“Why did you really wake up?” Mom questions as I reach for an orange, nearly dropping it on the ground.
“I just couldn’t sleep…” I respond as I put the now bruised orange inside a bag.
“Did you fail you’re math test– is that was this is all about? Couldn’t sleep because you couldn’t sleep is not my child, I know my child, you are not my child.”
“Oh, so I AM adopted?” I say with a sarcastic tone before we both break out in laughter.
“No, but if I could give you up–”
“Psh” is all I manage before being interrupted by Madelyn’s Mom. Why, oh why.
As my Mom’s back is turned the only thing less mortifying than potentially seeing Madelyn suck up to my mother is desperately trying to travel unnoticed to the lettuce section, where I can pretend to be busy.
After no sign of Madelyn and the straight line out of the area was drawn, I took my chance gesturing to my mom I was going to the other side of the wall, really meaning to suggest other side of the world. She mistook this as “oh, you want to speak to Madelyn’s mom,” of course.
“Hi” I say with the warmest fake smile on my face, nothing against the mom of course, just the memory stuck of a few days before.
It droned on for 10 minutes easily, the questions from her mom about me turning into her bragging about her daughter inevitably ending in “you two should really get together sometime” with constant nods from my mother and internal screaming from me.
As the discussion fades while I wander away to the cereal section, getting lost among the choices of sugar I see Hayden putting away tea on the other end.
I try to be as discreet as possible while turning away, naturally knocking nearly every box of corn puffs off the shelf. I’ve been spotted– ABORT. The only option is to face the music or hope the invisible shield kicks in, and maybe just maybe he didn’t hear a thing.
Glancing behind me, I see exactly what I saw before, him putting away tea.
Wow, I survived.
“One box picked up, nothing. Two, nothing. Three, welp I’m safe all right” I think to myself while letting him grow distant from my point of view.
“Hey can you not build a fort out of cereal, I’m saving those for later” I hear behind me.
“Why do I keep running into you? And I don’t even like them!” I say turning around to further explain why it wasn’t done on purpose, even if I’m a bit happy it happened. At least now I know he isn’t entirely oblivious.
“I see about five in your hands, those beg to differ” he says with a smirk.
“Maybe I just didn’t want you to have any, ever think of that?”
“You got me there” he says.
“What cereal would you really pick” he questions.
“Apple Jacks” I say with no hesitation.
“I’d go for coa-coa pebbles.”
“Wow, that’s not what I was expecting at all” I begin to say, then end it with “nice chat” as I see my Mom across the way in front of the milk cooler. I make my way down the aisle as he follows.
“These seem all out of date soon” she says annoyed as Hayden disappears into some back room.
Then low and behold a new one slides down, just in time before a mompage (mom rampage) begins.
“Yes! You’re awesome, this is customer service” she say’s unable to see the person behind it, while I’m eye-level, just enough to catch the wink.
I pretend I can’t see it, and we stroll on.
“You’d think going grocery shopping would get easier as your kids get older, but they still add in goldfish and kit kats whenever possible” mom put’s out into the universe while I sneak in pop-ems.
I have nothing to add to that worth value, so I say nothing as it goes on.
“And why can’t we ever agree on ice-cream, we never even eat it anyways. Well besides the–”
“peppermint” we both say in unison.
“But only the Christmas peppermint” I add with a smile.
“What’s so great about Christmas peppermint” asked by an annoying voice getting mail out of his mailbox.
“It’s a good ice cream– what’s the bother?”
“Heard you talking about it with your mom, was just wondering” he says casually.
“Nothing very exciting– just one of our favorites…”
“I feel like you aren’t telling me the whole story, so I won’t keep asking” Hayden says as he keeps the thought in the back of his mind.