I pass through the aisle of potato chips and chocolate cookies and remind myself of the bet I had with my friend. Steer clear of fast food and junk food or else you’ll treat her to an eat-all-you-can buffet. I sneak a look at Oishi’s Potato Chips. Pause.
Nope. Not today, self!
I make my way through the chocolate aisle. It’s a good thing that I didn’t challenge myself to stop eating chocolates. If I did, my friend would probably be enjoying a feast right now.
I grab two bars of Kitkat Chunky (the other one will be for tomorrow, I promise!) and then walk up at the cash register. It seems like today is National Do Your Family Grocery Shopping Day–all of the cash registers had at least a mom with a cartful of groceries.
Dear God, what’s a girl gotta do to have her chocolate bar?
I feel a tap on my shoulder. I look around and it’s you.
You look different. Your hair’s shorter and you’ve probably grown a good inch since I last saw you. Donning a light blue polo, short shorts, and a sheepish smile, you look a bit nervous to see me.
It takes me a quick second to greet you back. I was too busy sizing you up.
“I was just doing some last minute grocery shopping. We’re having people over.”
I look away and mentally smack my head. Oh, okay? EVEN DUNCAN KANE CAN COME UP WITH A BETTER REMARK THAN THAT.
I recognize a girl a few feet away. I cock an eyebrow and give a shrewd smile. I only saw her in pictures and it was weird to see her up close. She really did look like–
“Uh, yeah. That.”
You followed my line of sight and saw the mixture of recognition and surprise on my face. Two and two. Like a jigsaw puzzle.
“I didn’t say anything yet!” I laugh. I smiled and tried to contain my amusement. Our eyes locked and I give you a look. Understanding and confusion. Amusement and exasperation. Nonchalance and curiosity.
The lady with a thousand grocery items left with like five paper bags on her cart so I moved up the line. I gave my Kitkat and money to the cashier lady. You look on in silence.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see you open your mouth as if you’re about to say something but you close it a split second later. Your head gives a little shake as if to ward off the words you were about to spit out.
The lady hands my change and paper bag. I turn to you and give you a shy smile. I want to stay and hold up the line just for a few minutes so I can talk to you. Unfortunately, that is neither appropriate nor possible. I don’t think I could talk to you even if we had all the time in the world. It’s different now, flowing conversations are now exchanged through knowing glances and long sighs. Words are too risky–they’re either too harsh and cold or desperate and sad.