"Short Story: A Banner Love"

I like to see him in the morning, when the world feels still. He is fresh. He keeps me nourished. I can go all around the world without leaving my kitchen.

At night, I wash my face with a cleanser and then apply moisturizer I discovered through him. My fingertips soothe my skin from the day. I am full of love and chicken teriyaki. In the morning, he has a meal waiting for me after a long rest.

The anticipation of walking through his door is exciting. I pick up a newsletter to see what is new so we could have something to talk about and have something new to try.

However, there are times I have been with him and felt disappointed. He will introduce a snack to me, knowing that I have faint spells or HANGRY can make its presence. It is more than the snack. It is that he did not take more time to get to know me before suggesting Dried Sweet Pineapple. I guess that is also bound to happen with any new relationship.

Moving to a new city is always hard. My aunt shouted, “Make sure you start dating!” I was more concerned about finding a great place to eat and a great grocery store. She would be happy to see I have more meat on my bones.

Being alone on a Wednesday night should not be an anomaly until I recognize I have been too busy to see him. I have plenty of delicious frozen food that I realized kept me from going to the store.

Friends from work invited me to brunch. It was at a cute yet quaint coffee shop but served for a multitude of tastes, something I had become acquainted with.

They talked about each other’s glow. It seemed to be reserved for women who were married, as they all had a glistening diamond on their special finger. My glow came from the coconut butter body lotion I was using.

I looked at the menu and laughed to myself. I had to order it.

“I am going to have the sriracha fried chicken with waffles, cookie butter on the side.”

I returned the menu.

After brunch, I decided to see him. On the red banner read his name: Trader Joe’s. A new season was approaching so he was only concerned with one flavor, pumpkin spice. I put a product into the hand basket to try, satisfied with his return policy.