Love Won

By: Gillian Jones

1




Who the Hell Are “They”, Anyway?

They say, “Everything happens for a reason.”

I call balls.

I say “They” are full of shit.

Sure, I agree that some things happen for a reason, but there are clearly events not even They can justify the reasons for.

Case in point: McCoy Graves.

Why did I have to meet the one person who didn’t want me, like I wanted him, when we were kids? What was the point in that? Why would the universe bother presenting me with such a perfect boy—who so easily stole my breath and made my heart skip with an erratic beat reserved solely for him whenever our eyes would catch—if, in the long run, I wasn’t going to get to keep him?

The first time I met McCoy, I thought he noticed me in the same way I’d noticed him: Immediately.

Instinctively.

Hypnotically.

Life-alteringly.

It was a pulse-pounding, heart-slamming-against-my-chest sensation. A feeling that gave a kick start to the crotch of my prepubescent self. A reaction which called my inner woman into action and pushed my outer tomboy aside, making me wonder: “Oh, what do we have here?” Making me realize for the first time in my twelve-and-a-half years of life that boys existed. And I might even like them.

Well, I might have, until this one opened his mouth.

He was a jerk from the beginning but, despite his jerkiness, my heart simply ignored the notifications that my brain tried to send time and time again.

We all have that one boy we never really get over, even if we never actually got under him—McCoy was mine.

I’d love to know what They would say if I were to ask Them why McCoy Graves was always what I envisioned as my fairytale ending. Because to me, he was the Ross to my Rachel, even though to him I was—and always would be—just little Eastlyn Hatfield, his best friend’s sister.

Apparently, I was fucked, no matter what They had to say about it.





2




Cleanup in Aisle One!

One Mississippi.

Two Mississippi.

Three Mississippi.

Four and go, go, go!

I silently cheer myself on as I haul ass across one aisle, then the next, and the next, trying my hardest to go unnoticed.

To the average consumer, I’m sure I look like some sort of escapee right now: sweating, breathing heavily, my long dark hair fanning across my face like a shield, my green eyes open wide on high alert, my curvy frame camouflaged by the rattiest grey yoga capris, old flip-flops, and an oversized Gnarls Barkley T-shirt. Going unnoticed is going to be a huge feat, considering I shop in Weller’s, the world’s smallest grocery store. However, I admit that my severe addiction to the culinary genius of the Açaí Bowl is driving me to continue my quest regardless of the consequences. My current predicament will be worth all this effort, if only I can make it to the cashier unscathed.

Damn you, frozen açaí berries, making me hunt your ass down every week. Who could have guessed the whole world was going to go so crazy for you? All that frozen, mixed-up, grape-like goodness topped with other fresh fruits, granola, and vanilla yogurt…gah, it’s bliss in a bowl, its natural caffeine-like stimulants jump-starting my day. In the defence of açaí, I don’t think there are too many who, like me, tried it and weren’t immediately hooked like fish on a line. So heed my warning: try it with caution! I have been addicted to açaí bowls since I read an article in Vogue about their superpowers. Or is it simply a superfood? Either way, I can use a little of both in the morning.

At twenty-six, I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. I always thought I’d be married by now, with the proverbial white picket fence and 2.5 kids, along with a tiny dog named Hoya resting on my lap. Not still single, living on my own, and having weekly dinners with my parents, who subject my poor unused uterus to the “we want grandchildren” spiel they love giving my brother and me.

But back to my current predicament. Having my fellow consumers stare at me like I’m unstable is fine by me, since I’ve now successfully retrieved a pack of frozen açaí berries from the frozen section. But they have no idea how important it is that he not see me.

These gawking shoppers—like the tiny grey-haired lady giving me the evil eye from the meat counter, and the teenage boy giving me the once-over while pretending to scoop pretzels from a bulk bin into a plastic bag—need to stop staring at me so hard, or they’ll give away my position and he’ll see me. I take a deep breath and try to fade into a wall of cereal, doing what I need to do. To hell with any of the possible consequences: shelves falling on top of me and knocking over said grey-haired lady (who is now blocking my escape route and moving way too slowly), or tripping over someone’s shopping cart which could lead to possible mutilation.

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