Maybe-Callie: Red Writing Hood

This week’s prompt from The Red Dress Club asks for a first person (male) account of running into an ex in the grocery store.

“See that girl?” I asked Lauren as we were walking through the frozen section.

“Which one?” Lauren asked, “the chubby one? Or the one with the awful glasses?”

“I wouldn’t call her chubby.” I replied.

“So, the fat one?” Lauren’s eyes flicked dismissively away from the organic frozen entrées in the woman’s direction,”What about her?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s Callie,” I said, keeping my voice low, regretting I’d even brought it up.

“Callie that your mother just loved? You never said she was fat,” Lauren snickered, grabbing organic broccoli florets and shelled edamame.

I tried not to look too hard at Maybe-Callie; the idea of Callie and Lauren meeting made me sick to my stomach.

I busied myself comparing the prices of Haagen-Dazs to Ben & Jerry’s. Lauren caught me ogling the premium ice cream. Maybe-Callie had turned the corner and disappeared into the dairy section.

“There is no way that’s coming home with us. Grab some of those Tofutti bars if you want something,” she said, dropping a bag of hormone free frozen chicken breasts into the cart.

Lauren turned the corner ahead of me, and I lagged behind, waiting to see if she’d have some commentary about Maybe-Callie’s shopping cart. I followed in silence, and found Lauren stocking the cart with plain Greek-style yogurt. Maybe-Callie was no where to be seen.

I followed Lauren down the bread aisle, grimacing at the 12 grain loaf she pulled off the shelf, while my stomach growled at the smell of Wonder Bread. We skipped the rest of the center of the store, and I finally relaxed. Maybe-Callie had obviously left without seeing us. Callie was too friendly to ignore me, even though I’d been kind of a dick to her when we broke up.

In the produce section, Lauren was weighing bags of local apples and non-GMO carrots, while I longingly admired the macaroni salads displayed in the deli case. Just as I was about to order some, Lauren’s food edicts be damned, I realized I’d let my guard down too early.

“Oh, my God, Jack!”


“I can’t believe it! It’s been over a year. How are you? How’s your family?” she asked, her smile genuine and easy.

She crossed the ten feet between us, and hugged me. I’d always loved the way Callie’s curves felt, pressed into me when I held her. Today was no different. I let her go, and cleared my throat.

“I’m good, Cal. You?”

“I’m good, Jack. Really good. I heard you were seeing someone,” she paused, thinking. “Laurie Something?”

“Lauren,” Lauren replied, cool, hostile, and suddenly next to me. “Lauren Brigham. You’re Callie?”

“Oh.. um… yeah. Lauren, Callie Winter. Callie, my … girlfriend, Lauren,” I stammered.

I watched the two of them sizing each other up, and it was hard not do tally up a quick comparison. Lauren, tense, aggressive, beautiful, with her cart full of healthy, correct food, positioned at my side, but slightly in front of me. Callie, open, glowing, with granola bars and cookie dough ice cream stashed in with her diet yogurts and fish, fiddling with her…

Holy shit!

Callie was wearing a huge diamond. On her left hand.

“You’re getting married?” I blurted.

Callie blushed, smiling. Lauren stepped back, her eyes snapped to me, accusatory.

“And here comes the lucky guy,” Callie laughed.She waved and called to a guy coming from the soda aisle with a two liter bottle of Coke.

“Aaron!” she called, waving.  “Remember I told you my old boyfriend lived in this neighborhood?”

“We have to be going. It was nice meeting you, Carrie,” said Lauren, suddenly grabbing my hand and hauling me off.

I turned to see Callie’s fiancé catch up with her, and stare, bewildered, at us, as Lauren rushed me away. The last thing I saw was the guy kissing Callie’s mouth. The last thing I heard was the two of them laughing.

Lauren’s silence in the check out line was ominous.

In the car, she turned the key in the ignition and turned to me. She smiled at me, but it was a wobbly, funny sort of smile.

“Hey, so.. want to go for ice cream or something?” she asked.


15 responses to “Maybe-Callie: Red Writing Hood

  1. So, ole Lauren might be loosening up a little to keep her man! Great job!

    • yeah, it’s funny. i don’t usually do the whole Sandy/Danny change for your man thing, but these characters wrote themselves.

      thanks for dropping by!

  2. okay, i did not like Lauren. lol Really well done with her. Love the way it ended too.

    • i don’t like Lauren much, either. I’m not even proud of her choice at the end. but she decided that, not me. characters are funny that way…

  3. Riveting read. Honestly. I’d like to know if you knew what was going to happen ahead of time, at the start of your story? I truly enjoyed this one.

    • You know, I actually started with the whole food thing.. and it got bigger and more important, and Lauren was writing the piece for me, despite it being from Jack’s point of view. I actually thought Lauren was going to pick a fight with him, and then… she just didn’t.

  4. Your characters (especially the two women) really felt so real! Loved this!

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I found the ending interesting.

  6. Like like like

  7. Pingback: For Whom the Bell Tolls « Move Over Mary Poppins!

  8. In your face sucka!!!
    great story!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s