I am astonished.Â “May I remind you that Tiresa and Mika sabotaged any relationship we had.Â Don’t you dare blame what happened on me.”
Sands throws up her hands.Â “I’m not blaming you.Â I’m pointing out your foibles so you can correct them and move on with your life.Â You need to learn to love yourself and accept that you are a fantastic person, worthy of good things and good relationships.Â It’s only then are you going see the good things in your life and not reject things and people because they’re not perfect.Â You use rejection as a defense mechanism.Â You reject before you can get rejected.Â Stop it and you’ll find yourself not getting rejected.”
“What does this have to do with my rotten date?” I yell.
“Everything!” Sands yells back.Â “If you accept yourself then you won’t lie to others about your weight.Â If you don’t accept yourself, no one else will except for other rejects and freaks.”
I sigh and look away.Â “Since when did you become a psychologist?”
Sands hugs my shoulders.Â “I don’t need a degree in psychology to see what’s right in front of me.Â Bella, I don’t mean to make you upset or tell you how to run yours life, and Lord knows I don’t have all my ducks in a row.Â I justâ€”” she grasps for the right words, “â€”just don’t scare me like that again, okay?Â I was waiting for your call to tell me how the date went when Cat shows up at the gym and tells me she found you passed out and with sleeping pills and you had been drinking.Â And then you don’t return my calls or emails.Â Do you know how scared I was?Â Promise me you won’t do that again?”
“I promise,” I say.Â “I promise, because I doubt I’ll ever go on a date again.”
Sands agrees to watch Abe and Fi while I run to the store for a few groceries.Â There aren’t many people in the store in the middle of the afternoon, yet I still duck my head as irrational fears fill my mind that someone from the Yummy’s Restaurant or the street or the bus will recognize me.
I head for the fresh food section first.Â Grapes for Abe, oranges for Fi.Â I run through the rest of my mental grocery list, hardly looking at the giant pyramid of oranges as I grab them and shove them in a plastic bag.
Bread, cereal, biscuits, I thinkâ€”and then jump.Â It’s not an orange I’m touching.Â It’s a hand.
I look up and into the green eyes of a man.Â A not bad looking man.Â In fact, he’s really rather cute with his dark wavy hairâ€”short on the sides and longish on topâ€” medium height and a slight build.Â The clichÃ© isn’t lost on me and I laugh out loud at the absurdity of the situation.Â They met over oranges at the grocery store, ran through my mind, the result of reading too many romance novels.Â “I’m sorry.Â I wasn’t paying attention,” I apologize.