We’re in a grocery store. It’s actually my worst nightmare, maybe after eating in a restaurant. The rows and rows and rows of food, ugly stuff to stuff into your body make me nauseous. But we’re here because I don’t have to be at work because as he reminded me, it’s Saturday. He thinks that it’ll be fun to go food shopping together. I don’t need to go food shopping, but I love being with him.
He wraps his arms around my waist from behind and tucks his head between my jaw and shoulder. “What are you looking at dork?”
I lean backward into him; cherishing this time we have in public to just be us. There are no paparazzi in sight and we have the aisle to ourselves. I’m staring at the millions of shelves of Oreo cookies. “Cookies.”
He laughs. “Well do you want some?” He reached out from behind me and I watched his hand grab a package of double-stuffed. I gulp.
He comes out from behind me and turns so we’re face to face, the package of cookies in his hand. “Of course you want them. They’re delicious.”
“No.” I hate Oreos. They only bring back bad memories. They’re the easiest things to binge on. A vivid memory comes to me from a few months ago. I was at home alone right after a night in the whole Jonas house. Joe and I had had sex in his room and he told me he loved me. When I got home I felt so worthless and hungry, I ate a whole package of Oreos in fifteen minutes. Five minutes later, I threw up. A lot. I remember seeing the black crumbs projectile into the toilet. I felt sick. Not nauseous, but sick of myself. How could he tell me he loves me? I’m completely not good enough for him.
I guess he saw my expression change because he put the Oreos back on the shelf and looked concerned. “Babe, you wanna get out of here?”
I realize that there’s unshed tears in my eyes. He immediately sees it and pulls me in close. I push my head into his chest and my ears ring with the sound of his heartbeat. I’m trying so hard not to cry, but it’s too much. I start to shake. He senses it and pulls his arms tighter, trying to keep me still, trying to bring me into him, attach us together.
“No.” He starts to stroke my hair. “Please don’t cry. I love you. I love you so, so much. You don’t want Oreos? No Oreos. Never any Oreos.” He’s never actually caught me in the act and I’ve never talked to him about it but he knows. He tries to avoid it and pretend like everything’s perfect, but a perfect girl would not be breaking down in the middle of a grocery store because she doesn’t want to buy Oreos.
His endearing voice and graceful hands make me sob harder. I need to get out of here. We’re in the middle of a grocery store; people are going to start to notice. I pull away from him and look up into his eyes. “We should go.”
He reaches down and takes my hand in his, squeezing it tight and smiles down at me. “Let’s get out of here, baby.” Suddenly he’s transformed. It’s like he’s trying to pretend it never happened. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that what just happened is not ok. He should be doing something about it, but he just pretends that it doesn’t exist.
“Back to my place?” He’s started to pull me towards the exit.
“No, I don’t want to see your family again. I can’t take so much Jonas in so little time.”
He chuckles and nudges me in the hip. “Are you insulting my family?”
“I’m simply stating my mind. Let’s just go back to my house. My mom is out for the day.”
He throws his arm around my shoulder and squeezes as we walk out the automatic doors and into the beautiful California day. No paparazzi. Impressive.
“An empty house all to ourselves, Demetria.”
“Joseph, you seem to be suggesting something.” My mood has done a 180 in a matter of seconds. This is why I love this boy.
“Maybe I am.”
“And what is it?”
“You’re gonna have to wait and see my love.”
I can’t take it. I reach up to cup his cheek in my hand and plant a big fat kiss on his stubbly chin. He smiles. “Patience, my darling. Let’s make it to the car first.”