Supermarkets are much the same the world over-especially the queues at check-out points.
What extraordinary things other people are buying
there are odd snatches of overheard conversation too
But what if one is living alone, "Shopping for one?"
"What did you say?"Jean heard the blonde woman in front of her talking to her friend
"Well,"the darker woman began,"I said I’m not having that woman there. I don’t see why I should
I mean I’m not being old-fashioned but I don’t see why I should have to put up with her at family occasions.
After all,.."Jean noticed the other woman giving an accompaniment of nods and headshaking at the appropriate parts.They fell into silence and the queue moved forward a couple of steps
毕竟， .. “简注意到另一个女人在适当的地方点头和摇头。他们陷入沉默，队列向前推进了几步。
Jean felt her patience beginning to itch.
Looking into her wire basket she counted ten items
giant bottles of coke crammed in beside twenty-pound bags of potatoes and "special offer" drums of bleach.
After all,the dark woman resumed her conversation.
How would it look if she was there when I turned up?
Her friend shook her head slowly from side to side and ended with a quick nod.
Should she have got such a small size salad cream?
Jean wasn’t sure.
She was sick of throwing away half-used bottles of stuff
He came back to you after all,the blonde woman suddenly said.
Jean bent over and began to rearrange the items in her shopping basket.
the dark woman spoke in a triumphant voice
Begged me take in him back
She gritted her teech together,
Should she go and change it for a larger size?
Jean looked behind and saw that she was hemmed in by three large trollies
she’d lose her place in the queue
There was something so pitiful about buying small sizes of everything.
It was as though everyone knew
You can always tell a person by their shopping
was one of her mother’s favourite maxims
She looked into her shopping basket
individual fruit pies,small salad cream, yoghurt,tomatoes,
and cat food.
It was only for sex you know
he admitted as much to me when he came back
the dark woman informed her friend
Her friend began to load her shopping on to the conveyor belt.
Jean looked again at her basket and began to feel the familiar feeling of regret that visited her from time to time.
Hemmed in between family-size cartons of cornflakes and giant packets of washing powder,her individual yoghurt seemed to say it all.
She looked up towards a plastic bookstand which stood beside the till
A slim glossy hardback caught her eye.
The words Cooking for one screamed out from the front cover.
He was so traditional after all
She thought about their shopping trips,before, when they were together.
Salmon?toilet rolls?coffee?peas?she remembered he only liked the processed kind
Standing there holding her wire basket, embarrassed by its very emptiness, was like something out of a soap opera.
Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs,the dark wooman continued
lazily passing a few items down to her friend.
Jean began to load her food on to the conveyor belt.
She picked up the cookery book and felt the frustrations of indecision.
It was only ninety pence but it seemed to define everything ,to pinpoint her aloneness,to prescribe an empty future.
She put it back in its place
So that’s why I couldn’t have her there you see,"the dark woman was summing up.
She lowered her voice to a loud whisper which immediately alerted a larger audience.
And anyway, when he settles back in, I’m sure we’ll sort out the other business then
Jean opened her carrier bag ready for her shopping
She turned to watch the two women as they walked off
the blonde pushing the trolley and the other seemingly carrying on with her story.
The cashier was looking expectantly at Jean .
It was four pounds and eighty-seven pence.
She gave over her money and picked up her carrier bag.
She felt a sense of relief to be away from the mass of people. 远离人群时她感到一种解脱感。
Walking out of the door she wondered what she might have for tea.
Possibly chicken,she thought,with salad.
Walking towards her car she thought that she should have bought the cookery book after all
She suddenly felt much better in the fresh air.
She’d buy it next week
And in future she’d buy a large salad cream
After all, what if people came round unexpectedly
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