The town I live in is pretty small, so it's not surprising that you tend to see the same people at different places throughout town. This generally isn't a big deal as most of the people are friendly enough to smile and nod as you pass, leaving you to continue on in your errands or what have you. I've had no complaints about this thus far, that is until something that happened this past weekend.
Does anyone remember this story?
If not, please click on the link and read it. I'll wait.
.... Are we all caught up? Good.
I've since moved to a neighboring town since the aforementioned incident happened, but I still live close enough to use the same grocery stores and pharmacies. Again, this has caused no major problem for many months, but it seems that all good things come to an end.
This past weekend, I saw Her again.
It was impossible not recognize her. When something that traumatizing happens, its hard for the images to not be permanently etched into ones retina's. It also helped that she was wearing pretty much the same outfit that she had on the first time we met, except she switched out the ratty Tweety Bird t-shirt for a low-cut blouse. This was an unfortunate change of attire, as I now have the image of the acne-constellations that covered her ample chest burned into my mind.
I happened to run into Her at the grocery store. I saw her as she was coming up the cereal and oatmeal aisle. I tried to duck out of the aisle when I saw who she was, but I wasn't fast enough. Her face lit up in recognition and she lifted her arms out to her sides. The rolls of flabby skin that hung down looked like pillowcases filled with cake mix.
"Hey, you!" she called out. Her wet, raspy voice made my skin crawl.
I turned around, pretending like I hadn't heard her. I tried to will myself invisible as I rounded the corner with my cart. I heard her (and felt, actually) start running behind me with her cart. A squeaky wheel punctuated each quickening step.
"Hey, wait up!" she sang out again.
I turned around this time, feigning ignorance. I tried to not look her in the eye.
"How're yoo?" she asked, sidling up next to me. She smiled widely, revealing a surprisingly clean pair of teeth... no, wait... a clean quartet of teeth. I guess it must be easier to brush what little teeth you have without all the other teeth getting in the way.
I hesitated, and said, "Do I know you?"
"O'course you know me, silly mayn! We met at that there lawndreemat 'couple months back. Y'know the place, that Squeeky Cleen?"
I paused. Of course I remembered her. I was just playing dumb.
"No, I think you've got the wrong person. I've never been to the laundromat in town," I lied, pulling off a better performance than Clinton gave when he denied having relations with Ms Lewinsky.
"Pshaw! I don'swear it'were you! You look jus' like the guy."
"Oh! You must have seen my twin brother. He often does his laundry there." I bit my tongue to keep from laughing.
"Yeah! It mustave been hiym! Is he your identical twin?" she said as her eyes lit up.
"No, we're fraternal twins."
She blinked a couple of times, and a confused look crept over her face.
"Oh. Welp, you shure do look an awful lot alike," she said, turning back to her cart.
"I know, we hear that a lot." I started pushing my cart away from her, forcing the conversation to an end.
"Well, nex'time you talk with 'im, tell him that Jackie sayes hey," she called back over her shoulder, and she walked away with her cart.
"Will do," I replied, and headed in the opposite direction from her. I hadn't walked two steps before I decided that I'd get the rest of my groceries at a different store.
It was the closest call in the history of close calls, folks. If only you had been there.
P.S. It takes one special kind of idiot to fall for the lie that I threw at her.