A short piece of fiction.
I walked familiar potholed streets to the corner store. It’d passed through different owners like dollar bills, but the worn asphalt and shabby cinder block were mine. The familiarity of life turned into a warm security blanket that covered and smothered. Predictability suited me fine though.
I walked by off-brand cans of beans and went to the fresh, stacked in little plastic bins, covered with slick cellophane; the finest beans you could get for a dollar. I wandered the aisles, adding to my tiny cart.
My little shopping cart full of essentials, I looked through glossy magazines, imagining how my life could’ve been if I wasn’t a waitress blocks from the only address I’d ever called home. My cart coasted through line and out past the clerk. I walked into the cool night lit up with street lamps. My ringing phone stole away my gaze to check who it was as I crossed the parking lot.
The blare of a horn and a glare of light came from a pickup swerving through. My phone fell from my hand.
A stranger pulled me from the frenzied driver’s path, and we fell to the rough ground.
The truck sped by, knocking my cart around.
“What the hell, man!” It was the man next to me. He got to his feet, pulling me up. “Alright ma’am?”
I stood up, breathing in the cool night, trying to calm my frazzled nerves. “Thank you.”
The man that saved my life walked away with a smile. Such a nice dude.
I couldn’t get him out of my head. He’d saved my life, and we’d been on the pavement together. Wistful searching of the aisles got me nowhere. Would I see him again? Did he live around? What were the chances?
A few weeks later, he walked into my diner. We went out the night after.
Life was a string of pearls, moment after moment. What you did with them meant the world.