This is from my story, The Good Life, which was pubished this month in Under This Cowgirl's Hat by Torquere Press.
The legal field had been good to Ruby financially, but her sleek, black Lexus looked very out of place parked in the lot at Albertson's. She got looks from the locals as she got out and hit the auto lock on her key fob, making the horn beep. She avoided their eyes; she just needed a few groceries and then she'd head home and hide there like the good city girl she'd become.
She carried her shopping basket around the store, picking up some salad fixings, a box of Essenia potstickers, a bottle of Diet Coke and a pint of Blue Bunny. It occurred to her that she'd only spent a few nights without Jane in the last three years, and even those few had probably been spent out with friends. It felt strange to be so completely on her own, even if it was home. The grocery had been given a face-lift since she was in it last, and a Target had even moved in next door. The changes made her feel like a stranger here.
She emptied her basket onto the belt at the checkout, and picked up the local newspaper.
Ruby looked up and smiled at the checker. "Hi."
Ruby blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Greens, Diet Coke… and ice cream?"
"Oh." Ruby laughed, suddenly embarrassed about the pint of black cherry. "Well, kind of, yeah,"
"No, no. It's all right, I'm just…" Ruby waved her hand not really knowing how to finish that thought.
"Say," the checker said, looking at her meaningfully. "You Jack's family? Jack Edsall?"
Ruby wondered at the woman's perceptiveness. "He's my father."
"Mamma says Jack's havin' an operation in the mornin'."
"Yes, but… how did you know that I was family?"
"You're his spittin' image!"
Ruby raised an eyebrow, feeling irrationally defensive. "Actually, I look more like my mother."
"Nah, you got Jack's eyes, his chin, and the way his eyebrows sort of arch."
"Well," Ruby peered at the woman's name badge, "Caroline." She cleared her throat and handed Caroline a twenty. "If you say so."
Caroline took the money and made change. "I'm awful sorry about your daddy. You tell'im I'm thinkin' of him, all right?"
Ruby stared at Caroline for a moment. "All right," she said finally.
"Hope his operation goes good tomorrow."
"Thanks." Ruby picked up her grocery bags and left the store.
Buy Under This Cowgirl's Hat here!