I'm standing in line at the grocery store. I can already tell I'm in the wrong line. The elderly woman two places ahead of me is meticulously going through her coupons, matching each container and package and bottle to a certain coupon. I count fourteen items. This line is only for those with ten items or less.
Behind me is a young couple. Their red basket is full of sushi and fruit and milk. He is holding the basket. They are talking. Well, she is talking.
I only needed some bacon bits and bread rolls. I set them carefully on the conveyor belt, placing them neatly behind the little plastic divider.
The conveyor belt moves slowly, as the woman with the coupons is watching the screen to make sure all the prices are correct. After all the items have been scanned and bagged, she gets out a checkbook. She didn't get the checkbook out until after all her items were scanned and bagged.
The shelves of candy scream louder at me the longer I wait in line.
In between the elderly woman and myself is a young family of three. Dad, mom and child. The dad is talking to the mom about something that happened at work. The little boy is staring at the candy. They are after him too, it seems. He glances at me, and then returns back to the candy.
There is no candy mixed in with his parents food.
The man behind me puts his food on the conveyor belt. He forgets to grab the divider, so I add it for him. The woman is still talking about nothing in particular.
The closer it gets to my turn, the louder the candy gets. Just as I'm about to give in to some Rolo's, I spot a box full of peanut M&M's. They are on sale. Three for a dollar. These would be perfect for the hike, I think to myself. I grab the whole box and dump all it's contents next to my bread, just as the family is finishing up their transaction. I bought eighteen packs of peanut M&M's.
The little boy sees me dump the candy and has now turned his attention to it. His head is barely above the conveyor belt and at eye level with all the little yellow packs. His mouth is wide open and he is staring at them so longingly I think he might grab them and run as fast as he can. He turns his head slowly and looks at me. His eyes are wild with envy, wishing with his whole life that he was as lucky as me. I smile at him. He turns back to the M&M's. Then back to me. His Dad pulls him away by the hand and they walk out the exit. His eyes never leave me.
Outside, the elderly woman is standing next to her car looking over her receipt. She looks very annoyed.