The Loaf that Got Away

So there I was at the grocery store. My mission: buy a loaf of bread. I was on my way to the bakery section when I noticed something just wasn’t right. I couldn’t smell the smell. You know that awesome fresh-baked bread smell? It wasn’t there. Turns out my nose was right; the bakery was closed. I was really hoping for a fresh loaf. Denied. Oh well, I thought, guess I’ll have to take what I can get. Off I went to the bread rack.

I searched everywhere and couldn’t find a single loaf of bread. Was I going to have to eat my peanut butter and jelly straight out of the jar! Just as I was about to give up hope I noticed one lonely loaf in the bun section. Victory! I strutted in the direction of the loaf and from out of nowhere I was cut off by a little old lady in a shopping cart. She could barely see over the cart so I figured she just didn’t see me and was aiming to get herself a bag of buns. Wrong. She looked back at me with a smug look and reached for that last loaf of bread.

The angel on my shoulder told me to let her have the bread. The devil on the other shoulder had a different idea. That day was a devilish day. I shouted, “Fibre cereal is buy one get two free! I better race down there now before there’s none left!” The old bird fell for it. She forgot about that loaf of bread and raced off like Lighting McQueen in the Piston Cup. I quickly grabbed that precious loaf and raised it high above my head while laughing maniacally. The old lady glanced back in disbelief. I looked her straight in the eye and cheered, “Sucker!”

I headed directly to the self-checkout, keeping a firm but gentle grip on my prize. I scanned the barcode. The beep of the scanner sounded like a choir of angels. I quickly pressed the Skip Bagging icon and then the Finish and Pay button. No way I was letting that bread leave my happy fingers. The robotic female voice of the computer encouraged me to choose a payment method. I reached into my pocket. My stomach burned with disbelief. No wallet. I forgot it at home.

I dropped to my knees and cried in defeat. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder. “I’ll take that,” said a dry and wispy voice. It was the old lady. Holding on was futile. Through the tears I watched the loaf of bread move from my hand to hers in what seemed like slow motion. She looked me straight in the eye. Her eyes were cold and vengeful as she raised the bread above her head and cheered, “Sucker!”