~ Clean Up On Aisle 9 ~
Legal Jargon: Blah blah blah? Yes it looks like them, but I get to keep 'em
Subtext: Not a scrap of subtext here. I prefer down right main text! Hey, why wade in the kiddy pool when you can skinny dip in the jacuzzi? If this is illegal in the state in which you live, print it out and make a run for the state line.
Hurt/Comfort: There won't be any tears or boo boos here. If you wanted something deep and/or thought provoking this isn't it. Sorry, I needed a mental vacation.
Violence: Um no? but a few grapes lost their lives during the creation of this little ditty.
Dedication/Thanks: Happy Birthday Mavis! Also, Thanks to my beta reader, Ana.
Contact: Feel free to send me (BluDreamscape@angelfire.com) your glowing praise or your criticism. This is my first so be gentle? god I never thought I would be able to say that again!
I guess I can be fairly certain that I'll never be able to walk in there again. It started out innocently enough, just a mundane trip to the grocery store. Now I know you're wondering how something like that can go wrong. I can assure you beyond reason that it can; it can go horribly, horribly wrong.
There's really no way that I can tell this story and come out looking like anything other than a raging fool. Rest assured though that I wasn't on any drugs and I hadn't touched anything with more alcohol than my mouthwash. Sadly, I can't even say that this fiasco was out of the ordinary for me. I've given up asking "why me" and just accepted it as my lot in life.
Well, I should start at the beginning seeing as though I've stalled enough. Let me just say that some of this isn't my fault. I can hardly be held responsible for the weather, poor spatial planning of the building, or other people. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Night had just fallen as I parked in the huge parking lot. I prefer to shop at night so that I can avoid triple coupon day and the lines that stretch out endlessly from overworked checkers. On the bright side, that means that I don't have to park in the badlands and hike 40 miles to the front door.
As it was, I had some time to kill. It gets that way when your social life becomes as exciting as watching a snail jog in slow motion. The closest thing that I've had to a significant relationship lately is waiting until every Wednesday for a PWP story to come into my inbox. My best friend Julie says that I'm just in a dry spell. Me, I think that would be the understatement of the decade. It's like saying Michael Jackson's a little on the odd side.
It had started raining and as always, I didn't have an umbrella. You'd think that living in Tucson Arizona I wouldn't have the need for one, but on days like that it would've been a big help.
Now let me digress and just say that in most parts of the known world, a little rain wouldn't be that big of a deal. Here in the desert it's a different story all together. For every drop of rain that falls, the IQ of the city plummets as well. This isn't just my opinion, I'm sure there is some obscure scientific study out there that can prove it. On top of that, the city planners seemed to leave out one very important thing when designing it, drainage. So what you are left with is flooding in every dip on every road.
I was thankful that I was wearing my cargo shorts and sandals because not only was I going to have to make a mad dash to the front of the store, but I was going to have to wade through the new moat around it.
At least my mad dash didn't leave me feeling cold. Well not until I walked into the air-conditioned store looking like a drowned rat. I ran my hand through my short blonde hair letting the excess water fly off. Yeah I know, how ladylike of me. My mother somewhere must've had a coronary at that very moment.
Little did I know that there was nothing else in the world that would be more slippery than wet grocery store floor tiles. Three steps into the store and I was sailing through the air with my arms flapping wildly. There's no way to maintain your dignity once you're on your backside while people walk on by. You know they saw you by the corners of their mouth lifting or their stifled snickers. Personally, I just wanted to stay there on the floor by the shopping carts until death came or I learned how to walk properly.
Just in my time of need I hear one of those voices that could rival fingernails down a chalkboard in its annoyance. Looking up I saw a young girl who couldn't have been older than 16. She was standing over me asking if I needed any help.
"Ma'am? Are you okay? I'll help you up."
Ma'am, she called me ma'am. I'm 32 years old, not eighty for crying out loud. The girl was looking down at me; her perfect teenage figure mocking me. That was the fastest I had ever hated anyone. I know that makes me a small person, but I defy anyone to feel different while sitting on her backside and looking up at this young thing calling her ma'am.
I let her help me up and smiled a thank you hoping that she wouldn't relate this to helping an old woman cross the road. She smiled back at me her dark eyes dancing as she skipped into the store. She SKIPPED if you can believe it! When was the last time I did that? It had to be when I was still swapping my lunch and climbing trees.
Leaving behind my shredded dignity, I grabbed the first cart and headed towards produce. I'd lucked out in that the red cart had three operating wheels. So what if the fourth was frozen solid, who needs it anyway?
I headed on over to the fruits and veggies with only a slight limp. I don't know why I always head over there first. It's probably just because I know it's going to take the longest.
My head started bobbing to the music coming over the speakers as I bagged some veggies. I would never listen to this music any other time in my life, but there's just something about standing in a grocery store that makes me want to sing along. I know what you're thinking and don't worry, everyone else tells me I'm a little weird too.
Next stop was fruit. I've no clue how it is that you find out if a cantaloupe is ripe or not. I'm not sure anyone on this planet knows how. Like everyone else, I pretend like I have a clue and begin thumping different melons, rejecting some for no reason what so ever. While fondling the fruit I hear what I would later describe as a sirens song beckoning me. At the time it was almost as annoying a sound as that teeny bopper's voice. If that squeaking noise didn't draw my attention the muttered curses would have.
Rounding the aisle and coming into view was probably one of the most beautiful creatures I'd ever seen, even if she was mumbling towards the squeaky wheel on her cart. Now she wasn't just beautiful in the way a mother tells her child after she was dumped before prom. No, this woman was so breathtaking that she looked out of place in front of the potatoes.
She had the height of a model and the grace of a dancer. I know this because I couldn't take my eyes off her. I'm sure that anyone with a pulse would find they were just as enchanted. As she looked down dark hair hid her visage from my view. It didn't matter that I couldn't see her face; it's as familiar to me as my own.
If you're wondering how I would know this creature so well, I would tell you that I don't know her at all. I see her once a week at the same time in this store. She's better than a Swiss watch, and I am no better than a stalker. I tell myself that I just happen to need to go to the store at the same time as her. It's not my fault that shopping has become the 'be all and end all' of my social life.
She squeaks away and glances over at me briefly. It could have been my imagination, but I swear I saw a ghost of a smile. Either that or she was cringing in fear because she recognized her stalker fondling the fruit. So I grabbed the nearest cantaloupe and headed after her. The only thing slowing me down was the fact that my cart made right turns virtually impossible.
There are two kinds of people in this world. There's the people that head into the store with a list and get every item on it and nothing else. These people often have coupons or even a calculator with them to make their trip faster. Right now I am thankful that the mystery woman is not one of these people. She is the second kind, the kind that meanders up and down every aisle looking for anything that strikes her fancy. Thank god because it makes it easier for me to stalk her and get some shopping done. There's nothing like killing two birds with one stone.
There's a lot you can learn about someone from what they put in their cart. Keeping that in mind, I'm ever watchful of what this squeaky wheel woman placed in hers. I could only hope that I didn't see anything 'family sized' or any male hygiene products.
I watched her shake her head in amusement at a display at the end of the aisle. I had no idea what it was making her smile. What ever it was I'm thankful. She had one of those engaging smiles that make you feel like a voyeur if you see it when it wasn't being directed at you.
Of course I couldn't help but look at what she was looking at after she moved on. It was almost like I thought I could get to know her just by knowing what it was that brought that smile to the surface. As I looked at the display I couldn't see it. It was one for golf club drivers. Other than the fact that these have no business being in a grocery store I don't see the humor. Suddenly I felt a slight sense of failure for not being able to share that moment with her.
I know you're thinking that I was being over dramatic and a tad on the obsessive side. I would have to say that you're right, how else would you explain my late night trek to the grocery store just to watch a stranger's mirth over gold clubs?
I followed her from aisle to aisle watching as her hands glided along the many products, occasionally stopping to pick one up. Her hands were worth watching. They were long, elegant, and yet soft with a grace that made my hands itch to clasp hers.
Both of our carts were filling up slowly. Adding a box of cereal I shook my head. Why cereal makers make it a point to advertise that their cereal has 100% of the daily requirements of calcium, I'll never know. Don't they know I'm just going to drown it in milk anyway?
I spared her a glance as I was thinking about my cereal. Her gaze met mine as I looked away quickly. Damn. I glanced back and saw her walking away, and I didn't know if I was happy or disappointed.
Next stop for her was the snack food aisle and I was relieved. After all of the healthy things that landed in her cart, it made me feel a bit better when a package of Oreos followed. Looking at my own cart I couldn't help but smile. I have all of the things that she probably would think of as an indulgence.
Watching her hands, I forgot to look where I was going. I was beginning to see a pattern forming. It wouldn't have been that bad if she wasn't in the same aisle to witness it. For the second time in one night, I found myself flat on my back. I tried to grab the cart when it suddenly stopped moving but that only succeeded in making me look even less coordinated. I think I squealed but I can't be sure. I can only hope that I didn't.
The first thing that I noticed, apart from the heat across my face and neck, was the two sets of eyes looking down upon me. I spared a fleeting prayer that one set was not the teeny bopper girl or god forbid her. I mean, I want to meet the woman that I'm stalking; I just don't want to meet her in this way. I was hoping for a witty opening line, or perhaps an engaging smile. Not lying on the floor like a forgotten dishrag.
To my horror the first set of eyes was crystal blue with a slight twinkle. Once I gathered up the wherewithal to study her face I could see she was amused. I could've taken my embarrassment out on her, but at this point I was just glad her smile was directed at me. Now if only I could think of something to say that would've made me look clever or even less like Wile E Coyote. Yet nothing, not one word crossed my lips.
Eventually I snapped out of my thoughts when I heard a slightly slurred voice address me. I looked over at the second set of eyes. These eyes were a far cry from the vibrant ones I had been looking at. I know immediately that the slurred voice belongs to the glassy and somewhat vacant brown eyes before me.
"Whoa, you fell," he said as he chuckled to himself. I wasn't sure how to respond to such a shrewd observation. Thankfully she responded for me.
"Well thank you Captain Obvious, what ever would we do without you." She seemed annoyed at the thin teenager. He either didn't care or couldn't comprehend that. A glance down at his hand basket and I had a pretty good idea what was wrong with the boy. Munchies must have been his motivator to go to the store at that hour of the night.
Again her gaze swung around to me and again I was caught staring. She had now effectively dismissed junk food boy. He didn't seem to mind as his attention was captured by all of the colors of the chip bags.
"Are you alright?" Her voice had softened as she addressed me. I could see she wasn't overly concerned that I had a life threatening injury because she was smirking.
"Uh huh." I mentally slapped myself for my grasp of the English language. That college education sure was coming in handy. I could see that she was waiting for more of a response but for the life of me I couldn't think of a thing.
Don't you just hate that at the very moment when you need words the most they seem to fail you? I was sure by the time I got home I would have the perfect response that would give me my dignity back. Isn't that always the way though?
If my mind had been working correctly I would have noticed how warm her hand was as it helped me up. At the time I was too worried if my palms were sweaty or if I had landed on the bag of grapes that I was holding and snacking out of. By the somewhat squishy sensation I could feel under me, I had a feeling the grapes never made it out of harms way.
"Um? Thanks," I said, proud of myself that I got at least one word out this time.
She awarded me with a small smile that made her look like she knew the juiciest secret and wasn't about to tell me.
Finally that silky voice answered me, "No problem, he should have been watching where he was going. I'm surprised he even realized that he ran into someone." For a moment I could see the same irritation flicker through her eyes.
I was so glad that apparently it wasn't my fault. It was way too early in our relationship for her to find out that I was the most accident prone human to walk the Earth. I smiled at her without thought. It was the most natural feeling in the world.
After a moment of comfortable silence she gave me a half wave and went back to her cart. The only difference was now she seemed to look up at me from time to time as we ambled down the aisles. I tried to do my shopping and follow her without her knowing that I was following her. Did I mention that I am not a private detective, so I'm fairly sure she realized that I was tailing her.
She didn't even laugh at me when I was looking through the little plastic toy aisle. Or if she did she hid it well, which is all a girl can ask for. I could have lied and said they were for my niece, but what was the point?
A lone man shared the aisle with us. He was still in his pajamas but only had one shoe on. The other foot had on a fuzzy slipper. In his cart were a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream and a jar of pickles. All were classic signs of a man sent to the store for his pregnant wife. If a person could shop while sleeping, this man would be doing that.
"Excuse me?" He was looking at me with an expression that was a mix of helplessness and frustration. "What kind should I get?" He asked while motioning his hand towards the rack of baby supplies. I glance at her and see her shrug at me and the pregnant man.
I couldn't help but be pleased that she wouldn't know the answer to this question. It allowed me to assume there was no one waiting for her at home. While I smiled at this I realized that the man was still looking at me.
I hated to tell him that just because I own a uterus, that doesn't necessarily make me a baby expert. So I just pointed to something and hoped that I was right. If not I hoped that his wife was the forgiving kind and wouldn't send the poor man out again.
By the time I nodded a farewell to the man I looked up to see that she was nowhere in sight. I sighed and continued my shopping. I'd catch up with her again. She wouldn't get away from me that easily.
20 minutes had passed and I had yet to see her again. It's a big store so it was possible that I had missed her. Who was I kidding, there was no way I would have missed her; she was the main reason for me being there in the first place. With a sigh I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to wait till next week to see her again.
Just as I rounded the corner to head to the checkout I heard it.
I would know that sound anywhere. It was her. Just as I looked up at her, the sound stopped. We both were at opposite ends of the store. She gave me that secretive smile again and I had no control over my own lips as they reciprocated.
She looked to me and then to the only open checker that was in the middle of both of us. I knew what she was thinking even if she wasn't flashing a now challenging look. Like a shot we were both off in a race towards the unsuspecting checker. The only thing that could slow us down was our laughter.
If life were a movie, I'm sure that moment would've been in slow motion with "Chariots of Fire" playing in the background. If it were a movie we would have tied and both our carts would bump together, or maybe even I would win. But, life isn't a movie.
Though I have to give myself some credit, I might've beaten her if my cart didn't keep trying to curve to the left. The display I careened into was only one for cereal so at least I didn't cause any real damage. Though I do think I became enemy #1 for all of the store's clerks. As it was, I ended up behind her in the line, both of us no longer able to hold in the childish smiles.
If someone would have told me last week that this elegant woman would play around in a grocery store, I wouldn't have believed it. But, here I was watching the joy dance across her features. She had never been more beautiful.
There was only one woman ahead of us. She was still wearing her hospital scrubs and was buying water and a copy of the National Enquirer. I couldn't help but wonder which one she came in for.
When it was her turn she made small talk with the elderly checker. I could see that this made his day as he flirted outrageously with her. How could I blame him, hell she made my day too.
She took her change and bags and walked out. I was hoping for a smile, or a backbone to ask her what her name was. I didn't get either as I watched her go. I decided then and there that next week was going to be the week that I asked her out. Besides, I didn't think it would be possible for her to forget me and allow me just to stalk her through the store anymore.
With a cart full of bags I headed through the moat in the parking lot to my Explorer. I opened the back and began to load the bags carefully. Having made the mistake of leaving the eggs near the milk, I'd learned the hard way how important bag placement could be.
The only thing left was the 50 lb. bag of dog food. I hated getting such a big bag, but the beast at Julie's had the same appetite as me. I really didn't mind picking it up for my friend seeing as though I was going to be here anyway.
It's not so much the weight of the bag that made it hard to carry. It's the fact that once you do get a hold of it, the food shifts and you end up dropping it on your toe. It's almost as difficult a thing to maneuver as those jugs of Arrowhead water when you're replacing them.
A throat clearing stopped me dead in my tracks. At that time of night I was either going to be killed for the keys to my car, or it was her. For the first time that night, my luck was good.
She smiled at me again and asked, "Do you need any help with that?" Who ever said chivalry was dead? She glanced down at the large bag in the cart and I realized that I didn't need any help. However, my mother didn't raise a fool so I gladly yielded to the waiting woman.
"Thank you that would be a big help." It figured that my first whole sentence to her would be a white lie. As long as lightning didn't slice through the sky and strike me dead, I would be fine.
That was all the encouragement she needed as she easily hefted the bag and placed it in the car. She brushed her hands off and looked at me again. After a moment she reached her hand out to me for the second time that night.
"I'm Bailey," she said. For the first time in all the weeks that I had seen her she seemed uncomfortable. My heart warmed at the thought.
"Morgan," I answered as my hand joined hers. There are two kinds of hand shakes. There is the kind that you use on a job interview and you make sure that your grip is strong yet controlled. This wasn't one of those. It was the second kind. This handshake was more of a caress than anything; the movement was minimal and served to hold the two of us together.
She shifted from foot to foot looking towards the ground. "Do you want to go get some coffee or something?" She asked with her voice soft and her eyes flickering to mine.
Wasn't that supposed to be my line? I couldn't believe that I heard her asking me that. I was beginning to think that a stunning woman asking me out was one of the signs of the apocalypse. I thought my heart was going seize it was beating so fast.
Her soft sigh brought me out of my thoughts and I realized that she thought I was turning her down. I might be a lot of things but crazy wasn't one of them. I took a small step closer to her. It was small enough that it didn't really change the distance between us but large enough that she knew I wanted to lose that distance.
"Sure," I said with what I could only guess must have been a goofy grin on my face. A look of relief passed over her features and I couldn't help but wonder why she would have been worried. Suddenly I lost my insecurity. It's amazing how that can happen when talking to the woman that had filled my thoughts lately.
"Where would you like to go?" I asked, pleased that on my second sentence to her I didn't stammer or fib. I seemed to be improving.
She gave me a thoughtful look and shrugged, "It's kind of late, where do you think might be open?"
I hadn't thought of the time. There was no way I was postponing this for fear that Bailey would come to her senses and cancel. Tucson Arizona isn't known for its happening night life, so that left me with one real choice.
"I don't live too far from here? I mean if you are comfortable with that. We could put what ever you bought that needs to stay cool in my fridge." Well now I was just rambling. Even though I knew I was rambling, there was no stopping it.
She didn't seem bothered by my rambling or she had the compassion to ignore it. Either way I could live with it.
"I'd like that," she said ending my nervousness. It was that simple; one sentence and I go from a ball of nerves to elation.
I headed to the driver's seat and watched as she made it to her Honda. For some reason her choice of car surprised me. I was thinking that she was more of a SUV or Harley kind of gal. I guess I have a lot to learn about this woman; and if I had my way, I would know it all.
I made sure her headlights were behind me all the way home. I would have kicked myself if I lost her now.
Once we got to my small house the initial awkwardness that usually happens when people first arrive was nonexistent because we were busy putting the groceries away. The way I see it, I had a win, win situation on my hands. Not only was a striking woman in my home, but she was helping me put away my things. She didn't seem to mind one bit, in fact I got the impression that she would be more bothered by them lying out than doing the work. Who was I to argue with that?
As I made some of the promised coffee we made small talk. It wasn't nearly as difficult to come up with conversation as meetings like this normally can be. Instead I found her charming with a quick whit.
Turns out she was an engineer. Though this wasn't in my field of expertise I felt that me being a web designer, we both had similar interests. That and I didn't have to worry that my sometimes geeky side would send her screaming into the night.
I also found out that her laugh was my favorite sound, it changed her whole face. Every time I saw it I was proud to be a part of that change.
Seeing as though we got there so late it wasn't long before she was moving reluctantly to the door. I was loath to let her go but didn't know how I was going to get her to stay. Never in my life have I wanted someone to stay after knowing them for such a short time. Frankly I had never wanted anyone to stay this much ever.
I followed her to the door watching her move. As she reached the door she turned and faced me. She was so close I could smell the shadow of her perfume. I'm not sure if it was because I just didn't want to say goodbye or if I was falling, but I reached out and traced the shirt seem on her shoulder.
That was all it took for her to close what distance there was between us. Her breath was tickling my hair until I looked up and it tickled my cheek. She was watching me; I could see that there was an argument going through her head. I wasn't interested in the argument; I was interested in her lips.
I've heard that courage lies in the person who is willing to kiss first. I never understood that until that very moment. I'm not sure if courage was what I was feeling. Frankly I don't think I had a choice in the matter.
I leaned up slowly giving her a chance to step away if she needed to. The first touch of our lips was a fleeting whisper. I'd have thought it was a dream if it weren't for my heart pounding in my ears.
My breathing hitched as we met again, this time there was no doubt that this was no dream. Her tongue greeted my waiting lips, tenderly tracing the shape of each one. My god it was like liquid fire ran through my veins. I think that was the moment that I lost all sense of reason and logic. All I felt and knew was her.
Her tongue asked for entrance and I granted it without a moment's hesitation. I could taste the bitter of the coffee she had been drinking along with her natural sweetness. Our tongues began to tease each other as our passions mounted.
I felt her arms move down my back to pull me closer. God she was so soft, the skin of her neck and face were like velvet against my fingers. She pulled her face away and looked at me as she gathered her lost breath. Her eyes held only desire as I traced the planes of her face. My fingers traced the outline of those lips that I already missed.
"Please stay?" I asked, my voice sounding foreign to my own ears.
Her answer was her next kiss. If I thought the first showed me the passion she was capable of I sorely underestimated her. My whole world became her kiss, her hands, and her soft moans. I had no idea a kiss could be both powerful and tender at the same time.
My lips left hers to travel down her neck to taste her. I no longer had control over them; they needed to taste her salty skin. As I claimed her pulse point her leg slipped in between mine. I couldn't control my groan anymore than she could hers.
My hands, moving of their own accord, began to remove the buttons of her blouse one by one until it hung open for me. I could hear her breathing increase as I helped the material fall from her shoulders to pool on the floor.
My hands took the opportunity to discover more skin as they moved to her back. I unclasped her bra just as she was removing my shirt from my jeans. I pulled away from her only long enough for my shirt to be lifted over my head. The sudden coolness of the room against my skin went completely unnoticed by me.
Her bra fell to the floor and my lips, which at that moment were mapping her breast bone, took the opening to capture her left nipple. The hands that sunk into my short hair only encouraged me to suckle it deeper into my mouth. My hand captured her other one until my mouth could give it the same treatment.
"God? bedroom?" she asked in a tone that was so soft it was more of a sigh.
I kissed her lips one last time before grabbing her hand and leading her into the spacious bedroom at the back of the house. I lit a few candles as an excuse to allow my heart rate to slow so as not to let this moment get away from me.
I held her gaze as we each removed the remainder of our clothing. Her skin was tan and looked like an endless canvas. We moved together to the side of the bed as if pulled there. There was something about the way she smelled when her arms circled me that reminded me of the forest just after it rains.
Her mouth found my neck as I felt my knees grow weak. She laid me down on the bed and let her mouth wander across my shoulders to my chest. As my nipple was pulled into her mouth I gasped and pulled her closer. My hands sunk into her hair as her body found a home between my legs.
She seemed almost desperate in her need to devour my breast. I couldn't stop the rocking of my hips into her stomach. I could feel the wetness that I left as evidence of my excitement. This along with her mouth and hand upon my breasts caused a groan to come from somewhere in my chest.
Her blue gaze was watching me and I needed to kiss her at that very moment. I pulled her up into my arms as her whole body met the length of mine. This kiss was one of hunger and need. I rolled her over and my hands once again traced her skin.
I nibbled, kissed, and licked every available piece of skin on my way down her body. Her back arched as my mouth found her breast. I knew from the feel of her body and the need in her eyes that she needed more. My fingers found her other nipple and gave it the same treatment my mouth was giving its twin.
"Please?" she rasped. Her hands in my hair were leading me to continue my path downward.
I couldn't help but follow her anywhere she led me. One hand traced the curve of her hip as I kissed her navel. My tongue blazed a path to her hip bone where I placed a gentle nip. I could smell her passion now and it only encouraged me further.
I settled myself between her legs and allowed my tongue to run along the length of her as her hips arched in a silent plea for more. I don't know what pleased me more, her sweet taste or the low moan I felt rumbling in her chest.
My tongue took its time. I needed the time to explore everything she was willing to offer me. She groaned again when my tongue ventured inside her. I could've stayed there forever and I would have died happy. Her hand at the back of my head pushed me further into her. I only wished that I could become a part of her.
I heard her ask me for more and it was a request that I would never deny her. I replaced my tongue with my fingers as my tongue sought out her clit. The rhythm of her hips told me all I needed to know. As she moved faster I suckled her harder my fingers never wanting to leave her.
Eventually I could feel her tense, her body arching off the bed and her eyes snapping closed. My name was on her lips, a fact that brought me great joy. I knew I needed her touch but the only thing I could think of doing at that moment was to kiss her once more.
I could feel her moan against my lips as she took my tongue into her mouth. God it felt like she was everywhere at once. The next thing knew I was still on all fours, but her hands were on my breasts again and she had moved herself between my legs. The first touch of her mouth was something I could never forget.
I couldn't control my hips; I needed her to take all of me. It was hers and she knew it. When her fingers entered me the rush of pleasure was euphoric. She met my hips thrust for thrust as she took me higher. The only thing grounding me at that point was her mouth.
I know that I was moaning uncontrollably and I could feel her doing the same. A look over my shoulder and I could see her hand in between her legs. That was all it took for every muscle in my body to tense as I fell over the edge. She followed right behind me never leaving me.
She pulled me down into her arms as we both caught our breath. She kissed me tenderly. At that moment I truly felt cherished.
"You're so beautiful." She said. The sincerity in her eyes was captivating and endearing.
"You make me feel that way." I spoke the truth. Never in my life did I feel like I was treasured like I did at that moment.
We fell asleep after a few more exchanges of lips. There was a safety in her arms that my fantasies couldn't even have come close to matching.
I woke the next morning in bliss. I reached out a hand to grab and pull Bailey closer but my hand met only the empty bed. For a moment I wondered if it were only a dream. The fact that I was naked led me to believe otherwise.
The pain that lanced through my heart when I thought that was devastating. I don't know what I expected, but after what we shared I expected more. Just as I was about to fall victim to the tears that threatened to descend I saw it.
On the other pillow was a note with one single peach colored rose. Where she got the flower I'll never know, but it filled my heart with hope. I fingered the paper until I got up the nerve to read its contents.
I'm sorry, but I had to leave. I couldn't bear to wake you because you looked so peaceful. Last night you made me feel alive, thank you. See you soon.
I really didn't know what to think. I didn't know if "see you soon" meant that she would, or she just wanted to let me down easy. I chose to have hope. My hope melted away when I realized that I didn't even know her last name or her phone number. Maybe that's the way she wanted it.
So, that's my story. I know you were hoping for some happy ending where we ride off into the sunset together, but this isn't a movie it's real life. I kick myself everyday for not getting her number from her, or hell even where she works. It just didn't seem important at the moment. I thought I would have time later.
I can't bear to think that she just used me. I really don't know what to think. She knew where I lived and I waited all week to hear from her. She didn't stop by. I guess I could say that I made a mistake, but I don't regret a second of it even now. How could I regret something that was so? so?right?
So that's why I'm here again, to the place where it all began. I can't help but look for her as I move up and down the aisles. Every corner I come to I scan the store for her but don't see her. At least I can get my shopping done though right? This night won't be a total loss, even if my heart feels as if it is.
Aisle 9 is frozen foods, ironic that I end up here when thinking about her isn't it? Now if I can just find a frozen pizza that doesn't taste like frozen pizza my night will be complete.
A movement causes me to look up as a figure comes into view. I can't help but gasp. I drop my basket as my hand flies to my mouth. It's her. I take a moment to just look at her to make sure that it really is her and that I'm not staring at some stranger or a mirage.
Her basket falls to the floor spilling its contents out as she rushes towards me. I can't bring myself to be angry with her, I'm too happy to see her.
"I'm so glad you're here." She whispers into my ear.
I pull away and can see her eyes are glistening with unshed tears. "I had to be, in case you would be." I feel a little silly admitting that but at least it was the truth.
"I didn't know if I would see you again, I didn't get your number, didn't know your last name, and I had to rush out to work that morning?" now she was rambling. It's the first time that I have seen her vulnerable and I think I like that I can bring that side to the surface.
"What do you mean? You know where I live, I knew nothing about you." I ask in confusion. I also again kick myself for not asking her such basic questions.
"I'm not really from this side of town so I couldn't remember how to get there. I was a little distracted and didn't pay very much attention." She was looking down sheepishly; I could tell that she was embarrassed by this.
"Wait a second, if you don't live around here why do you shop here all the time?" I just let the cat out of the bag. She might as well know that I have been stalking her. Hopefully that won't be a deal breaker for her.
She looks at me for a moment and I can tell she is coming to some kind of decision in her mind. I hope it's not to run in fear. She smiles a small almost impish smile at me.
She looks me in the eyes and says, "I came by here one night on my way home from a friends and saw you. So, I kept coming every week at the same time to see if I could see you again." Bailey looked embarrassed at this admission but I was astonished.
Well at least I wasn't the only stalker, but I think that when I tell my mother about meeting Bailey for the first time I might leave details like this out. In response I could only laugh and grab for her hand. Not caring about the groceries we left on the floor, we head towards the exit. I will be apologetic later, but I'm a bit distracted.
As we walked out she asks. "So can we go out sometime?"
I realize that the last time really couldn't be considered a "date". Looking at her smiling features there was really only one answer I could give her.
"Sure Bailey, though you should know I don't kiss on the first date."
She snorted out a small laugh and pulled me to a stop. Looking down at me she cupped my cheek and leaned in until our lips were almost touching.
"Well, I guess we wont call this a date then will we?" she asked. Before I could even respond her lips were on mine. God, now it's my turn to feel alive.
I realize now that the woman I met at the store isn't perfect. She isn't at all like the fantasy I'd made her into.
I mean, she irons her jeans for crying out loud. She's incapable of remembering to write her ATM withdraws into the checkbook. She sings in the shower but can never remember the words so she just makes up what ever strikes her fancy.
She's so directionally impaired that by the time she does stop to ask for directions no one has ever heard of our destination.
Her food issues simply boggle the mind. It takes her eight years to place an order at the drive through window and then when she does she will yell into the speaker "just in case the person can't hear her". On the rare occasion that she allows it into the house, she puts ranch dressing on her pizza. She believes that anything can and should be frozen. She's the only woman I know that freezes the rest of a lemon if a recipe calls for a splash of juice.
The poor woman can't function enough in the morning without caffeine to make coffee. So every morning she looks like she's learning how to make it again for the first time. I guess that should explain why every morning I'm cleaning coffee grounds from every inch of counter space.
She's even a republican! A gay republican, I still have trouble wrapping my mind around that concept.
That's not to say she's all bad. Oh no. She has her good points too. Like, she won't give any money to Phil the homeless guy that hangs out at the intersection, but she will go six blocks out of her way to buy him a sandwich and a coke.
She can work miracles with my family with her ability to deflect any criticism my mother has about my life towards neutral topics. She'll spend half of Thanksgiving day listening to my father tell her stories that she heard last Thanksgiving.
Now when we hit the grocery store, she slips little surprises into our cart when I'm not looking. Every now and then I'll reach into a pocket and find a little note she has left for me.
Most of all, she finds my annoying habits endearing. She'll even lie to me and tell me that I don't look fat even though I know that at 8 months pregnant I look like an igloo with hormones.
No, she isn't perfect. But I think now that's what I love the most about her.
Epilogue's Epilogue: What ever happened to??.
Teeny Bopper: She ended up the local mayor and the mother of 4. She now has a job where everyone around her refers to her as ma'am. She doesn't understand the music of today's children and thinks that it will eventually lead to the downfall of society as a whole.
Snack Food Boy: He invented an environmentally safe and efficient fuel source that could power the needs of the world without using any natural resources. Unfortunately he was high at the time and can't remember what it was. He now lives in his sister's basement and spends all of his time on his hobby, collecting state quarters.
Pregnant Man: He ended up back at the store that night, and ever night after that. Over the years he was sent for everything from diapers, toys, milk, razors, shaving cream, to Ensure. He now enjoys retirement while his son is now being sent to the store at 4am for his own new wife's craving for peanut butter and tuna.
Elderly Cashier: He won the lotto, 190 million to be exact. He married a 24 year old playboy model and is living on a small island off the coast of Florida.
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