Two Things

John was sent shopping, but this time instead of a whole list he only had two things to remember. Two things that his wife had said were the most important for their weekend soiree.

Sally, AKA Mrs John, helped him into his jacket. “You should write it down. That way you won’t forget.”

“It’s two things Sal, even I can manage that one,” John joked buttoning his jacket.

As he left the house he shouted back to his wife, “Don’t worry, hon, I’ll get it right this time.” He blew her a kiss.

“I’m trusting you.” she replied and turned on her heel to return to the kitchen and continue preparing food for the next day’s evening get together.  As she turned she noticed John’s keys on the hallway table. “You might need these when you get back,” she threw them at him as he turned to hear what she had to say.

Sally shook her head while John simply smiled, smiled simply?  He was used to her nagging and treating him just like one of the kids. It did strike him that it was strange that she had started to treat their eldest like an adult while she continued to treat him like a kid, but it wasn’t something that as going to worry him, after all she always seemed to know better, she said so.

John whistled as he wandered down the street. In his head he said the two things over and over  like a mantra. He couldn’t forget this time.

Just before he turned the corner to the local supermarket he literally bumped into one of his golfing friends. As they always did they got to talking about their last rounds and ones they would play the following week.

“See you Tuesday, Dave,” he shouted over his shoulder as he continued on his way. He’d almost forgotten his mission, then as he arrived at the supermarket he realised he had indeed forgotten his mission.

John stood in the doorway to the supermarket racking his brains. He tried to conjure up the conversation he had had with his wife as they had stood in the kitchen just half an hour before, but it just wouldn’t come. He tried to remember what she was cooking for their ‘gourmet feast’ as she called it. He knew one of the things he was supposed to get was an ingredient for one of the dishes she was making, but exactly what it was had fled his mind.  The other thing was something specific for them to drink with the food.He thought it began with a ‘B’, but that more than likely meant it began with a Y’ or even a ‘Z’.  ‘If only she was happy with cava and crisps’ he thought and laughed to himself.

“Are you okay, there'” one of the trolley-supervisors asked John as he pushed a train of trolleys back inside the store.

“Just a memory block. Can’t remember what I came here for.” John replied laughing off his anxiety.

“Happens a lot. Grab a  trolley and have a wander around, ” the man suggested. “It’ll probably come to you when you see it.”

“Great Idea,” John took one of the trolleys and set off inside the store.

‘You could always phone home and find out‘: a voice in his mind. Another voice piped up, ‘She’ll go ballistic‘ while the other replied ‘one of the kids will answer the phone, she’s far too busy in the kitchen, they’ll know what the two things are.’

“That’s what I’ll do,” John said aloud, causing a couple of nearby shoppers to give him a wider berth as they passed. He moved his trolley to the side and reached into his inside jacket pocket. His phone wasn’t there.  he had a sudden picture flash of his phone on the table by his chair plugged in to charge. “Damn,” he said more quietly.

As he wandered the aisles he saw several things that he thought may have been the things Sally had ordered him to buy , but he couldn’t be sure. By the time he got to the till he had half a trolley-ful of possible items. He paid, having to pay for carrier bags as well because he hadn’t thought to bring a bag with him.

On the way home he mulled over what he had bought hoping against hope that he had got the right things, and that Sally would be pleased with the other select items he had added to make the party better.

Nervously John let himself in and dropped his keys on the hallway table. He put the shopping bags down and shucked off his Jacket which he casually threw on a chair.

Sally looked round the kitchen door. “Oh John, hang it up please, I’ve enough to do, and oh my, two bags of shopping, you only went for two things. You DID get them didn’t you?”

“Well…” John began.

“Oh, John you didn’t, did you?’ Sally interrupted him. Her face darkened as she picked up one of the bags and started to go through it item by item. John knew he was in for a rough evening as Sally searched through both bags grunting at each purchase. ‘He should have listened carefully, he should have written it down, he should have phoned, he should have taken his phone… it was just two things …. and so on’ the recriminations would soon begin.



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