He was wearing this awful teal sweater thing. It was two sizes too big which was Ben’s style and it looked like it was inside out. You were supposed to wear black, jesus, that’s what I said. He shrugged like he didn’t know english. It’s just that it’s going to be easier for someone to see us now, I said that to his shrug and he rolled his eyes and said he didn’t think anyone would see us anyway. I said that’s a stupid thing to think but boys don’t listen to girls and they definitely don’t listen to girls younger than them so he was already looking past me and it made me roll my eyes now too.
I had the keys from Donny which he would need back before Monday but it wasn’t going to be a problem because I would see him at AA on Sunday night because he was a weekender and I did Sun-Thur which is why they called me Saint June. I had told them my name was June but it was April which was funny to me and who cares because they don’t need my fucking name anyway it’s AA. Donny drinks every week and so do I pretty much but we don’t drink on the days we go to AA. None of that matters but Donny needs his keys before Monday so I’ll put them in my bag after this but for now I’m using them to get in the back door of a Jewel Osco, the one he works at off Pine.
I hold the door for Ben and he slinks in like he’s already embarrassed and I don’t say anything because being embarrassed is good. I tell him to be quiet and use his phone for a light and to whistle if somethings up and he says he can’t whistle and I say of course you can’t whistle and he keeps looking and I say then text me or yell or something. I say the front doors will be locked though so don’t run there, run to the back and use one of those doors if you can. Worse case I say, you can hide and wait it out if they just get me I guess. He looks nervous and I tell him to just grab what we need and go.
It goes fine, it goes like it normally does. Between us both we fill three of those baskets and then some and we get to the back together no sweat and it’s all fine until the lights all turn on and we look at each other but no one has said anything yet and Ben is smiling and I can’t see what we’d be smiling about and I put my finger up to my mouth in the shush signal and he rolls his eyes and if I wasn’t there in the light in the Jewel at night I would’ve slapped him and his glasses would’ve flew off and I would’ve felt good about how I’m smaller but felt like I was bigger.
A voice calls out with an accent and he asks if someone is in here and it comes from the front and we are lucky and I usher Ben to get going to the back, we are so close and he’s still smiling but I don’t hit him I just get my shit together and move behind him and we are speed walking as quiet as we can and we make it to the door and the guy from behind us yells stop and we push the door and both run as fast as we can, me with two baskets overflowing and Ben with his one basket and a bottle of wine in the other even though he’s too young for that and the voice yells again and the air is thick outside, like it’s wet or it wants to be but it isn’t yet and the sky is blue and black and purple and the only sound you hear other than our feet is the humming and dripping of all the ACs hanging out of the windows of all the bedrooms of all the apartments full of people stupid enough to be buying their food in the day, people who don’t know a Donny and don’t need to be bringing along a Ben and who don’t care enough to run through the street with their bottles and their bread.