Looking down at my crumpled shopping list, I sighed in frustration.
I'd bought all the ingredients for my dinner, but felt certain I'd missed something important from my grocery list.
A quick stroll up and down the aisles of the supermarket helped jog my memory: I needed detergent.
But as I looked at the different brands, something caught my eye.
Standing just one metre away was a tall man with long red hair and a luscious beard.
Struck by how handsome he was, I almost dropped my shopping basket in shock.
Looking up at me for a split second, our eyes met.
My heart was thudding a million miles a minute.
Say something, I told myself, but no words came.
I was frozen to the spot.
Turning his back, the mystery shopper made his way to the checkout, where I saw him pay for a carton of soy milk and walk out the door.
Abandoning my groceries, I bolted out the door behind him before I even had a chance to rethink what I was doing.
But it was too late.
His white ute was already speeding off into the distance.
"Wait!" I cried, although he couldn't hear me.
In an act of pure desperation, I pulled out a pen from my bag and copied down his number plate.
Later that day, I went to meet a friend Raphael and told him about my encounter.
"Maybe I can go to the police for more information," I joked.
I'd expected him to tell me I was crazy, but he had another idea.
"Why don't you post something on the local community Facebook page?" he suggested.
It seemed like a good idea, so I started writing a post.
I'm looking for the cute guy I spotted at Woolies, I began.
You are of medium build, with a long ponytail and a nose ring. You had organic soy milk in your basket and I saw you escape in a white ute. I'm a bit wild, but determined to find you.
My hopes of any kind of response were low. Most likely, people would read it and think I was some kind of stalker!
But, soon enough, strangers started liking my post.
Some even commented on who they thought it might be, tagging their mates.
I read over each of the replies wondering if they might be from the man himself.
For the next half hour my eyes were glued to my phone as I watched the comments on my post come flooding in.
I think that was me, a man named Joel wrote.
Clicking on his Facebook page, I poured over his profile photo.
Wearing a hi-vis orange jacket, cap and a stern-looking face, he looked different and much older than how I'd remembered him.
There was only one way I could be sure.
Tell me your license plate number, I wrote.
It was an odd request, but at least then I could be sure he was the one.
When he replied with the same details I'd copied down, my mouth dropped open in shock.
It really was him!
How about we meet at the pub in three days' time? he asked. Promise I won't have any soy milk with me this time.
We chatted on Facebook messenger a couple of times but were waiting to meet in person.
Arriving at the pub, I was a bundle of nerves.
I'd never done something so outrageous before, and there was still a chance it could backfire on me completely.
After all, we hadn't even spoken to each other yet. What if our personalities clashed completely?
But the second I spotted him in the pub, I was brimming with confidence.
"Hey Woolies boy!" I yelled.
Flashing me a warm smile, he bought me a drink and we sat down to talk.
I learned that Joel, 39, was a boiler maker who lived just two kilometres from me.
But it had taken a trip to the supermarket for our paths to cross!
We had so much in common, like a love of animals and exploring nature.
The age-gap didn't even bother me; he made my heart flutter.
Before I knew it, we'd downed several jugs of beer and all the other patrons had left.
It was clear there was chemistry between us, so we met up again shortly after and soon started dating.
"To tell you the truth, I wasn't really looking for a relationship," Joel admitted. "But I don't ever want to lose you."
My Facebook post months ago still had people talking, so we decided to take a shot together and let everyone know that we were a couple.
Sometimes we even got recognised in the streets.
"Hey, you're that Woolies couple!" complete strangers cried.
After three months, we moved in together.
Although we were living under the same roof, I still went grocery shopping with Joel.
Buying milk has become a bit of a joke between us now.
Who knows, one day we might even walk down a different aisle together!
We've been camping together and are currently planning a trip overseas to explore the great unknown.
For our first Valentine's Day we plan to we'll make sure to do something special. It might even involve soy milk.
I couldn't think of a better man to spend my life with.