I gasped. My stomach lurched. It’s a question. I dared not turn and look. Instead, I pushed my cart faster.
"April, wait up."
Quickly, I turned a corner.
"April? It is April, isn’t it?"
I couldn’t seem to get away from the deep masculine voice that hounded me.
"I never forget a face." He chuckled. "Or a body for that matter."
Almost turning to see who taunted me, I caught myself. Instead, I jogged with the cart full of groceries toward the restrooms.
Leaving the cart outside, I ran into the ladies room. In an all out panic, my breathing grew so heavy I dizzied from anxiety. Reaching in my handbag I retrieved my cell phone, dialed and retreated with my purse, to a stall and waited.
I closed my eyes. "Cindy, thank God…you’re there. I’m so scared."
"Calm down Helen. Where are you? What’s the matter?"
"I’m at AJ’s picking up some things. Cindy… someone called me April."
"Did you hear me?"
"I heard you. Let me think…what did he look like?"
I started to whine. "I don’t know, if I would’ve turned around he would have known I was April." Suddenly, I grew angry and snarled into the phone, "You said this would never happen—could never happen. It was your fucking idea and now…" After a pause I whined. "Cin, what am I going to do?"
"Okay, calm down. It’s just a bad break. Most likely, it’s some winter visitor trying to get out of the snow back East like seven years ago in Vegas."
"Yes, but what am I supposed to do?"
"Where are you now? Did you leave the store?"
"No, I ran into the restroom."
"Okay. He’s probably gone by now, but just in case, I’ll come there with a change of clothes and a wig. Do you have sunglasses?"
Good, wait for me. I’ll be there in twenty minutes."
I glanced at my Cartier. 2:22 p.m. The door opened as I sat there and I heard someone enter the stall next to me. At 2:26 she flushed the toilet and went to a lavatory, washed her hands and left. I had trouble catching my breath and my hiatal hernia was so bad I thought I’d have a heart attack. My mouth seemed to lack saliva. Water. I need water. I left the stall and turned on the faucet at a lavatory. I bent down and scooped water into my mouth. It wasn’t the expensive bottled water I was used to, but no water ever tasted better.
I can’t stand being cooped up like this. I have to get out of here. I opened the door a few inches and looked around. An elderly couple, and two younger women were all I saw. I opened the door enough to stick my head through.
Nothing looked suspicious and my cart was still there. I made a run for it. Wearing my Ray Ban’s, I grabbed my cart and headed to the checkout stands. Someone was finishing up in one, so I headed there. My cart banged into another as someone tried to beat me there.
"I was here first," The corpulent lady said indignantly.
"I retorted, nastily, "Lady, you’re in the wrong store. Weight Watchers is around the corner." Obviously, the stress is getting to me.
"Well, I never." She stuck her chin up haughtily and headed to another isle.
"Do you have a super saver card?"
"Yes it’s on my keychain—here."
She scanned the groceries. "That’ll be forty-eight, sixty-five"
"Paper or plastic?" The bagger asked.
"Either. Just hurry."
A tall man in a cowboy hat started unloading groceries. When he smiled at me, my throat started to constrict.
The cashier handed me the receipt. "You saved seven dollars and thirty cents, Mrs. Ryan. Do you need help out to your car ma’am?"
Nervous, I dared another look at the man. He dipped his head. "Y’all have a nice day ma’am," he said as his fingers tipped the bill of his cowboy hat.
His voice was different—melodic. I breathed a sigh of relief, and then looked around the store then headed into the blistering summer heat of Scottsdale.
After rushing to my car, I shoved the groceries in the trunk. Slipping behind the wheel, started the engine pulled my phone out of my purse and called Cindy while waiting for the air conditioning to take hold.