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Aisle Seven

Kathleen Maus, 2011

        He first saw her in aisle seven. Her long blonde hair extended past her waist and flowed seamlessly behind her as she moved along the shelves. She wore a blouse of stunning white as she stopped to examine a box of cake mix. He had no reason to go down that aisle, but the woman seemed to emit some sort of electric current that attracted him. He could swear she was almost glowing in her beauty. He pushed his cart towards her, approaching slowly as to not startle the angelic figure.

        It’s not like he hadn’t ever picked up a woman before. He had done it loads of times. In fact, he had almost perfected the art. Women tended to be so enamored by him that it was almost too easy for him to find some company. He was a man of sizeable wealth of course, and always dressed expensively, not to mention the fact he had devilishly good looks that seemed to only get better with age. He was becoming increasingly confident, as he got closer to the woman. But there was just something about her that he couldn’t put his finger on. She seemed out of place here in the middle of this seemingly ordinary grocery store. She appeared almost unworldly. No woman could possibly be that beautiful. I bet she’s a model, he thought to himself. Yes, that’s it. She’s a model, he concluded. From Sweden no doubt.

        As he got even closer still, he went over the routine in his head. He could compliment her taste in cake mixes or ask for her opinion on frosting. Then he would compliment one of her most amiable qualities and ask if she wanted to grab coffee or a drink at that new bar downtown. He knew his wife wasn’t expecting him home until much later, as he told her he was working hard on a new account merger with some out-of-town clients. He carefully removed the wedding band from his finger and slipped it slyly into his pocket. It was like he was on autopilot now and the forecast was for clear skies up ahead.

        She was still bent over the box of cake mix as he made his final approach. Her immaculate face was now hidden behind her golden hair as she scanned the list of ingredients on the package. This would certainly be the most beautiful woman he would come in contact with, he was sure of it. She would be at the top of the list for his most crowning achievements. He was close enough now. It was time to make his move.

        But before he could even open his mouth the woman looked up at him and he was met with a most wondrous sight. His entire life seemed to pass before his eyes. He saw himself with his family. He was holding his young daughter and hugging his son. He was kissing his wife on the cheek. He recalled the first time he met her and how he felt when she walked into the room. Experienced again the joy he felt when she smiled and said yes to his proposal of spending the rest of her life with him. He saw himself as an old man sitting with his wife, holding her hand. He saw everything but the woman.

        As soon as it had happened it was over. He was thrust into the present and suddenly he was just a man standing in the middle of an isle in a grocery store, wondering how he had gotten there. The beautiful woman before him seemed changed somehow. More ordinary. She stared at him as he tried to collect his thoughts.

        “Are you alright, sir?” she asked genuinely worried but with an air of caution.

        “Yes, thank you,” he said. And he turned without another look and went home.

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All Information Copywright by Chimes Publication, Saint Mary's College 2010