Checkouts by Cynthia Rylant

Summary: In the light of the complexities of human childhood, there exists the deeper complexities of the introductiion of love to one's life. This story involves this notion of life as it pertains to a young girl.


  • Girl - was moved to Cincinnati by her parents and falls in love with a bag boy
  • Bag Boy - worked at the supermarket as a bag boy and was infatuated with the girl

Section One:

  • A girl moves to Cincinnati with her parents even though the girl makes an effort to convince the parents to stay in "the town of her childhood"
  • The parents tell her that it has been "decided" that they were going to move to Cincinnati and the girl spends some time "suffering" in a room of beveled glass windows, looking through pictures of the past
  • The girl enjoyed grocery shopping and convinced the parents when she went grocery shopping that she was a "very nice girl"
  • The girl did not share the fact that she enjoyed shopping and that is the secret as to why she really went to the supermarket
  • Grocery shopping was a form of meditation for the girl
  • The bag boy drops and breaks her mayonnaise jar at the supermarket while he was packing her groceries and the girl falls in love with him
  • The bag boy wanted another chance to prove himself to her and was depressed that he thought the girl saw him as a "fool"
  • The bag boy wanted to know more about her by may be persuading her to "allow him to help her to her car"
  • She thought about the bag boy with star struck eyes when she left the supermarket that first time and thought of him as contrast to her loneliness and beautiful home due to his "awkwardness and dishevelment"
  • In the weeks that followed they thought of each other in a sort of "ecstasy" buried in disappointment
  • The girl's life was changed and instead of thinking of the past she thought of the future
  • The girl because the girl with the orange bow to the girl with the bright yellow flower in her hair
  • One time when they met again, they both did not let on to each other how much one was "the object of obsessive thought for weeks" to the other one
  • The girl and the boy denied each other of what they truly wanted and hated each other without any exchange of words
  • Inside of a week, the girl dated a boy who lived near her house and the bag boy went to work for a bookstore where there were "fascinating" girls abounding
  • In the end, they crossed paths, smiled at each other and moved on with their lives

Other Notes:

  • This is an external conflict between the desire of the girl and the desire of the bag boy
  • The girl is not happy to live where she is living but find it more tolerable to live knowing that she may have a future with the bag boy
  • The girl and the boy never say one word to each and they never reveal to each other how much they desire one another
  • The conflict between the girl and the bag boy makes the story more interesting because there is nothing verbally said and there is that edge of secrecy
  • The very thing that made the girl and bag boy want to see each other over and over again became the demise of their future together/ no words spoken/ no expression of true emotion
  • There's a sense of emptiness in the end because they never gave each other the opportunity to try and get to know each other
  • There's also a sense that somehow they'll make it through life without each other

© 2011 copyright Checkouts | Cynthia Rylant