Baileys Besieged

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Chapter 5

Larry looks down at a grocery list. As much as he hates grocery shopping, he thinks it certainly beats not having anything to eat or drooling over a perfect sample in some unrealistic television advertisement. A woman walks by with a short thigh-high skirt; a skirt that entices any man with testosterone to take a wide-eyed gaze her way. Larry takes a harmless glance, knowing he is not old or dead. The attractive woman smiles in his direction, causing the bachelor to feel like a college professor who desires a gangly co-ed. Yet, it inflates Larry’s ego to know the woman had offered him her smile!

Although engaged, the passing flirtation of youth flitters through his mind every chance it gets. Senses of mars work to create an image amazing in its clarity, superficial in pure fantasy, and destructive—if used to avoid true reality. Venus enjoys the flattery of as many male glances as she can gather, although she is often slow to acknowledge the commitment.

Larry feels strange enough to shift his current path. He enters an aisle, three further down. Seconds later, the same sexy woman walks up the aisle he occupies, as if to tantalize his already overheated Mars’ senses. Larry’s legs and mind become masculine jelly. To top it all off, the young woman squats to reach out for an item on the bottom shelf—with no apparent shame in her short skirt riding up her smooth thighs.

Is she aware she tortures me—this way? Larry Quintana walks away from the stimulus.

He knows it is not advantageous for a man to admit that he does not want to tarnish what he has with Tina, because he would be forced to admit that what they have is something special.

He enters the Produce Department and finds the best stalk of bananas, half-expecting the woman to follow him in order to flatter herself. But she is gone, like a beautiful skinned butterfly. The sexy woman finds her wings, and the slight chance of capture evaporates before Larry’s masculine eyes.

A pager at the detective’s waist buzzes. He looks down at an alert from the precinct office. What now? He finds a more practical urge to get his perishable groceries home. The little window reads: URGENT.

It will take fifteen minutes to make it through the check-out line. Not to mention an impending encounter with school traffic. The stewardess’ soothing smile returns to Larry’s subconscious thoughts, begging him to give into her friendly skies. The slender uniformed body cruises up the aisle, again, in a short body-hugging mini skirt. Larry remembers the tip, and he thinks he practically paid the woman for free looks at her body. In his mind, suddenly it is as if he symbolically released himself for a surer thing. He knows he will never have to pay Tina to love him, like he would have to pay for a fleeting fantasy.

Larry sees Marla step through the entrance of the store pushing a small child in a shopping cart. She must have gained a hundred pounds! Larry notices the woman’s belly shoots out over her shoes like some beer-bellied clown. Lack of make-up tells him she has let herself go. Marla grabs a large bag of potato chips and tosses them into the cart, before she heads in the direction of the frozen food section. The next thing Larry notices is that Marla’s face gives into an ever-deepening frown, one that speaks volumes of one-night stands and a life based on accidental circumstances. SAD! Is all Larry thinks. Then, he sighs. Boy am I glad I’m free of that!

He steps up to the check-out counter, and fumbles in his wallet for his shopper card. The young clerk at the counter has her mouth flapping to another employee, a check-stand over. It is something about her five-hour work shift, and how hard it is—NOT! Larry finds the conversation annoying.

On the way to his car, he is glad store employees were like a couple of Magpies. He gazes down at his receipt and notices he got a free loaf of bread the woman with the five-hour shift failed to scan. Must be like walking and chewing gum at the same time. Larry thinks as he gets into his police cruiser. He turns over the ignition. For some reason, he remembers Tina’s electronic greeting card that popped up on his PC—that morning—and how her spiritual words came to touch his soul. How it had entranced him. Larry saved the card, so he could open it up and look at it each night before turning in for bed. He finds himself slowly falling into a gratifying bond of a kindred soul. Tina is a woman that fortifies his every weakness and compliments his every strength.

Inevitably, he will grow fearful of losing such a gift. When dating and love cease becoming a superficial chess game, Larry finds it miraculous how everything comes together. He finds they are engaged several ways: through Internet transmission, airplane transference, and noisy cell lines. All communication flows between them as if they are best friends.

Both life mates begin doing brainless acts, as if some love bug has infiltrated their bodies and harpooned their preoccupied minds. Larry misplaces his keys in the lock of his front door, and he does not find them for a half a day. Tina leaves the stove on for nearly six hours. Neither mate can think of any other person, on the face of the earth, they would rather be with. Wedding bells begin to resound from two reciprocal hearts, similar thinking minds, and a world that wants bond money in the form of a lavish wedding ceremony. Both know that—to follow tradition—means there is no other way.

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