An Unexpected Encounter
She stood at the bin squeezing the avocados. One by one; squeeze, handle, and replace. Her fingers moved from one to the next quickly, she furrowed her brow in concentration. The little lines above her nose wrinkled in a twist. She was looking for a ripe one, and she really had no idea how hard, or soft it was supposed to be – hence the disturbance of her features.
I boasted a little knowing every expression, every concern, and every move about her. She was my ex after all. The love of my life. We were together six years, but I hadn’t seen her in several. She looked older, a little more worn, and mature. Her hair was darker underneath with blond streaks dispersed throughout the top. She had gained some weight, but then again, she was too thin the last time I’d seen her. She looked good.
The punch of sorrow to my gut surprised me, because I realized, I still missed her. She was still my one and only. The rawness of our dissolution opened like an old wound. I felt my eczema flare up and burn. My heart thumped wildly. Then, the anger began broiling up (as it always did). I pressed back the floodgates of memories and looked at her again. My heart softening once more.
She had a plastic vegetable sack holding one avocado by this point. She was still digging through the selection. A sliver of hair freed its self from behind her ear and fell across her hazel eye and cheek. She didn’t bother to tuck it back. It swung softly over her eyelashes as she moved from one side of the bin to the other – searching as she stepped and leaned forward.
She finally pulled her hand up to tuck the stray away. That’s when I noticed the ring. A wedding ring. Platinum and sparkling, it flashed in my face. It flashed me back. It illuminated the storm inside. The anger, pain, and memories bubbled over. I clenched my fist, and grit my teeth. Burning as the floodgates opened wide.
I saw her – staring at me from inside her car. The garage door hung by one hinge, the rest of it crumpled by my explosion of fury when I saw all the furniture removed from the house. Everything gone in the two hours I had left to go to the store. The flurry of activity, her friends, and co-workers standing by, eyes boring into my skin like leaches, like I was a leach. How dare they.
The rage was a towering inferno and I glared at her. My eyes piercing and dark. Not once did I look away as she pulled from the driveway. I wanted that to be her last vision of me. To know how much I despised, and hated her for leaving me hanging like the garage door; crumpled and broken.
In an instance, it all came back, filling the emptiness of my soul with outrage. I wanted to let my temper take over. I wanted to rankle her fluid life. Stun her when I appeared, to remind her of what she did to me. I seethed, the ever present heat inside, as it was back in those days. The softness for her – gone.
As much as I wanted to face her, to look her in the eye, and see her fear of me. See the pain of me. I couldn’t move from my place of voyeurism. She had moved on (of course she had). I debated following her, finding out where she lived, and what he looked like. I wanted to quell the ignited blaze. Maybe knowing was my extinguisher. Was that stalking? Jesus, what was I doing?
With a last glance, I backed behind the shelves, expelling a rush of air too full for my chest. Turning down the aisle, I stepped hard toward the exit.
Write a short piece of fiction about seeing an ex in the grocery store from the first person point-of-view. Instead of writing from the female perspective, we want you to write from the male perspective.
This is my first effort at fiction since last year. It might be a little rough, but I needed the practice. I hope you enjoyed.
I am also being featured over at The Scoop on Poop today. If it’s not up yet, you can keep checking back. I’ll be there today and tomorrow. Click on the link or picture. Happy Friday!