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The Grocery List

Written by castor :: [Saturday, 11 January 2014 01:25] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 04 February 2014 22:13]

It didn't start over a grocery list, but the grocery list was a catalyst.


Have you ever been with someone? Its a great way of knowing someone of learning about them, who they really are, what there all about. For good or for bad see what there all about. The little things.


I suspect most people would say, when they look at Shelly – Fantastica, was how her muscles looked so strong and how bueatiful she was The steel armor seemed designed with aesthetics rather than practicality in mind, given the fact that it covered all the long lines of body except her mouthwatering abs, her head with its short shock of blond hair, and only enough of her her breasts for modesty – they didn't defy gravity but common sense. I mean if you had a gun this is where you would want to shoot. But that was perhaps the point of this armor – that there was no point in shooting her.


But to me, when I looked at Shelly, I saw a woman who was tad angular, who had a suprsing tendency to freckle, who worried a fair amount about the mouthwateringness of said abs, and whose long brown hair she wore as a wig going out (she didn't have a secret identity she just wore a wig) … who … well, was surprisingly human. She had a wry sense of humor when she was stressed, which was often. She liked football, not in the watch it on sunday but play fantasy football and study ptays way (who would have guessed she was an actual jock). She was impatient. She liked to go out and do things, though she didn't like most people or when she got recognized on the street (the wig worked but not great). She acted a lot like a guy-except when she didn't.


And of course a lot of these traits were reflected back. I was good at making her laugh, calming her when she had cake, but I was a dawdler … a homebody. Whats more I was a bit selfish and thoughtless of others. Over the six years we were together these things kind of grew.


So October 4, 2013. We needed stuff. I work as a fireman, which means I had a lot of free time. She was a superhero – which meant she didn't. So we talked on the phone as she was in the middle of patrolling the city (that day, as was the case about 90 percent of the time, nothing happened). We worked up a list. Low-fat milk, chicken, food for the cat, bread (for me), cheese (goda), onions, garlic, bananas, and some type of fruit.


I went. When i was going down the aisle I saw some novelty chips – this pack was pizza flavoured, and I bought em. We did okay. I wasn't going to sweat 3 bucks for something like that.


It wasn't until 9:00 o' clock that she came home. No steel armor just old sweats and a tired look. Like i said nothing much happened that day, other then some drug dealer kids that swore at her and called her names. Yeah, they do that to superheroes.


i wasn't asleep, but i was watching TV in the kind of way that it was noise. A sitcom that you ain't going to remember, so i ain't going to tell. I said hello when she came in the door.


"Where's the onions?" Shelly asked from the kitchen.


"What?" I said.


"I want to fry up some onions with the chicken for a quick dinner."


"Oh..I think i forgot the onions"


Now, the conversation was over for about 30 seconds … a nice little pause for me to go back into the world on TV. Then …


"I see you got some chips," Shelly observed.


"Yeah," I said. "Try some. There not very good. Fake pepperoni."


"I see you remembered THAT."


"Why don't you fry some up some with your chicken … give it a little unexpected kick."


Did i mention she had abs? Women with abs tend to eat a lot of chicken.


She walked in." I gave you one simple task today … I mean, I'm out there saving the city everyday …"


"And I may not be everyday, but I'm out there … fire fighting is a tough fucking job. You should know that."


(I should mention that we met in a firefighting program in college. It's the major of future superheroes)


"But you had the day off. I didn't. I gave you a list. You could have followed it, made those little check boxy things. But nope. "


"It's one thing … use some garlic, I don't know. I got that"


She was standing in front of me, blocking the TV. Which was kind of offensive in the sense that she would think I would pay attention to it more then in her.


"I saw that, thank you. I know I'm the woman. I should do the shopping. Clean the house. Take care of the cat. I know I should quit my job to have your children. But I have a lot of responsibility. I am not a juggling planets superhero, but the city needs me. And when I get off from it … I just want to cook up a little chicken, sit back and enjoy five fucking minutes."


"I think we have some lemon."


"Right … just right. Lemon chicken and garlic. Great. Do you want that? Do you want me to cook for you? Be your perfect little live in girlfriend?"


"I'll cook it up," I offered. I wasn't a bad cook.


When her hand went through the TV, I mean not the through the screen but went over the top of the tv and right through it like a martial artist could go through wood blocks, it was a statement something along the lines of "pay attention, you asshole".


She had it. I looked at the smoking wreck – all the gizmos and LCD that made it work.


"Shelly ."


"Stop Shellying me like i am being so irrational …"


"That TV cost 200 bucks … your hurting …"


Then she picked me up by my neck. You see that sometimes in movies – just a throat-lift up into the air, nearly 7 feet high. You don't consider how shocking it is, how quick and suddenly painful, how air is something that can race out of your lungs and even a second without breathing is mind-boggling.


"Cost us 2000 bucks. Us."


She hit my head into the ceiling – which admittedly didn't hurt too much after just the grab – then tossed me back down.




Then she kicked me. Or more accurately, the side of the coach. I don't think I could survive a direct kick in the stomach. As it was just the kick to the couch cost me a couple of broken ribs.


The coach was against the living room wall to the spare bedroom. I was now in the spare bedroom surrounded by plaster and debris. The bed itself broke the movement creating a jolt as I hit it. A ping.


"You never listen to me," she said. "Never really listen to me. God, your as bad as everyone else! Everyone else! Why can't you just … just follow simple instructions!"


I was quiet now. I suppose I could have said something, but I felt very stunned. Which, as a firefighter, I shouldn't be. They teach you to react.


"I don't think I'm being un reasonable."


I looked up at her. I found some words to speak, but didn't …


When the roof of the house come down.


They teach you that in firefighting school. Load bearing in construction The real damage in fires isn't sometimes the flame itself – but when it burns something important. Obviously that wall had been.


I was covered in wood and fibreglass, tiles, and 100s of pounds of felt and ceiling. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was unconscious in a second, covered in a world of pain.


She, like Buster Keaton, was apparently completely unharmed. Abs of steal and all.


I woke up in a hospital. I was pretty badly beaten-up. Swelling and swollen, with a concussion and broken bones.


She was there crying. Crying and crying and crying. Holding me, and kissing me, and caressing me … and so sorry. So very sorry …"Please forgive me … so very …"


I am still recovering from it. I have a desk job now. I suspect I may have a desk job for the rest of my career. The health insurance was pretty good. The hospital told me they got a couple of people with similar injuries from her every week – do you think the people from comics just magically get up? I was the first one, though, that she loved.


She wasn't charged. Yeah right. There was a jail to put her in (like in colorado), but seriously? Domestic abuse. thats what they got her for? She was better served on the outside. Talking to people who had been through stories involving non superheroes. Yeah. Domestic abuse was something that could be very awkward in the courts, especially when women assaulted men. She said he said.


In the weeks that followed, she cried a lot. Wanted to stay together. Wanted to …


We're in the process of selling the house. We split up what was there is to split up. I got 3/4 of the bag of chips, which were still in the kitchen that was remarkably undamaged, but unused.


Yeah. I'm not doing that again.


But what gets to me is what I said – people see how gorgeous she is, how strong. Get to know her. She's capable of being sweet and down-to-earth. Shes not going to stay alone for long … so if you're reading this and considering, Fantastica is a real human being – which means there's a mean, rotten, part to her soul. And remember: Onions.


(special thanks to Dru For help Editing)

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