And here it was; my last day. Soon there’d be no more arranging apples into uniform perfection, nor picking cauliflower leaves from the machine polished floor. No more putting up with Andy, who seems to think managing a few rows of fruit and veg in a supermarket is the pinnacle of achievement. I’m sure he knows where we’d love to shove those feijoas.
Sixth form finished in May. Exams in June. And this phase of my life feels like it’s ending today, Saturday the tenth of September. Uni starts on Monday. A long way away. From this place. From these people; family, school friends and work mates. And her.
And as if fate was listening to my thoughts, in she walks. In two years I’ve never worked out whether she had old parents, or they were her grandparents. In two years I’ve never even asked her name. But I know her. And she knows me. I live for these moments. My smile is returned and she says hi. This is it. Last chance. I’ve squandered two years of opportunities. There will be no more.
“Hi,” I say back. Her smile widens, but she turns and is gone. I’m frozen to the spot as I watch her follow the old couple around the corner. I want to go after her, but I can’t move. I’m lost. Until the woman pushes the green fruit under my nose.
“Uhh… a feijoa. From New Zealand”.
“What’s it good for?”