Girl Hate


“I hate him.” Kelly was unpersuasive.

“You say that about all your guys.” Veronica continued stocking crackers.

“I hate him the most.” Kelly opened another case of Trader Joe’s crackers and quickly placed them on the shelf.

“Last week you loved him the most.”

“Yea, well, that was then.”

Veronica chuckled, tossing a bag of pretzels onto a shelf. “Your love life changes faster than the free samples kiosk.”

Kelly sighed, pretending to inspect the unopened cases. “I’ve decided to become a nun. No more men, no more drama.”

“I don’t think you’d make it past the dress code.” Just then Veronica spotted him an instant before he turned and located them. She diverted her focus away from the aisle behind Kelly without the opportunity to alert her.

“Who knows, maybe they’ll take me on part-time?” Kelly stood up to reach the higher shelf, oblivious to the approaching showdown.

Veronica kept working rapidly.

“Hey, Kelly.” It was a friendly opening.

Kelly spun halfway around to find herself nose-to-nose with the enemy. She took a step back. “What’s up, Clay?”

“Can we chat tonight?”


“You pick the restaurant. Any place you wish, and I’ll take you there.”


“Or we could meet there.”


“Would another night be better?”


“Don’t you think it would be good to talk?”


Clay paused and looked around. Veronica was now working further down the aisle. A very pregnant mom with four kids was pushing a cart in their direction, calmly orchestrating a circus of motion and loud little voices all talking at the same time. The two smallest were in the cart snacking and dropping groceries on the floor. The other two were racing fore and aft, grabbing items and returning for ringmaster approval.

Kelly glanced at the chaotic scene, more interesting to her than the moment’s pointed reality. She turned her attention back to Clay. “We should both move on.”

“Shouldn’t we at least have one more conversation, so things don’t end the way they did?”

Kelly sighed. Clay had a certain charm she used to find irresistible. She glanced over at Veronica, who was now center stage with the ringmaster, discussing cereals, while one of the kids was pointing at Clay. Turning her attention back to the enemy, Kelly relented, “Okay, but not dinner. I’ll meet you at Java Jenny’s at 5:15. I won’t be able to stay long.”

“Cool. I’ll have your coffee and bagel ready.”

As Clay walked away, Kelly couldn’t help but shake her head. Veronica, having successfully concluded her cereal presentation, approached quizzicly. “Well, that didn’t take long.”

Kelly shrugged. “I don’t know about this. We’re going to meet for coffee, but why bother?”

“Good for you, Kelly,” Veronica smiled. “Who knows, maybe you won’t need that part-time nun gig after all.”

Kelly laughed, “Or, maybe I’ll be better suited to a psych ward.”

The circus moved to the next aisle and both women resumed their work in a quieter environment.

Veronica opined softly, “You know girl, that mom I was just speaking with reminded me of you. And one of her kids remarked that Clay looks like their dad.”

Kelly chuckled, “I think you’re going to join me in the psych ward.”

“Somehow, I could see you managing your own brood in the not-too-distant future.”

“Ha! You’re the one most likely to be a mom first.”

One of the circus crew came racing back around the corner to grab another bag of chips. An adorable six-year-old snatched her prize and then looked up at Kelly to confidently exclaim, “I’m going be like you when I grow up.”

They laughed as the little girl darted away and Veronica prophesized, “The future is calling you out.”

by George Alger


Subscribe to LIMINAL STORIES (free) for more short stories and flash fiction.

more info