It Couldn’t Hurt

The brief walk from his office to his beige Volvo in the company parking lot was enough to make him drip with sweat leaving his pants as saggy as elephant skin. Bob enjoyed the sun, but did not have time to revel in it; he was in a hurry. He cranked his head on the door frame of his car as he climbed into it. Bob needed a moment. The heat of the day had turned the Volvo into a sauna, and he passed out for a time.

Bob awoke, confused. The leather interior had left seam marks on his left cheek. He recalled his wife having phoned earlier. Tammy had told him to do something for her, so he put the car in gear and drove off. It was surely a request to pick up dinner, so he pulled into the grocery store parking lot and headed inside. The tingling chill of the air-conditioning was a welcome relief from the face-melting humidity. It made the throbbing and pounding leave his head.

The store dazzled with light and cleanliness. Bet you could eat off that floor, he thought. It was cleaner than theirs had been as of late. The shiny floor made everything look scrumptious, but as he could not remember what he was there to buy, it did not help him. Still, he grabbed a basket from the stack and walked around the store’s perimeter. Whole foods such as eggs, vegetables, and meats lined it. The healthy stuff, according to the wife. Maybe it was more bread to go with the leftover soup they had in the fridge. Tammy was an excellent cook and the thought of the bacon, barley, and bone-broth creation was enough to make his mouth water. He grabbed a freshly baked baguette and placed it into the basket.

Bob walked up the junk food aisle and added some Oreos, liquorice, and peanut butter cups. He also grabbed some teriyaki flavoured beef jerky and a 12-pack of Pepsi. He swore the lady in the chip aisle let one rip right before he entered it as he slammed into a stinky cloud. A tiny, blonde, bespectacled girl. She was too young to be rotting from the inside, yet she smelled like his old man. With his nose crinkled, Bob managed to grab some brown rice chips and Doritos before he had to get out of the aisle. It was too pungent. His eyes were watering.

It bothered him that he could not remember. The more he tried, the more he thought something else was going to give like his pants’ seam. There was no way he was calling Tammy. Bob swore to her he would not forget what she needed, so he could not admit that he did.

Was it something for dinner? Maybe Tammy said she would like a break from the soup. He grabbed a frozen pizza and tossed it into the basket.

Toilet paper? Tissues? Ice cream? She could not get enough of that lately. Even if that was not what she needed, it was hard to go wrong with ice cream. He popped some of that cheesecake flavour into the basket hanging from his right arm.

Maybe it was cream for her belly? Tammy liked that shea butter stuff. She still had plenty of that, but it couldn’t hurt to get more, right?

Bob’s phone rang. It was Joe, not Tammy, so it was safe to answer.

“You’re alive!” Joe said.

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Where are you?”

“At the store grabbing stuff the wife wanted,” Bob said.

“Dude, your wife went into labour and is wondering where the hell you’ve been. She called you 3 hours ago.”

Bob paid for the items and left the store.

He ran back in and grabbed flowers and a little toy. He was already overdue, so it couldn’t hurt to take a few more minutes. Bob was going to owe Joe big time. He was glad he had bought a comfortable couch. He was going to need it.

Copyright © Raeanne G. Roy, 2016. All rights reserved.