Mary stepped out of her mom’s blue Ford Taurus and turned to survey the supermarket’s parking lot. Vehicles of various colours filled the vast area, and darkness was slowly moving in. Mary was about to lower her eyes to the car door as she closed it when she caught sight of a familiar but strange face. Her eyes jerked back to where it was only seconds ago, and she froze.   

Tyrell, her boyfriend’s eyes fixed on her face as his right hand, which seemed to move in slow motion, travelled from behind his back. Mary could not see what was in his hand because she dared not move her eyes from his face since her mind screamed, danger, danger.

Instinctively, Mary ducked. Then forcing her way through the car’s door, she rammed the fob into the ignition and gunned the engine. Her heartbeat was the only sound she could hear, even though she was leaning on her vehicle’s horn.  

Tyrell was her first love, and they met in their last year of high school. Both of their schools were on a field trip to the theatre, and when their eyes met in the theatre’s hallway over the heads of other students after the movie was over, it was love at first sight for her. Then, as she stood waiting to enter the chartered school bus that would take them back to school, Tyrell made his way to her, and they exchanged phone numbers, and since that day, they had been inseparable.  

High school ended, and he entered a four-year course at a local university, whereas Mary went off to work as a cashier at “Real Value Here,” a local supermarket that’s been around since her parents were children.

Tyrell was in his second semester at uni, and studying for his end-of-term exams took up most of his time. However, on Mary’s days off, which was on Tuesdays, he spent practically the entire day with her. They ran errands, ate in restaurants, went to the beach and did whatever else they wanted to do.

On one of these Tuesdays, they stopped in a restaurant to eat lunch. The restaurant was almost packed, but Mary managed to grab a seat for them while Tyrel went to order a chicken sandwich for her and a beef burger for himself.  

Tyrell was in blue jeans and a blue and white t-shirt, and he was waiting for their order to be ready when three women, judged to be around their age, entered the fast food restaurant. They joined the queue of about three people, and by the time it was their turn to order, Tyrell had their order and was about to join Mary at the table.

“Honey, what are you doing here?” Mary heard the tallest girl in the group asking Tyrell. She then drew closer to him and kissed him on the lips.

Mary stared at them, her mouth agape.     

Tyrell, his hands full with the red tray of food, pulled away from her, and his eyes darted to Mary, who was looking directly at them. The tall girl, dressed in a pink and black mini skirt, a short sleeves pink and white top, and pink and white sandals, followed his eyes and saw Mary.

Tyrell moved quickly towards Mary.

“What’s going on, Tyrell?” the girl asked, trying to block his way.

Tyrell tried to move away from her, and she knocked the tray out of his hands. Tyrell slapped her.

Mary rose from the chair and headed for the front door. When she reached the bus stop close to the restaurant, Tyrell had caught up with her.

“Let me explain,” he said to her.

“Explain what?” she asked, “there’s nothing to explain.”

“Please,” he pleaded, “she’s my old girlfriend, and it was over between us long before we met.”

Mary stared at him.

“I know this sounds crazy, but every time she sees me in public, she acts like we’re still together, but we are not.”

“How come I’ve never seen or heard about her before?” Mary asked, finally finding her voice.

“There was no reason to,” he said, spreading his hands out before allowing them to drop to his sides.

“You slapped her, Tyrell,” Mary exclaimed.

“I know, I know,” he said, rubbing his forehead, “and I’m sorry about that, but I’ve finally had it with her. She needs to leave me alone. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Is she going to call the cop on you?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “but I hope not. I can’t get a record.”

Tyrel rubbed the sides of his head as he walked in circles around Mary. Mary reached out and hugged him tightly.

Several weeks after that day and when Tyrell’s midterm exams were finished, Mary was on the bus home from work when her phone announced she had a new message. Although tiredness was beating down on her and reading a new message on the bus was the last thing on her mind, she still swiped her phone to access the new message.

The message contained three photos date-stamped with Tyrell and the girl from the restaurant. The first two were dated two months before, and the last one was last night. They were in a theatre, and he was wearing the red and white cap he bought yesterday when they went shopping.

Her tiredness fled, and she was about to forward the photos to him but changed her mind. So instead, she texted him, saying that they were over, and he turned up at her workplace the following day and would only move from the line once she agreed to talk with him after work.

They walked to a nearby park, and Mary immediately showed him the three photos and waited for him to respond. When he did, Tyrell cried as he expressed his remorse for cheating on her and then lying to her.  

“It’s over. I don’t trust you anymore,” Mary said, her face disfigured with disgust.

“I love you.”

“I love you too, but I can’t be with you anymore.”

“Please give me another chance,” he pleaded, wiping tears away.

“I’m sorry,” she said, shaking her head and walking away from him.

Tyrell reached out and grabbed her in his arms, and kissed her. She waited for the kiss to end and then walked away from him. This time he let her go, but gifts, text messages and shopping at her supermarket continued.  

Then after about two months of him trying to get her back, and she was not responding, he began showing up at her workplace with the girl from the supermarket. When that did not work, threatening texts from an unknown source began. 

Unexpectedly, the texts stopped, and she did not see him again until suddenly, he was firing a gun at her.

Mary escaped from Tyrell in the supermarket’s parking lot and made it to the police station, where cops were already on their way to the supermarket.

The End

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