I stood in the ethnic foods aisle at the grocery store and stared at the refried beans one shelf below eye level. It was hard to believe they didn’t have what I needed, yet there I stood anyway, as though the brand I wanted would magically appear. I conceded with a heavy exhale then turned to my right and gave a start. I froze mid-step. It was him. My brain told me to turn around, but my body wouldn’t comply. Subconsciously my mouth had dropped open, so I closed it quick. Regaining my senses, I spun and faced away from him. Did he see me? I hoped not.
Not wanting to lure attention to myself, I walked gingerly in the opposite direction. Two other people in the aisle walked toward me and passed. Good, any movement made behind me would take attention off me and on to them. Damn, what was he doing here? I left him in the middle of the night a year ago and moved to Northern Montana. I reached the end of the aisle, glanced back to see if he was still where I had seen him last, and froze again. His cold, dark eyes stabbed me not ten feet away.
I stole one step backwards then another and another, while he moved forward with slow sure steps. I took one more step and crashed into lady rounding the corner.
“Watch what you’re doing,” snarled the woman.
I didn’t care about her. Right now I had to get away from him. I turned and ran toward the front of the store, but steps behind me told me he was close.
(To Be Continued)