At the Grocery Store: a Short Story

We thought we were infinite. We thought we were forever. We thought we were a poem in a book. But we were wrong. The stars died however long ago. You would know – you’re the science buff. I thought I’d never see anyone else wake as gracefully as you, your hair brushed away from your face, the tiny line of drool on your chin. You were beautiful and forever, I thought.

But everything breaks. Mountains erode. Sunrises fade. Your breathing stops and you die. I thought we’d hold each other as we passed on. You saved me from my demons, and now, here you are examining a mango in the produce section of the grocery store. You didn’t recognize me.

And yet, I wonder if you ever saw me. I saw the fractals of light dazzle in your gazes like luminescent snowflakes. I wanted to tell you I love you, that my pillow cases still smell like your perfume – something floral and sweet. You had told me you didn’t understand those girls who wanted to smell like a bakery or sweets shop. You smelled like magnolias.

I wanted to draw near. To see if you still smelled so sweet. But every raw, broken part of me resisted. The tender way you looked at the mango. How I wished I was that fruit.

My heart hurt just looking at you – knowing you were once mine. But you were wild and unbroken and free. Even your hair, which you used to wear twisted into a solemn braid was free, cascading down your shoulders.

You looked like you laughed a lot. Somehow you looked younger than I remembered. I opened my mouth to say hello or to ask if the fruit was ripe today, but you turned away.

I watched your paisley dress swish behind you, and I wanted to follow you to the olives, to the condiments, to mustards and jellies, but instead, I picked up a lemon and contemplated its merits.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s