The Wrong Aisle

Aisle 2

I am wandering round the huge store not really concentrating. I don’t like shopping at the best of times and hate the huge, bright intimidating spaces stores have become. I usually go in, get what I want and get out again. Today though I don’t really know what I want, I need to eat but don’t really fancy anything. I’m feeling off it, the break-up has hit me hard.

I had persevered at the relationship for twenty years, putting up with the little foibles, laziness and depression, not wanting to leave because they were vulnerable. But an affair was the final straw.

He ran to her the night I discovered the truth. All our friends and family are telling me it was about time we split, I’ve given too much of myself and now should live a little. I know it’s only been a week but how do you live on your own, in a four-bedroom house, surrounded by memories?

Work is a distraction and so are friends and my badminton but home is no comfort, not that it has been for some time, me doing everything because of his melancholy. Where had I gone wrong, what else could I have done? What do I do next? Thoughts constantly churning through my head as they were now as I supposedly shopped for something for tea but didn’t see the contents of the shelves.

I gathered my shelf, decided on pizza and ice cream again and set off. Once more, distracted by my thoughts, I wandered up and down the row of shelves before realising I was in the wrong place. Cross with myself I turned quickly to go round the corner and promptly bumped into someone hard.

After a few expletives, he looked up. I couldn’t really rub the part where my basket had jammed into him, to help him feel better. All I could do was apologise profusely.

‘Eileen is that really you?’

I blinked in confusion for what seemed like an eternity and stood back, taking a good look at him.

Oh, my goodness, Graham? Graham Mitchell? Sorry I didn’t recognise you with the goatee.’

 ‘It sure is, crickey, how long has it been, must be twenty years, since you ditched me for that sales rep.’

I blushed, bit my lip and looked at my feet. After a few failed attempts at trying to get the conversation on track he was about to leave, then turned

‘Hey, you don’t look good and you are obviously upset, why don’t we abandon the shopping and go get a coffee, have a bit of a catch up. I’m not in any hurry to be anywhere, I can please myself these days.’

I smiled a nervous smile and agreed to go.

Had I been my usual organised and focused self I would have been in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Today I’d left even later than usual from work, had been held up by an accident on my way to the store and my distraction had slowed me down and even once decided on my chosen meal for the evening had walked down the wrong aisle.

Or was it where fate had meant me to be?

Author: Liz

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