She stood ready to serve in her red smock and khakis, laughing to herself at how grocery store clerk uniforms just aren’t flattering at all. She couldn’t believe she’d given up her holiday to work.
If only I’d screened my calls instead of actually picking up the phone…. she thought to herself as a customer rolled a full grocery cart toward her.
She made pleasantries with said customer and scanned the groceries with near blind efficiency. She’d done this a thousand times before, with different customers of course, but it really was all the same.
Until a stubborn lemon pie refused to scan. Over and over she went, turning it this way and that, laughing nervously, preparing herself for the inevitable broadcast of:
“Price check please!”
Instead, she heard a voice pipe up somewhere further down her ever growing line of customers and say:
She raised her eyes with a dirty look of contempt meeting a face full of dimples, biceps wrapped tightly in a t-shirt with the words “ARMY” emblazoned across a sculpted chest and a smile full of brilliantly white teeth. He was standing just behind the lady buying the lemon pie. She exchanged the dirty look with a playful smirk as they held their gaze before she blushed, looked away, and went back to her customer.
“Oh, he is cute..” she thought to herself.
The Lemon Pie debacle was solved, in short order, and she was soon face to face with this adorable stranger. She rang up his purchase and asked him if there would be anything else.
“Your phone number would be nice…” he said through his smile. If he hadn’t looked slightly embarassed saying it…she’d have laughed in his face at such a cheesy line…
Instead, she smiled back, playing coy, really doing flip flops on the inside. She said nothing, took his money, completed the transaction and in a split second decision, flipped his receipt over to the backside and jotted down her name and phone number.
She handed it over and he thanked her. He told her he was on his way out of town for the weekend but would call her on Monday.
“By the way, my name is Alan”….she thought she heard him say as she watched an equally sculpted backside walk out the automatic sliding doors.
She stood at her register, smiled to herself, and out of nowhere; pictured herself married to the man she’d just given her phone number to. She put the weird premonition out of her head, chalked up the experience to a harmless flirtation, convinced herself he’d never call, forgot about him, and had a fun weekend with her friends.
On Monday, he called, just like he said he would and clarified something for her after she seemed a bit confused.
His name wasn’t Alan. It was Howard. She’d just misunderstood him.
“Must have been that sculpted backside distracting her…” she daydreamed, while standing over a sink full of dirty dishes and sudsy water….just before she felt her husband’s hands slipping around her waist from behind…kissing her softly on her neck, in just the spot she loves, pulling her out of her reminiscent reverie.
She turned and he enveloped her in his arms, she wrapped her arms around him and returned the embrace.
Burying her face in his warm neck, she thanked God for Lemon Pies, his making her work on a holiday, and for proving that premonition right.