She would giggle with delight when spending her down time reading the exciting and sometimes illicit posts found in the “missed connections” corner of Craigslist. The most common of these near misses of cupid’s sweet arrow would happen around the deli counter of the grocery store she just so happened to frequent so incredibly often. There are reasons they say at times that we are not to meet, that fate has bigger plans in store. Perhaps the issues are more political or perhaps some of it is a playful joke in fate’s favorite game of matchmaking.
This Tuesday was no different to any other as the young divorcee reached for the single persons basket with handles. No need for pushing carts when you are shopping for one. Just as she clasped at the wire handles another hand seemed to make the similar reach. in the adjacent doors a man, her age, in a suit and quite attractive had just as mindlessly entered through the adjacent doors. This was no glorious moment of boy meets girl, there was no spark of magic or idea of love, instead it was as commonplace as bumping into a complete stranger on the street. She backed away and apologized, though her apology was lost in the shuffle of his stride and her second attempt at a basket.
Filling the basket with the basic necessities she seemed to bump into her same handsome caller once more at the deli, both grabbing for the same cheese. She wanted to let out one of those cute 90’s rom-com giggles she grew up watching, and still found herself secretly indulging on her days off over pints of her favorite mustard potato salad, but she didn’t because this was not a rom-com this was grocery shopping on a Tuesday.
They crossed paths again in the dry foods aisle, he grabbed ramen and she reached for the Kraft Mac & Cheese. She noticed this time that he had taken a moment to glance her way and hoped he did not think she was some crazy female stalking him. She did though begin to wonder what he did for a living that made him dress in such a professional manner, and noted the way her own professional attire fell on her string bean figure, and wondered if he maybe had wondered the same.
She grabbed a new tub of potato salad and he grabbed hot wings in the cold foods freezers. Their dance down the aisles were like opposing winds beautifully swirling to the same rhythmic pace throughout their shopping adventure.
Upon checking out the lines were long and she looked up and noticed him standing two places back on register four, and he seemed to smile kindly upon noticing her glance. Flustered she looked to see that at register 6 she too stood two customers back, and they slowly made their way forward as the brimming carts seemed to slowly deflate their spewing contents and take them back in as separate orderly sacks.
After exchanging their money for the goods they made their way out, plastic bags hanging from their arms. Though this is where she assumed they would part ways it seemed that they both parked on the same lane and the long silent walk seemed to become a bit awkward. Their cars were parked directly across the aisle form one another, and they both, in silence, made their way to their appropriate vehicle, loading the groceries. He turned and smiled her way and offered a notion as if he was going to say, hey. In that same moment she returned that smile, but over his shoulder she noticed his car and her excitement immediately left her. Texas Aggies his rear window cling had read, and her face became mangled in a face of absolute disgust. At that same moment he paused from his notion as he too had caught eye over her shoulder a rear window cling that read Texas Tech, and his face too turned to a disgusted furrow.
In near unison they turned their backs to one another, climbed in their car, and without a moments hesitation took their turns pulling out of their spots. They drove in line to the same exit, stopped directly beside one another but without taking so much as a glance at the other. When it was time they both shot out onto FM 528, she turning left, and he turning right, never to cross paths again.