The day was routine enough … a typical Saturday with my boys, running errands and happily crossing items off our list. Last stop of the day was also my favorite place—Target. I love Target. So, you will understand when I tell you about the shock, the betrayal I felt as I wheeled our monster cart into aisle twenty-three, on a mission to complete my list, when it happened. There he stood, The Ex-Boyfriend. Not just any ex-boyfriend … this was thee Ex-Boyfriend. Casually looking at books. In My Target.
Instant panic filled my frame—escape NOW, pronto, before we’re seen, the voice screamed inside my head. It’s not supposed to happen this way. I’m supposed to be in a short skirt and heels, totally bedazzling, not frumpy in sweats and a baseball cap hiding unwashed hair.
My sons together weigh approximately 110 pounds—add the huge bulky two-seater cart plus all my merchandise and you’ve got quite the encumbrance. My high school basketball coach would have been proud of my moves as I backed up, cart and all, and flew past the end caps, searching for a terrorist-free zone. Once there was enough retail paraphernalia between us, I bent down to kiss both boys on the head. Just because, I though, they were so uncharacteristically quiet at the moment. And, I thought, kissing the boys’ cheeks with gratitude, they did not see him. Oh, how disastrous that would have been. “Hey, Mom! There’s that guy! You remember him, he used to bring you roses and coffee for you and presents and treats for us. Let’s go talk to him!”
The potential for that near-train wreck made me wince. Instead, my young sons were laughing at their crazy mom—running through the aisles of our favorite store.
It wasn’t until we were safely in our car and exiting the lot that I could exhale—and feel the pure indignation burning in my gut. The nerve, the brazen audacity he has to meander through My Target. As if there weren’t alternatives. Now he has tainted mine. From now on, I will have to be on guard, prepared for the next time I see him there. And when I do, I will murmur a cool “hello” as I keep on walking—my high heels clicking.