apologized. So, are you busy Saturday?
After a few
minutes, Lee and I had worked out a simple dinner date for Saturday. He
promised to call later and made his excuses. I made mine, feeling like I
was walking on cloud nine. I took me a few minutes to pull my head out of
the clouds and focus back on my list. Rolaids. I needed to get some
Rolaids, I was nearly out. I meandered to the pharmacy section, down the
antacid isle, only to find tall, blond and Nordic had beat me to it. He
looked up at me and grinned.
again, he said.
Nice meeting you. Again, I replied. Two cute guys in one day. Who'd
have guessed it?
He stuck out an
hand and I couldn't help but notice the long elegant fingers. Musician
maybe? With those shoulders maybe not.
friends call me Chip, He said. I extended my own hand and we shook, his
grip firm, but gentle. Maybe we can get together some time? You a
morning person? I know this little place that serves up a great
breakfast, he rattled. This time I was ready. I flipped over the back
of my list, pulled out the pen I had tossed back into my purse and wrote
out my name and number for him. I handed it to him and he looked over it
quickly. He dug out a cell phone from a pocket, and while I stood there,
he programmed my number into his phone, then shoved both back into his
I like that. What are you doing Saturday morning, Katrina?
I could not stop
the smile that came over my lips. Two dates in one trip. Was this my lucky
day or what?
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