A Supermarket Moment by Jennifer Reichow

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We all inch forward and wait.  Inch forward and wait.

The woman checking out, her face puckers up in baby face rage because of… oh god, who knows?  I can’t tell from 6 people back.  Something trivial, no doubt. For fun, I look in the surrounding carts.  Oh, dear.

Condoms and peanut butter? Wow, I never would have envisaged that from the suit pushing the cart.

The woman in front of me is holding her toddler, he’s peering at me over her shoulder with big innocent eyes.

I feel a portal open inside me. For the first time, I understand why the eyes are the windows to the soul.

Those eyes provoke me to be a better person. The woman at the front turns away from the cashier in frustration.  She glares at everyone in the line behind her. Most of the other customers are too busy staring at phones or other people’s carts. The cookies are for the kids, honest.  I take the full brunt of her scowl.

Her eyes.

Black, like the bottomless pit of her own special hell.

Those eyes have experienced things I don’t even want to imagine. Whatever her troubles, she doesn’t need me to add to them, so I smile and nod.

Her glare softens, and she takes a deep breath before turning back.  She musters up a slight smile to the cashier as she leaves.  We all inch forward and wait.


Jennifer Reichow

Jennifer Reichow grew up in a home overflowing with classic 1960s and 70s pulp fiction novels that inspired her love of reading. As a child, she knew she would go to university and be a writer but as so often happens, life had other plans for her. It’s only after careers in retail and nursing that Jennifer is realizing her dream of becoming a writer.  It feels like coming home.

Cover Image by paulbr75


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