by Bea Keeler

I hate buying fruit at the grocery store. I have to spend at least 5 minutes feeling every piece because they can’t be too hard or too soft. With peaches, this is really important. Same with oranges. There’s nothing worse than a dried out orange.

“Are you done?” said the 60-something-year old lady in the purple coat who kept leaving her stupid cart in the middle of the aisle so no one could get by.

“Almost,” I said.

“Is it that difficult to pick an orange?”

“Is it that difficult to wait your turn?”

There’s this rule of driving that states you shouldn’t honk or flip people off because you never know if the other driver is a psychopath and will follow you home to kill you. The same rule applies to grocery store interactions.

“I’ll find a new place to put that orange if you don’t start talking to me with a little respect.” she said. I believe she was referring to my ass.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Did I stutter?” 

“Take your fucking oranges, you crazy bat.” I threw the oranges I’d spent way too much time picking at her feet and turned around.

She pushed me. My forehead hit the side of the orange barrel and I fell to the ground. When I rolled onto my back, she had picked up my oranges, put them in her cart, and was already walking away.

Oranges by Bea Keeler is a Blasted Tree original short story.

Feature Image by Stephanie Berghaeuser