The San Fernando Valley

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Here's the thing about the Valley. It's the biggest, most sprawling small town in the world. There are 1.77 million people calling the SFV home, and you can pretty much guarantee that you'll run into the one person you don't like every single damn time you walk out of the house.

After my entire life here, you'd think I'd be used to that by now. You'd think I wouldn't feel sideswiped every time I run into some unpleasant memory from my past when I'm just trying to get some damn tampons from CVS in my fat sweats (they're all fat sweats). You'd think I wouldn't be riddled with shame just because my first grade teacher saw me stopping for cigarettes and Jack Daniels at Harvest Market on a Sunday morning. You'd think I wouldn't bat an eye at the mom of the hellion bully toddler at my son's preschool who is the same bitch that was the hellion bully teenager at my high school. You'd be wrong.

I'm surprised EVERY SINGLE TIME.

And every single time, I think, "What a weird coincidence. What are the odds?"

You'd also think I'm an idiot.

And you might be right.


And you might be right

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JESSICA

"Ack, this burns so bad! Shit! This stings like a motherfu--"

The door chime interrupted Jessica's tirade. Glancing up from the pile of onions she'd been chopping on the steel counter, she stifled her groan upon seeing Coach Hirn enter her bakery. She hadn't seen her high school soccer coach in at least fifteen years and the blast from her past wasn't exactly a welcome sight.

"I see you still have quite the mouth on you, little lady," the coach teased. "Do you remember me?"

Jessica quickly slapped on what her husband Jason always called her fake phone voice. "Coach Hirn! My goodness! Of course I remember my favorite high school soccer coach and biology teacher! How are you?"

"Oh good, wasn't sure you'd remember me," he chuckled. "Of course, I could never forget you...the girl who christened my turf before I could! Ho! Ho!"

GodDAMMIT. Would this stupid story follow Jessica around FOREVER? You get caught sleeping with your high school boyfriend in the school gym ONE TIME...

"Oh, that! Forgotten all about that," Jessica lied. "So long ago! Teenagers, am I right? So anyway, what can I get you today, Coach?" She could not get him out of her bakery fast enough.

He lingered over the glass pastry case, his once taut and athletic frame now straining the seams of his St. Mary's Athletic Department polo shirt. "I heard that you came back to town and opened a new bakery. Had to come see it for myself! Local bad girl makes good, huh? HoHo! Lot of you St. Mary's kids making good these days. I hear Heather Rabinowitz is a celebrity now, but I think she changed her last name, which makes sense. And Collin Potter went pro. Melissa whats-her-name opened some kinda of agency thing..."

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