Two women meet in supermarket one starts helping another, relationship starts
| Meeting at the SupermarSupermarket
I always try to get to the supermarket early on Saturdays. That way I feel sure that what I am looking for will be in stock. That was very true on one particular Saturday when I found something that I was not really looking for. Usually, Saturdays are the only days I have free to stock up on groceries so I could cook in case any family member may pop in.
I was also just getting over my last lover leaving me two days ago and was not looking for another relationship quite yet. I have heard stories on how some people seem to prey on individuals on the rebound and starting up a relationship with them only to get what they could, then leave themselves. I believe I had been a victim of one of those people once or twice before. That brings me to another reason for me shopping early on Saturdays. Usually, there are not very many shoppers out shortly after the store opens.
She was though, a very attractive long, blonde haired beauty wearing form fitting gray sweats and sneakers, standing just shy of six feet, and gingerly picking through a mound of cabbages. I immediately looked her over only partially hoping that she was not wearing either: a bracelet, necklace, or a ring on her third finger. She was not wearing any of those things. I then breathed easy as the promise I had made just the other day flashed in my mine with large neon lights- "NO NEW RELATIONSHIPS". Still, I could not stop myself from stepping closer to her. "Having trouble picking the freshest cabbage?" I began.
"Oh?" she said with the softest startled voice I had not heard in a long time, as she turned to face me with clear hazel colored eyes.
"DO NOT GET INVOLVED"
"Jus' a little," she answered with a clear Southern sound in her voice.
"Here, let me give you a little help," I said and reached for what looked like the freshest heads. In the process my hand accidentally
brushed against hers.
"Thank you very much," the young woman said in a slightly Southern accented voice. "Need to cook up the best dinner I could whip up, tonight."
"Having a special friend coming over?" I ventured a guess as the warning lights in my head seemed to stay off for the time being.
"Yes, my roommate from college. Back then the two of us were very close. I did a lot of our cookn' back, so I want to show her my
cook'n improved since then."
"What are you making?" I asked as I pulled my eyes off of her and scanned over her shopping cart. "Mind...?" I asked as I picked up the veal that she had selected.
"No..., Please," she answered then went on. "I thought I would try some Weiner Schnitzel, boiled potatoes, and red cabbage," the woman answered. "You work here?"
"Me? ... No. Some relatives of mine own it. I just tend to cook a lot after a long, hard week. Are you planning on trying Apple Strudel for dessert?" I asked seeing that she had many of the ingredients for the tasty dessert."
"Yes," the woman smiled. "You seem to know quite a bit about German food," she said as she reached down into her cart and spread its contents around so I could get a better look."
"It comes from growing up in an Italian family with relatives who cook for a living and are involved in various areas of the food business. It also comes from having to make several trips to Europe, and back." I answered as I put the veal down. "Come, I need to see someone about that veal."
"What's wrong with it?" she asked sounding real concerned as she gave me a puzzled look but still followed me to the back corner of the store where the meat department was located.
"There's really wrong with it. I just think you may need a better cut of meat."
"Hey, Maria," Tom, one of Ernesto's assistants started to greet me as my blonde haired companion caught up with me. "What can I do for you this morning?"
"You could get me, Ernesto," I answered a little too sternly, and then turned to fish out the veal from the blonde's shopping cart sensing the scared, confused look that Tom was giving me. The blonde was also reaching for the veal at the same time but seemed to stop when she heard my name.
"Maria?" the blonde asked she handed me the package of meat. Then she moved her fingers up to her mouth, licking them sensuously, or that was the way my eyes saw.
SNAP OUT OF IT
"What is your last name, Maria, if I may ask?"
"Folks call me Lila Dean," Lila held her hand out in greeting and I thought for sure I felt something in the touch.
NO NEW RELATIONSHIP
It was then that Albert came out from the butchering area of the meat section. "What is the problem today, cousin?" I saw his eyes move from me to Lila and back to me.
"This woman's veal," I said as I showed him the package. "What kind of calf did it come from?"
"A very young one by the look of it," Alberto answered.
"She needs two cuts from a calf that is slightly older, and grain fed. Your best cut."
"Are you cooking for this one already, Maria?" Alberto asked with a smile and I glared at him until he retreated into the back room without a word.
I waited for my temper to cool down before turning to Lila. "Sorry about that," I said as I caught her blush starting to fade.
"Don't be," she smiled. "I could use some help, if' you not busy tonight."
The neon warning lights came on again as I tried to come up with an answer. This time there were a couple of exclamation marks after the words. Then "SHE'S ALREADY INVOLVED!! SHE'S ALREADY TAKEN.
"If I may suggest," I began. "You'll want some lemon slices, and instead of boiled potatoes, I have found that German French fries, or
Pommes frits, go well with the Schnitzel."
"That sounds like a great idea," Lila said as her face lit up.
"What are you thinking of having to drink along with your dinner?"
"I haven't really thought about that."
"A bottle of German wine should go well with your dinner?"
"I doubt I can afford it," Lila answered a bit uncertain.
"Don't worry about it," I said encouragingly as I reached over to console her.
It was then that Alberto came back out a smile on his face until he saw me touching Lila's arm. Then the look became serious and
"Two cuts of our very best veal," was all he said as he motioned me closer and started speaking to me in Italian, a habit that many of my relatives, and I, have adopted when we do not wish others around us to know what was being said.
After he finished, I just brushed off what he said with a sweeping motion of my hand. It was the same critic of my love life he always told me right after I lost a lover, and started jumping into another relationship-I seemed to be a better cook outside the bed than inside the bed.
Alberto then turned to Lila, who seemed to have been blushing a deep red this time. "Come ask for Alberto next time you need a good cut
of meat. I give you very best."
"Thank you. I will," Lila answer, her cheeks still a shade of pink.
With that I began leading Lila away from the meat counter and back toward the produce aisle.
"I hope yo' did not get in any trouble cause o' me."
"No. Alberto worries about me and I worry about him."
"You give him reason to worry?" Lila asked as she looked at me with interest.
"I have a feeling that I do so more often than he would like." I answered simply. My mind going over the number of times he tried to remind me of promises I made myself after each broken relationship, quickly followed by his warnings when I went straight into another relationship. I did not see any harm in helping Lila with her dinner. I was sure that it would go no further. "Come, you need some apples with a slightly different taste," I said once we got to the apples. Suddenly felt a need to change what we were talking about.
Together we felt through the apples for just the right ones.
"You know about wines?" Lila asked.
"I have a bottle of German white wine from the Mosel region at home I can let you have. I am sure that it will go well with your dinner.
It is nice and fruity but not any sweeter than your dinner."
"You really do not have to go through all this trouble." Lila said. "You're already doing so much fo' me," Lila said as she stepped close to me and put a soft hand on mine.
"It's really no trouble," I replied back to her and she must have seen, or heard something in my voice for she then gave me an interesting look. "Let's make sure you have everything you'll need." I went on as I slowly pulled my hand away from hers.
NOW YOU'VE DONE IT
Lila didn't need anything else so we headed to the checkout counter.
"Oh my," Lila suddenly gasped. "You've been so busy helping me that you do not look like you have not done much shopping for yourself."
"It's enough for this weekend."
As we talked the cashier ran Lila's groceries through the scanner and in no time came up with the final total. "That'll be $50. 99," the woman said. The bagger also had Lila's groceries bagged in no time. Lila had just enough to cover it, it seemed as she handed $51.00 to the woman.
"I wasn't aware how costly cooking dinner for two could be," Lila said.
"It could get expensive. I'll join you in a moment I called out to her, but not too loudly.
Lila smiled back before she wheeled her cart out with the bagger and I watching.
In a short time the few things I had were scanned and bagged and I was accompanying Lila to her car. As it turned out, our cars were not too far from each other so as soon as Lila loaded up her car I was already in mine. My mind still flashing and shouting warnings to me.
HELP HER WITH HER MEAL AND FORGET ABOUT HER
"You follow me, and then I'll follow you," I eventually called out as Lila started getting in her car. She just smiled and waved back at me.
WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO
In a short time we were at my apartment building and I knew that my apartment still looked like a bomb went off in it, from the little tantrum I threw after my last lover-Colleen- left me, so I told Lila that she didn't need to come in. That I would right back out. I was and then we were on our way to her place.
In a short time we were at her apartment building and I helped her carry her groceries up to her third floor apartment.
Once in her apartment I tried not to figure out what her South-Western dor was trying to tell me about her. I just wanted to keep my mind on helping her cook dinner for her and her old college roommate. I did mention that I think that her apartment said a lot about her, and so we went into a discussion about how she grew up in Texas as we sorted out the ingredients on the island counter, putting all the dinner ingredients on one part of the counter, and the strudel ingredients on another.
For the next hour we cooked and baked until her Schnitzel meal and strudel were just about ready. That was when I started excusing myself and heading for the door. I didn't want to be there when her friend arrived. She came along with me, though. At the door she leaned into me and kissed me on the cheek. "Thank you."
"I...I better go before your friend shows up," I managed to say. I must have blushed for she then smiled, seemingly enjoying my discomfort.
"Don't forget, I owe you a dinner out. There's no way my cookn' can match yours."
"Still, I would like to sample some of your cooking."
"Trust me; you'll be safer eating out."
"You do not seem to be that bad. You seem to know how to follow cooking directions."
"I also have a tendency to improvise along the way. That's when things get bad."
"Improvising is ok as long as you know what goes best with what you are cooking."
"Will I see you at the supermarket next Saturday? I would like to tell you how dinner went."
'As well as how the rest of the night went," a devilish voice in my head said. When I came out of the daze I answered, "Of course." I answered rather simply as I mentally tried pushing that devil way back in my mind.
The next week was just as busy as ever except for the fact that my boss assigned me to tour the country, from shore to shore, in search of good wares that we could sell. Seemed that our corporate office thought it would be good public relations, and good for business, if we led the way in offering American made products. The whole time though I had trouble getting the idea of seeing Lila again out of my mind.
Saturday came around and I was once again at the supermarket as soon as it opened. I was shopping for some meal ideas I had picked up during my trip I wanted to try out. I was hoping to see Lila there as well, but there was no sign of her until I got to the meat section. There she was talking with Alberto. I was afraid that my dear cousin was informing my new friend of my past loves so I hurried over. Lila turned to greet me as soon as I was beside her. "How did your dinner go?" I asked.
"It went very well, as I was just tellin' your cousin." Then Tom came over and handed Lila a package of ground beef. "Thank you."
"Are you cooking again for your friend?" I asked as I diverted her attention from my cousins.
"No, just having a hard time decidin' whether or not I should give you a sampling of my cooking or not. I still think I should take you out to be on the safe side," Lila went on as we seemed to be heading to the produce area. "Either way, are you free tonight?"
SAFER IF YOU EAT OUT. Was the advice that lit up in my mind. I was already way too involved with Lila for my own good and I knew it.
"I sure am," I smiled back at her. "Where would we go if we were to eat out?" I asked as we both picked through some peppers,
tomatoes, onions, and some herbs.
"I know of a couple of nice places but you've probably ate out so often during the week, that you would like to eat in," Lila seemed to think out loud. "How was your week, by the way?"
"I did eat out a lot and was thinking of trying out some meals I picked up," I began answering. "Nothing European though this week."
"Oh?" Lila said with a very interested expression.
"Yes. My boss thought it would be best if I did a tour of America and looked for American made products we could market."
"I bet it kept you busy."
"It sure did," I had to smile and finally took a glance at what Lila had in her shopping cart. There wasn't too much to see though.
"You finished shopping?" Lila asked as soon as she seemed to be finished.
"Yes I am," I answered and we started heading to the cashier counter.
"Be ok if I picked you up at six o'clock?" Lila asked as the cashier first went through her purchases and then mine.
"Yes it will, but wouldn't it be better if I met you where you are planning on us eating?" I answered. "I take it that we are going out."
"Yes. It would be better for both of us if we did," Lila smiled. "I want to surprise you."
"How should I dress?" I enquired trying to find out what kind of place she had in mind.
"Casual," she answered.
"See you at six, then," I smiled as the two of us got to our cars.
I was home in a very short time and immediately started going through my clothes looking for casual but nice looking clothes, which
ninety percent of my wardrobe was. Somehow though, I found myself having a hard time what to wear.
Around six Lila arrived and knocked on my door. I had just finally finished getting dressed in a new outfit I had bought during my trip through Texas. Then she drove us out to a new Italian restaurant.
Over dinner she went into greater detail about her friend, college, and her degree in history and teaching. I then finally asked her what she did for a living, which was very obvious from the degrees she held and I told her a little more about my job and some of the
things I found during my last trip.
"Mind if we stop at my apartment? I have a bottle of wine I would like your opinion on."
SAY YOU HAVE REPORTS TO WRITE
"Not at all," I said despite the warning that just blared in my mind.
"Good," Lila smiled broadly as we left the restaurant and headed to her apartment. Soon after we got there she showed me the wind and then opened it before pouring each of us a glass.
"I have a confession to make."
"Yes. Last week when you and Alberto were speaking Italian, I caught part of what was being said.
"Oh no you didn't," I felt my cheeks grow warm with embarrassment
"I did." Lila said as she looked carefully at me. "I took Italian in high school and college in case I ever got the chance to travel to Europe. Now," Lila said as she stepped close to me. "I do not tend to believe what people say. I like to find out for myself. It's just that since I overheard that conversation, I have not been able to stop thinking what your cousin said about you and your relationships. I was wondering..." Lila then reached out to brush her fingers over my cheek and into my hair.
I reached up and took her hand and guided it down between us. "I can't believe I am going to say this, because I am so attracted to you, Lila. It's just that part of my relationship problem is that I start one up way too soon after a breakup. Why don't we take it slow?"
"Slow it is," she smiled. "See you at the supermarket next Saturday? I still need help with my cookn'. One of my faults is rushing through what I am cookn' instead of letting it...simmer and heat up."
"Simmer and heat up.....Yes, Yes, of course," I stammered and slowly headed toward the door. "I...I better go, now" In a minute I was
out the door. It closed behind me. I then leaned back against the wall willing my breathing and heart pounding to slow down before turning to leave.