I strolled through the supermarket, pushing the cart in front of me. The wheel was broken and it squeaked as I pushed it down the aisles, searching for the discounted candy. The constant squeak of the wheel as I forced it to go straight instead of the cart turning with the one wheel. Of course I would pick the cart with the squeaky, crooked wheel that wanted to make the cart careen down the aisles.
I turned down the aisle that housed all the Valentine’s Day candy, now 50% off, and smiled for the first time since February 1st. For a second, I allowed myself to bask in the glory that was discounted candy, before I looked through the selections.
“Reeces, or a bag of assorted? Bite size or full size?” I debated quietly, while lifting a bag of Reeces Pieces, and another bag full of assorted bite size candies.
“Oh, Mary! What a surprise!”
I suppressed a groan, and turned toward the voice of my neighbor, Debby. I knew for a fact I waved to her as I got into my car today, so I know she saw me leave. Did she leave the house five minutes after I did this morning? Follow me here?
Debby had the perfectly straight, blonde bob; her makeup was flawless and looked natural, but I knew her makeup routine took an hour. She was wearing skinny jeans, not mom jeans like she should be wearing, since she had three kids and still looked like a high school cheerleader. Her purple sweater had little red hearts all over it. I tried my hardest not to roll my eyes at her tacky Valentine’s Day sweater. I swear I tried, but its possible my eyes rolled. Just a little.
“Deb, what are you doing here?” I made my lips move in semblance of a smile, but it probably looked more like a grimace.
“Oh, I forgot the boys have a game on Friday, so I need to pick up some groceries for Saturday. They always have friends over the next morning,” she smiled, her perfect white teeth gleaming. Then she looked over my outfit, which consisted of a hoodie with the Egyptian goddess Tawaret, and black yoga pants with black converse, and then she looked at the candy in my hand. “Oh, honey I’m so sorry. Yesterday must have been really hard for you. I should have come over and seen you.”
I forced another smile.
“Actually I was fine. I’m just here for the discounted candy.” I laughed slightly. Awkwardly.
“Oh yes of course. I just meant, you know, that you’re single now. So a day all about love must be really difficult. If you need anything you just come right on over. Ok, hun?” Before I could thank her and try to escape the conversation, she pat my arm and kept talking. “Now you listen to me, Mary. You will find someone ok? Someone better than Joe. Do not even think about him and his new girlfriend. I heard they’re having a baby now, did you hear that? Anyways, don’t even think about them.”
She kept talking to me but I tuned her out. Yes, my ex-husband was a cheating scumbag, it was the day after Valentine’s Day, and we broke up last year on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I was wearing yoga pants when I so obviously was not doing yoga. I was not depressed, my life was not over, I was just trying to buy a bag of assorted bite size (“fun size”) candy for half the price it usually was.
I had mourned the loss of scumbag, as I usually called Joe in my head. I had cried that he left, cried that he was a lying jerk, cried that he gave another woman what he told me he didn’t want. I cried about it all, and I grieved the loss of someone in the house with me. But I was done grieving the loss of someone I didn’t miss.
I was happy he was out of my life because now I could live my life. I could go and find someone who wasn’t a jerk.
In fact, I went on a date a couple weeks ago, but nobody seems to care about that. We were going out again soon, but we just didn’t want to date around Valentine’s Day because there was so much pressure to have someone on a day that was created by the greeting card companies. We both thought it was stupid.
Debby was still talking to me, her mouth was still moving, but I still was not listening to her. I just put the candy down in my cart, next to my purse. I opened my purse and grabbed the gun and pulled it out, pointed it at her head and shot her. Right between the eyes. She was annoying anyways. I put the gun back in my purse, and went back to debating on what candy I was going to buy. I heard people milling around me, I heard them wondering if they should call the police. But I didn’t care. I was going to buy my damn candy and no one was going to say anything about it.
I did not care that Debby was bleeding out on the floor, that her blood had started to pool around her head. I did not care that the blood would eventually run and might soak my sneakers. I was tired of caring what Debby said, or what she did, or even if her blood stained the bottom of my sneakers. I just didn’t care!
Debby wasn’t the only one either. My whole town, though it was small, would see me and want to talk to me about Joe, his new girl, their new baby, the baby they had when we were still together, how was I feeling?, had I spoken to Joe?
It got old. Really. Old.
“Hon, you gonna get your phone?” Debby’s voice brought me out of my day dream, and I reached into my purse to grab my phone. I looked at the caller ID before putting it away.
“Telemarketer,” I said with a little smile. Debby just smiled her perfect, Stepford wife smile.
“Oh, I didn’t know they had cell phone numbers. Anyways, I have to go finish shopping. You come over anytime, ok, hon?”
I nodded my head as she walked away, and I blew out a breath. I put both bags of candy in my cart with a muttered fuck it.
I bought two bags of candy.
I was single.
But most of all, I was happy.
I was happy being single, and not in a relationship with someone who was comfortable. I enjoyed dating. I enjoyed having my house to myself. I was living life again for the first time in years, and I didn’t need someone else to make my life complete. Sure, sharing my life with someone would have been nice; but I wasn’t going to settle for second best. Not again.
Joe-shmoe. I was fine. I would continue to be fine. Hell, I may even be better than fine. I was not going to let the scumbags get me down.
And I was going to eat my damn candy.