Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old Fashioned Stalker

Jill searched through the bottles of red wine as she observed the handsome worker helping another customer.
She quickly texted her friend Denise: That cute guy I told you about is working today! : ) And I’m having a good hair day!
Denise immediately texted back:  Talk to him! Ask him something about wine!
Jill’s heart raced and goosebumps formed up and down her arms. Her throat was dry and she felt dizzy. She texted Denise This is crazy! I am a nervous wreck. You would think I was a school kid, jeez, I’m 45 years old. What is wrong with me?
Denise texted: You are a beautiful woman who has a crush! Go with it! Talk to him!
Jill divorced her husband two years ago after twenty years of marriage. She lived the last two years as a hermit. She did the bare minimum-worked, ate and slept-until she developed this crush. She first noticed him a few weeks ago .
She shyly asked, “ I’ve never seen you before. Are you new here?”
His smile made her tingle. His teeth were white and perfectly straight. He had sparkling blue eyes and was clean shaven. She noticed his ring finger was bare.
" I just moved to the area. My cousin owns this store. I owned my own store in Maine,” he answered.
Jill wondered why he would move to the suburbs of New York from Maine but didn’t ask.
After that encounter she couldn’t remove him from her thoughts. He invaded her brain like the smell of baked goods permeates a house. He was in her mind day and night.  She needed to find out his name so she could google him.
Her thoughts were interrupted by his husky voice. “Can I help you?”
She stammered, “ Um, yes, can you recommend a good Caberlot? I mean, Merlot? Or Cabernet? Something good.”
She felt like an idiot. “Caberlot? Really? What is wrong with me?” she thought.
He smiled warmly as he grabbed a bottle of wine. “This is actually a Cabernet/Merlot blend. It is excellent and reasonably priced. I think that is what you were asking for?”
“Thank you,” said Jill, her face flushed.
When he handed her the bottle their hands touched slightly and she felt her blood flow warmly through her body.
“Can I help you with anything else?” he asked kindly.
“ Hug me, hold me , kiss me, make passionate love to me,” is what she wanted to yell. She fantasized him throwing her down on the floor and kissing her with gusto. Instead she meekly replied, “ I think that is all for now, thank you.”
She left the store with her bottle of wine, kicking herself for not finding out his name and his work schedule.  If she knew when he worked, she could plan her wine shopping accordingly.
She remembered a quote she read in one of her self help books: “ If you are crazy enough to dream it you are crazy enough to make it happen”
She marched back inside and then panicked.  “ I feel like an actor with stage fright,“ she thought.
He was helping another customer-- a very attractive red headed woman who looked about thirty.  
Jill scanned the shelves watching them. When they started giggling she began her escape. As she inched away she heard, “You’re back... did you forget something?”
“Yes, I completely forgot I needed to pick up a bottle of white wine for a co-worker.”  The lie slipped out smoothly.
He walked over to her and asked, “ What type?”
“Um..Uh.. chardonnay?”  she said with uncertainty.
As he looked on the shelf , her nose began to run. She quickly glanced in her purse. “Damn, why did I give my last tissue away yesterday?” she thought.  She was sniffling hard as a giant sneeze was about to explode.
“ I gotta go!” she screamed and ran out the door humiliated.
When she got outside she sneezed and wiped her nose with her sleeve. She wanted to cry for ruining what could have been a potential new relationship.
The next day she looked fear in the face and returned to the store. She searched the whole store to no avail.
“Excuse me? Do you know when the guy who was here yesterday is expected back? He is around forty years old, medium height”  she asked one of the employees.
“ You must mean Victor. He’ll be back tomorrow.”
“OK, thanks.”
Jill was hoping to be given his last name, but she had no such luck. That eliminated the option of googling him.  She would have to stalk him the old fashioned way, before the internet, and make constant trips to the store.  “He will think I’m an alcoholic!” she thought.
The next day she stood in front of her mirror wearing a low cut red sweater, tight jeans, and black boots. “Too sexy, I look fake,” she thought.
She changed to casual stylish workout clothes: Hip sneakers, black yoga pants, a pretty purple cotton sweatshirt.
She chewed on her nail and felt her eye twitch as she entered the store.  She spotted him helping an older couple. She pretended to be studying the label on a bottle of wine when she heard, “You’re back. Are you okay? I was worried about you the other day, you ran out so abruptly.”
She had her fib all planned out. “ I remembered at the last minute I had an appointment and didn’t want to be late.”  
“Well, what can I help you with today?”
All of a sudden she heard “Hey handsome!”
She turned and saw the redhead from the other day.  He broke out into a broad smile. “ Hey red, always a pleasure to see you.”
Jill realized the redhead must have a crush on him too, and by his response it was reciprocal. Jill couldn't compete with her. She had long straight red hair compared to Jill’s short brunette bob. Her long legs and thin frame gave her a model-like appearance, unlike Jill ,who had thunder thighs and a healthy sized butt. The redhead was wearing tight jeans and a low cut sweater, similar to Jill’s original outfit.
“Damn, why did I change into this frumpy outfit,” she thought.  
As he rang in her purchase she asked,“How many days a week do you work?“
“Every day except Wednesday. Sometimes I get time off on the weekend.”
She transformed into full stalker mode.
She waited a few days, then returned wearing the tight jean outfit but there was no sign of Victor.
“Where’s Victor?” she asked the young girl at the register. “He usually helps me.”
“Oh, he is having lunch next door. He just went over there so he should be back in 30-40 minutes. Can I help you?” she replied.
“Actually, I’ll come back.” Jill ran out of the store and entered Panera, a popular lunch spot.  “I’ll go in and order lunch, and maybe he will be alone and I can sit with him,” she prayed.
Luckily the line was short. She wasn’t  hungry but purchased a small salad, and searched the tables for Victor.  Her heart fluttered as she saw him and then immediately sank when she saw the redhead eating with him. She was about to turn around when he looked up, spotted her, and waved her over.
“Hi,” he said.
“Hi,” Jill said.
“Hi,” the redhead said.
“Maybe this is a really bad dream,” thought Jill.
“There seems to be a shortage of tables. Do you want to join us?  And, what was your name again?” he asked with the kindest eyes she had ever seen.
“I’m Jill, “ she said.
“I’m Maria,” said the redhead politely.
" I’m Victor. Not sure if you knew my name.”
“I don’t want to disturb you if its private,” Jill stammered.
“I see Victor every day, jeez between home and at the store, I  see him too much,” Maria laughed.
“This is not a bad dream, this is a nightmare. He has a  wife, or live in girlfriend, “ she thought, shuffling from side to side.
Jill sat down feeling nauseous and sad until Victor said, “ Maria is my rock.  After me and my wife split, Maria convinced me to work for her at her store and she had an extra room in her house. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful cousin.”
Jill wanted to jump up and down. Maria was the cousin who owned the store. Jill took her first bite, relishing the food and the best news she had heard in a while.

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