Jess caught up with Karl mulling over vine tomatoes.
‘Get the cherry ones,’ she told him as she moved gracefully past. ‘They’re sweeter.’
‘I wish we’d had time for brekkie. I’m starving,’ he groaned, feeling the sharp needles of hunger prodding at the inside of stomach, before dropping a pack of cherry tomatoes into the basket. ‘Do you just fancy grabbing something to eat here, before we go home?’ He asked as they reached the end of the wide produce aisle.
‘You hate it here,’ she told him. ‘You don’t like the…’
‘Hello again,’ an elderly voice announced.
Jess and Karl both turned to see an old couple, sharing the trolley duties, smiling up at them.
‘Erm, sorry?’ Jess quickly asked before Karl could offer something crass.
‘We met you in the bean aisle,’ the old man told her.
His little, wrinkled, kind-faced wife nodded with a smile.
‘I’m sorry, we’ve only just got here.’
‘Oh, well you have a twin, dear,’ the old lady told her. ‘Your husband’s twin helped my husband lift down a tin of beans and sausages from the back of an empty shelf, saying that they should give him a job here.’
‘Not us, I’m afraid, Karl added. ”Though, to be fair, they should pay us to take the stuff off the shelves, as there’s bugger all on them but foreign fruit.’
‘Oooh, that is funny,’ the old lady replied, laughing. ‘That’s exactly what your twin said. Isn’t it Harold?’
‘He did, Gwen.’ Harold laughed. ‘Anyway, we must be off. Say hello to your twins when you see them. All the best.’
‘Yes, you too,’ Jess smiled, before shrugging at Karl as the elderly couple plodded away, chatting.
‘What the frig was that about?’ he asked in a hiss, as he watched the two pensioner toddle around the corner of the end of the aisle.
‘Hush. They were sweet.’
‘And obviously high on their medication,’ Karl laughed.
To be fair, it is something you’d say,’ Jess said with a frown.
‘And probably sixty percent of this shop,’ Karl replied, heading away from the produce aisle and on to the bakery, with its warm, welcoming aroma.
‘And I thought you were an original.’
‘I am. The one and only.’
‘You can’t be if others say what you say.’
Jess smiled to herself as she watched him stride on.
Her winning arguments always ended with him saying the very same word. Some folk she knew hated it whenever others snidely replied “whatever”; they just didn’t see that the other person had lost.
She did and smiled.
‘Do we need bread?’ He asked.
‘Nope. We have a freezer full.’
‘Thought so,’ he replied.
Jess smiled again, thinking to herself that If ever a “whatever” was truly warranted it would be after he had falsely stated what he had or hadn’t observed something in the kitchen cupboards or freezer. The only time he ventured in was when he could smell food cooking.
They moved on to the delicatessen.
Jess calmly waited for Karl’s next stock question…