codes: MF

Check Out
by Chris Hlad©

Eric wondered if she had any concept how he felt about her.  Did she happen to notice that
he always used her checkout line even when there were shorter ones?  Did she happen to
notice the slight blush his face carried every time she said the requisite, “Hello, and how
are you today?” (or tonight-which more often than not was the case)?

Her name was Anne, and yes, she did notice.  “Men can be such little boys!” she frequently
said to herself.  At twenty seven, she’d figured out by now when a man or a woman had a
crush on her, although they usually didn’t try to hide it like this stranger who wasn’t really a
stranger did.

Did he really expect her not to notice his being there on a Friday night all dressed up just to
buy something as mundane as a light bulb?  He was either really bored or just wanted an
excuse to see her.  Anne’s assumption was the latter, and her assumption was right.

She knew she was an attractive woman, but she was also realistic.  She’d never make any
magazine’s fifty most beautiful people list, but she was prettier than the average woman.

But that’s not what Eric thought.  

Oh no, he thought she was the most exquisite woman he’d ever seen, and her physical
attributes were only part of the package.  She radiated a confidence and enthusiasm that
only enhanced her physical beauty.  And yes, he would often go to the market late at night
so she’d be the last thing he’d see before closing his eyes.  Usually, she led him to a land
of peaceful, relaxed dreams.


Sometimes his dreams were of such an erotic nature that he’d wake up in a state of bliss,
sweaty, his warm semen on his belly, visions of her dancing in the shadows like lingering

Either way, whenever he dreamt of her, he awoke happy.

Now all he had to do was get up the nerve to ask her out, which, in the last three months,
hadn’t happened.

It wasn’t due to any lack of confidence on his part; he’d been out with many beautiful
women before.  She was just, well, something he’d never seen or experienced before, and
he didn’t want her reality to shatter his illusion of her.  Since the death of his wife of less
than a year, he needed her.  He needed the comfort she provided him.  He couldn’t live with
the ghosts of his former wife; he’d tried that for too long now.  He needed something-
someone-real, even if he wasn’t ready to take the next step of dating.   “Anne, Anne, Anne”,
he said like a mantra before falling asleep into one of his peaceful dreams on a Thursday

Friday evening after work, Eric showered and put on an outfit he thought she might like.  It
was a little after nine when he arrived at the market.  He knew her schedule, and knew she’
d be working tonight.  What he didn’t know was that at the last minute Anne had received a
call from her manager asking if she’d be available to work an earlier shift.  She’d agreed,
grateful to have a Friday night to herself.

Eric had no idea what kind of car Anne drove, so his parking next to her was purely
coincidental.  When he got out of his car, she was getting into hers.  She recognized him
immediately.  “Hi there,” she said.

“Hi,” he replied instinctually.  He didn’t know who she was at first.  She’d changed out of her
work uniform, and he’d never seen her in regular clothes before.  He was staring, but by the
time he realized it, it was too late.

“What?” she asked playfully.

“Sorry,” he said, embarrassed, blushing and already starting to walk away.

“Hey, wait a minute,” she said.

He froze in his tracks.

“What are you doing tonight, Eric?”

He was stunned.  He was too enchanted by her to make any sort of use out of the word
‘logic’, and therefore had absolutely no idea how she knew his name.

Anne read him like a book.  “You don’t see a customer and run their frequent shopper’s
card on a regular basis without learning their name.”

He felt like a fool.

She offered her hand to him.  “Since we’ve never ‘officially’ met, although you’ve seen my
name tag enough to know my name as well.”

He took it, and with that initial contact, his guard wasn’t just down, it was gone.    “I’ve seen
you enough to know more than just your name, Anne.”

Now she was the one frozen.  She’d never really noticed how beautiful his brown eyes
were, and his voice had an almost hypnotic effect over her.

“I don’t want you to think of me as anything other than somebody who adores you.”

“Adores?” she asked.

“Yes.  Adores.  That’s an understatement if there ever was one, but I’ve already wasted too
much time.”

She was flattered and intrigued.  Her smile  told  him to continue.

“Two years ago, my wife died.  For more than a year and a half,  I couldn’t let her go.  I was
living with her ghost, just wasting away.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

He put both his hands on her shoulders.  “That’s sweet of you.  Thanks.”  He breathed
deeply and continued.  “I had to move on, so I did.  Literally.  Three months ago.  And that’s
when I first saw you, behind the counter, the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.  The way
you carry yourself, the timbre of your voice, your body…everything.”

She started to blush, but didn’t know what to say, so she said nothing.

“Ever since that first night I saw you, I knew.  I knew I could feel again.  I knew I could desire
again.  And I knew, I know, that I can love again.”

She stroked his hair.  She had no doubt he was sincere.  Anne just knew, and in knowing
knew that she shouldn’t question it.  “That’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said
to me.”

“I hope I haven’t offended or scared you in any way, and if I have, I apologize, but it would be
an honor if you would join me back at my place for a glass of wine.”

“An honor.  I’ve never had a man say that to me before.  I’d be a fool to say no.”

She followed him to his condominium, which wasn’t more than half a mile away.  Anne had
thought she’d heard it all before, but she was wrong.  She thought she’d seen it all before,
but she was wrong about that too.

She’d been in love before, she’d had men in love with her before, and she knew that look in
a man’s eyes when he was emotionally and not just physically attached.

Anne trusted him and believed his sincerity, and this gave her a sense of power and self
worth she’d never felt before.  This alone made her feel more special, loved and desired
than had any other previous event in her life.  “My God, is this what true love feels like?” she
said to nobody in the car.

His desire for her in every sense of the word had made her feel more sensual and erotic
than any other experience she’d yet encountered, all of which he’d expressed in a few
minutes in a parking lot.

She didn’t give him a chance to talk when they got to his place.  His words were foreplay
enough, and she was starved.

Anne politely stood next to him at his front door, without saying a word.  His words, the way
he had spoken while looking at her, made her feel like a goddess, and she wanted to fulfill
his every desire.

She pushed the door shut behind them as he turned on the lights.  The room was lit just
long enough for her to see the well furnished room with the big white couch.  “No lights,”
she said, leading him to his couch.

She gently pushed him down into a seated position, and undressed before him.  She’d
never felt so comfortable, so unembarrassed an unashamed around any man.

Eric was stunned.  Through the lights coming in off of the street, he could see that she was
everything his fantasies had been.

She took of his shoes and pulled his pants off, leaving him with only his shirt on.  Her
breasts slid against his erect penis as she slid up his body, sliding him into her.

“Anne, Anne, Anne,” he said, watching her dance on top of him, slowly grinding her hips
into his.  This time, though, his mantra and his fantasy were a reality.

They came together as two people who were meant to be one all along, but hadn’t
discovered it until now.  She slid him out of her, and instinctually walked him to the master
bedroom, his warmth sliding down her legs.  She took his shirt off and crawled into bed
with him, just like she’d unknowingly done so many times before.

© 2006 Chris Hlad

Chris Hlad is a Freelance Writer of both fiction and non-fiction.  He may be contacted at or visit his website at
Check Out