Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Checked Out

I was talking to my mom yesterday. And she was encouraging me to write something new — specifically something different from what I normally write. (How’s that for a vote of confidence?) But, with unfinished projects already on my plate, I wasn’t really looking forward to adding anything else. Then, I started writing. And what you see below is the result. I’m not quite sure it’s what she had in mind.

“Checked Out”

I never did like him. Well, I liked him. But, I’d never let him know it. Otherwise, he’d get that smirk — that knowing, “I knew you wanted me” look. The look that made me want to punch his smug, little face. That beautiful, masculine, chiseled face. High cheekbones any woman would envy. Eyelashes that were thick and curled. Lips which put me into a permanent, internal state of pucker. Oh, how I hated him. With his “I didn’t even try to look good” snug tee shirts and blue jeans which were never tight, but never baggy enough to make you question if there was something good going on inside them. You knew. And he knew you knew. That’s why I punched him. Okay, I only decked him in my mind — before I undressed him.

Don’t get me wrong. Anthony was conscious in my fantasy. My strike barely left a mark. He looked at me with passion. I could’ve sworn I saw his nostrils flare. He drew me into his arms. He peered deeply into my eyes — and saw who I was. He loved the real me. He wondered how he could’ve gone all that time without realizing I was the one. Silly boy.

He caressed the small of my back with his left hand and lightly stroked my cheek with his right. His lips parted slightly without his knowledge — willing him to satisfy their thirst for mine. I waited. I knew in a few seconds he wouldn’t be able to deny their request. I closed my eyes and tilted my head a little to the right. Then I woke up. My head was still tilted. He’s coy and likes to toy with my emotions. 

Who does he think he’s fooling with that seemingly effortless laugh and superficial familiarity with the fluctuating price of produce and the unpredictable weather? He flashes a smile, a wink. He dips his head and looks up with those big, green, bottomless moons. Probably green with envy of all the people who didn’t get by based on surface appearances. People who had to work to become breadwinners. People with substance and character. People who have stories to tell that don’t involve designer labels or chichi restaurants. But, he keeps coming back again and again — to taunt me or because he needs someone who’s a tiny bit sincere. Who could blame him?

You’re not all that, I told him — in my mind. Sure, you’re rich and gorgeous. You’re charming and friendly. You even have a healthy diet and obviously take somewhat good care of yourself. But, you’ll never have me. Chew on that, playboy. With that, I handed Anthony his paper and plastic — and slid his platinum card across the counter. What? The customers’ credit card reader was out of order. At least, that’s what the Post-it I’d scribbled earlier said.

“Have a great day. I’ll see you soon,” I mumbled. Removing the note, I continued with my day. The shopper behind him smiled — showcasing a piece of something black in her front teeth. Way to make an effort.

“You’re fired,” my manager said at the end of my shift. He’d been writing me up for months — just looking for any excuse to spend more time with me. But, he can never come between me and Anthony. Jealousy’s an ugly thing. I hope, one day, he gets the help he clearly needs.


  1. Bravo! Glad you heeded mom's words!

  2. Great job! I am a new follower and would like to invite you over to my blog for a visit. I write book reviews and stories about my crazy life. Hope you enjoy it enough to follow. Thanks. Donna

    Look forward to reading more here.


  3. Annie - Thank you! But, she found the story more disturbing than funny. You can't please everyone. :D

    Donna - Thanks for stopping by! I'm on my way to your blog. I hope you're having a great day. :)

  4. Oh, wow! I didn't expect that! Dark comedy suits you, girl. :D

    Oh, and...HAPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! Enjoy your special day, my friend!

  5. Thank you, Sam! I can't believe another year has passed already. :)

    And I was laughing out loud after I read the story to my mom. (By the way, that was the only happy sound I heard from the phone. Go figure.) :D

  6. Yes, Bravo.. very good, indeed. I am new here, but I thought it was good. Like Annie said, good that you heeded Mom's words.

  7. That was good and funny. Two snaps up, Kenya!

  8. This reminds me of my days working at the grocery store. I used to make up stories about the "regulars". :)


  9. Happy birthday Kenya! I like the unexpected twist at the end of your story...And I think that I like Anthony too!

  10. Brenda - Thank you and welcome! :) You freaked me out for a minute. You and my mother share the same first name! (I was afraid her ears had been burning.) ;)

    Tosh - Thank you! I'll be stopping by your blog to see the latest. :)

    Amber - Thanks! I guess we do what we can to make the day go by a little faster. (I'm having flashbacks to the registers at Sesame Place!) :D

    Muriel - Thank you! I'll let you know when my cashier starts her Lovers of Anthony support group. ;D I hope you're having a great day!

  11. Really enjoyed this one, Kenya! You have a great sense of humor.

  12. Thank you, Cynthia! After my mother had a chance to read it herself, she had a change of heart. (At least, that's what she told me.) ;D

  13. Kenya, moms are always right and I'm glad you followed her advice to write something new! I enjoyed reading this piece! Will we be reading more about Anthony, I wonder? :)

  14. Bella - Anthony seems to be a pretty popular guy! I wouldn't count him out. And how much is my mother paying you? ;D

  15. Very, very nice! I'm glad you accepted your mom's challenge to write something different. You came out of your comfort zone and you rocked!


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