Home > The Shopping List (The Neighborhood #3)

The Shopping List (The Neighborhood #3)
Author: Megan Derr


The Shopping List

The Neighborhood 3

Megan Derr



Shannon slumped over his kitchen bar and half-heartedly sipped his second cup of coffee, staring through the window at the snow already starting to fall. You should have been up hours ago, it seemed to say. "Screw you," he muttered, and sipped more coffee.

When he was feeling about 65% awake, he finally looked over the scattered pile of sticky notes, scrap paper, backs of receipts, and torn pages of both lined and unlined notebooks. You should have been awake at eight, they seemed to say.

"It's not my fault."

Except it was his fault, staying up until four in the morning, drinking significantly more Modelo than his diet permitted, and getting his ass kicked by hard mode on Rise of the Tomb Rider. He'd already gotten approximately ninety texts and seventeen DMs from his mother wanting to know why he hadn't been at church…

And all of that because he'd just wanted to get out of his house for the night, and what had he gotten for being stupid enough to give in to an impulse to be social?

He'd caught his stupid cheating boyfriend in Splendor with the most beautiful woman Shannon had ever seen. Shannon had begged for months to go to Splendor. He'd followed the buzz about it from the very first whisper, had hinted and asked and cajoled to go there opening week…then to go there at all…

Corey had constantly refused, claiming work, then that it was too stupidly expensive, before finally just admitting he didn't care, had no interest in Shannon's obsession with 'stupid, overblown, overpriced, gimmicky restaurants'. He'd later apologized, and taken him to dinner, but it had only been to a steakhouse they'd been to a hundred times because Corey loved the place.

There he'd been, not quite dead center of the restaurant, with a girl who looked like an Indian princess, a flight of reds, and a meal that looked even better than all the splashy magazine and blogger pictures.

Shannon's heart, only barely starting to heal from his last disastrous relationship, had cracked in two all over again.

It had never been about the restaurant, apparently. Corey of the perfect everything just hadn't wanted to take his bland, nerdy, perpetually scatter-brained, unpolished boyfriend out.

He hoped the drop-dead gorgeous princess dumped Corey in front of his whole office and waltzed off with that serious hottie Corey was forever bitching about. What was his name? Something ridiculously 'rich white people'. The kind of name that might turn up as the Vegeta type character in a sci-fi hackers saving the world retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Corey had taken great delight in regaling him with the name. Darn it, what was it? Began with an R and then something like 'crispy'…

Ah, that was it. Reginald Crispin Gaylord-Jones. Christ, what a name.

But shit he'd been hot. One of those tall, trim but pleasantly muscled dudes who looked like they'd just stepped out of a painting one day. Shannon had wanted to climb him like a tree and stay for a while.

Reginald Crispin Gaylord-Jones had also been nice. Like, legit nice, not sarcastic or faint-praise nice. Shannon had long suspected jealousy was at the root of Corey's loathing, but once he'd actually met Reginald, he'd known it for fact.

His cat startled him from his meandering thoughts, jumping up on the kitchen bar, scattering the mail, and wailing loudly for his much delayed breakfast. "You were asleep anyway!"

Goldfish fluffed his orange tail, planted his butt on the water bill, and gave an imperious meow.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm getting," Shannon grumbled as he obediently got His Lordship his late breakfast.

He'd just cleaned up the mess Goldfish had made when his phone started ringing. He winced to see his mother's number again. He let it ring, then winced again when his phone informed him several minutes later that he had a voicemail. He pulled it up, saw the five-minute long message, and deleted it.

After all these years, he had her lectures memorized—especially when he missed church. He had to go to the bakery to get cupcakes later for Art in the Park. He'd get her one of those ridiculous expensive cakes she loved and a bag of coffee. Hmmm. And a giftcard. That would get him out of the worst of the trouble.

Money couldn't buy love or happiness, but it could stave off filicide.

Sighing, he rifled through his lists to finally get started on his day. Inside chore list—no. Outside chore list—no. Computer to do list—definitely not happening. No way was he staying in this house all day; he'd go crazy and do something drastic. Well, drastic-er than getting blitzed and incurring his mother's wrath.


Oil change

New gas can

Post office

Return dishes to mother

Christmas shopping

Cupcakes for AitP


Christmas shopping sounded good. Well, no, it sounded terrible, but it would put him close to the bakery, where he needed to pick up the cupcakes and motherly bribe. Maybe he could just suck it up and do some of these other errands while he was at it. Now where had he put his shopping list?

He sorted through the mess of papers again, finally locating the shopping list on a piece of bright pink lined paper from one of the fifty fridge-magnet notepads people were always giving him. The edges were lined with strawberries and butterflies. He'd thought it was super cute when he got it as part of a congrats gift for a promotion at work. Corey had rolled his eyes and called him 'such a girl'.

Whatever. Corey was stupid. He hoped the sexy princess threw a drink in Corey's face and stormed out flanked by scowling bodyguards waving their guns, and Corey pissed himself.

Even better would be to show up to the Art in the Park Winter Wonderland Fair with a hottie of his own, some babe to outshine the princess (no offense to her). Ahahaha, or maybe he should just show up with Reggie. Snickering at the look that would put on Corey's face, he scrounged a pen, grabbed a magnet notepad that was yellow and decorated with sunflowers and dragonflies, and rewrote his list, dividing it into two parts: errands and the gifts he needed to buy, sorted by store, or at least general area.


Oil change

Post Office


Bribe for Mom

Boring shopping

Christmas shopping


Gas can



Pearls (Mom)

Cologne (Dad)

Giftcard (Kelly)

Fancy Coffee (Tanesha)

Cufflinks (Dorian)

Giftcards for employees

If he was doing all that, he may as well get groceries too and get all the errands out of the way at once, leave next weekend free and clear for Winter Wonderland and his pity party afterward.


Dinners for week

Lunches for work

More beer


Snickering to himself, he added one last item to the grocery list:

Hot date for AitP WW (snack aisle?)

Setting the master shopping list with his wallet and keys so he wouldn't forget it, he finished his coffee and went to get dressed.

When he was ready, he hauled Fuckhead's boxes to the front porch so he could retrieve them, hopefully while Shannon was out and about. The breakup had been rather anticlimactic in the end, with not even a good, loud fight, just a text, photo evidence, and an order to come pick up his shit. Corey had replied with a sullen 'fine' and… that was that.

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