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Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

My Crush Caught Me Buying Condoms

Of all the Rite Aids in town, I had to go to that one

At the beginning of the week, I decided to go to the pharmacy on my day off. I needed to run some other errands, and I was sort of seeing someone new for, like, a second. In the end, clumsiness and alcohol ended up getting in the way. Before that disaster happened, though, I figured I would grab some condoms. You can never be too prepared.

That’s what they say, anyways.

I should have listened to my gut instead of heeding this tired lesson, but I wanted to be the responsible adult. On top of that, I have a history of poor preparation when it comes to sex. So, being extra cautious seemed like a good idea.

When I lived on the Airforce base, I enjoyed a private BX, which is essentially the military Wal-Mart. Now that I was off base, I really didn’t know which was best. So, I decided to go to the most convenient location.

I arrived at the Rite-Aid down the street from my apartment complex. Once through the doors, I made a straight shot for the Family Planning aisle.

It was an odd hour on a weekday, and most people were at work, so the store was empty for the most part.

Thank God, I thought.

I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle running into anyone. Yes, the majority of my writing is centered around sex. Still, you must understand, I am very, very uncomfortable with the idea someone I don’t want to find out I’m having it, could.

I’m aware this isn’t quite normal. Then again, neither am I, so I deal.

I began to peruse the different selections when I heard my name.

“Evie?”

Oh, God, that voice.

With as much as it creeps into my mind throughout the day, it was unmistakable.

“Oh, hi! Isn’t that your friend from work, babe?”

No. No, not her, too.

I made a slow turn, dragging out facing the sheer humiliation speeding my way.

He wore a quizzical look on his beautiful face, eyebrows raised as I blinked at him, unresponsive.

“So, you’re…here.”

It seems Tyson isn’t great at more-than-awkward situations, either.

Let’s freeze frame so I can give a quick recap.

If you don’t already know Tyson, you’re going to need one to understand my agony.

I’ve written a few stories about him. If you’re short on time or just plain don’t want to check them out, here’s the low down: I’ve got a huge crush on him. Like, it’s bad. As if this scenario needed to be more hackneyed, he hardly knows I exist, or he avoids me because I’m batshit.

Maybe both.

After how I’ve behaved in his presence, I wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks I’m going to drug him one night. He’ll wake up in a delirious haze, hog-tied in my apartment while I swirl a glass of Chianti in an arm chair.

I’ve also written a satirical piece about his poor, unsuspecting girlfriend, who stood at his side.

That’s right. It was a 2-for-1 special.

“How are you?” Meg, forever effervescent and bubbly, bounded over to me.

My temples squeezed, the start of the headache that accompanies our encounters.

“Fine, good, yeah, fine.”

My voice raised as I began to lose control of volume, a sign of nerves.

“I thought you were divorced?” blurted Tyson, and we winced at the same time.

Romantic.

“Um, yeah, no,” I held up the box in my hand and gave it a rattle. “These aren’t for…him.”

A barking laugh shot it’s way out of my throat before I could stop it.

That wasn’t even funny. Calm down, freak.

“Oh, okay, cool. Smart.” Tyson gave a nod, and I noticed the carton he tucked in the crease of his arm.

“Getting some, too?”

Oh, my God, you tool, why would you ask that?

“We’re going to Medora for a few days,” Meg wrapped her tiny body around Tyson as she gazed up at him. “So sweet, you know? He surprised me last night.”

“Wow, that is awesome, actually. I love Medora.”

I did my best to smile. Tyson mirrored me.

“I’m just going for the bars.”

An attempt at lightening the mood. I was grateful.

“They have Blackjack there, too.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, check out Lonestar. I went there a while back and played.”

“Ah, I’d love that!”

“Babe,” Meg tugged on his hand, “you said you wouldn’t gamble.”

I bit my tongue. Like me, Tyson has a gambler’s spirit, one that seemed crushed in that moment.

“I forgot. I’m sorry.”

“If you do, use the betting technique I taught you.” I turned to Meg. “Maybe he could teach you, too. It’s easy and fun. You don’t have to bet much. They have a three dollar minimum.”

His eyes lingered a little too long on mine.

Maybe it was in my head, but I still felt it wasn’t fair to Meg. It wasn’t her fault we had so much in common.

“I — I should go. I have to check on my dog. Have fun on your getaway!”

My feet began to travel across the store before they could answer.

I made sure to find a register far away from the aisle, and I sped through the transaction before running to my car.

It was over, thankfully. I could put him out of my mind. A prickling sensation crawled over me, and I had the sudden urge to take a bath. I felt so…unclean.

No matter how I try to shake him, he seems to follow. I don’t want to get in the way of their relationship in anyway, despite my envy.

As I drove away, I watched them exit the store hand in hand. He opened her passenger door and gave a kiss on the top of her head before going around to the driver’s side.

I smiled, unable to remember the last time I was so appreciated.

My time will come someday. I have to work on myself first.

On the plus side, at least I won’t be so distracted at work while he’s gone.

Reader beware — you’re in for a scare!-R.L. Stine. https://url.bio/Eviemwrites1

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