He heaved the second bag through the door into the hallway. He turned to make the slow trek to return the trolley. He was so fed up with his injury and sick of telling the story of how it happened. A grown adult managed to throw his back out patting a kitten? Well, it was a cat, but none-the-less. The incredulous look people gave him, the need to repeat the story, to go into greater detail, the shaking of the heads, and, if it was a group of blokes on their own, the countless pussy jokes.
The pain wasn’t too bad, most of the time. He was just slow moving. He was trying to avoid the shuffle, but sometimes he just couldn’t lift his feet. The really frustrating thing was not being able to drive – if he didn’t live so close to the shops, he’d be totally screwed. He had plenty of sick leave – the advantage of staying in the same job from leaving school at fifteen and being very healthy and dedicated. Shame it wasn’t Workcover, but what can you do?
He walked back into the car park, and saw the supermarket manager standing by the trolley collection bay. She was not looking at him; she looked a bit like a landowner surveying all they own. He shuffled up, took out his walking stick and pushed the trolley into the trolley bay. He connected the tag and out popped his two-dollar coin.
“You know, it’s illegal to take the trolley off the shopping centre property.” She said, still not looking at him.
“Are you talking to me?”
She turned to him. “I saw you bring it in from out there.”
“I can hardly walk. I only live a few houses down. I always bring it back.”
“Just keep in mind, I could have you charged.”
She walked in. He sighed through his whole body and then groaned from the pain it caused. He turned and began to shuffle out.