She was near the baking supplies aisle, pushing a whole cart by
herself. She lived far away from here, I thought. She couldn't have a
car because she didn't know how to drive. I knew how to drive. Also,
she was probably too poor to keep a car. How would she take everything
home with her on the bus?
I was there with him. We were gathering the materials to make a
birthday cake for our friend. We had lots of friends. I was in charge
of the color scheme. He was searching for the best deal on eggs. Her
cart was so full! She had sacks of flour, bunches of bananas. She held
an apple in each hand. I watched her cock her head, considering items.
She didn't see me. I picked out blue frosting and went to find him.
She saw me near the dairy aisle. He waited in line, while I went back
because one of the eggs was cracked. I could have avoided her but I
walked through the grocery store, chest humming. If I was meant to see
her, I would. Then I did. We stood still and stared like
I never told him because I couldn't give him the satisfaction. Instead,
I was quiet the rest of the night, while we made the cake together in
the drafty kitchen. We bundled up to bring the cake to the party, where
I drank vengefully. In the morning I woke up alone, my mouth stained
blue with birthday cake.
Jen Gann has stories in or coming from American Short Fiction, alice blue, Lifted Brow, PANK, Gigantic
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