I stepped out of the warm, crowded store and into the cool, damp air. The bags were heavy in my hands, filled with all the essentials like orange juice, bread, and cans of cat food. The cashier had filled the bags unevenly, putting most of the heavy things in one and only a few light but crushable things, like bread and eggs, in the other. Why did they always do that? I had the feeling that they had the intention of trying to fit all the groceries into one bag, but when they were halfway through and it was clear that one bag would be incredibly heavy, they took to filling the second bag with the light things they had originally intended as toppings for the first bag. I groaned softly to myself, shifting the bags slightly in my hands and rolling my eyes.
I walked around the store towards the parking lot, doing my part to keep the pedestrian traffic going outside. People were constantly milling in and out of the store on this busy Sunday afternoon. Watching a girl hobble past me on crutches, the bags suddenly felt light in my hands, the crisp brown handles pressing into the deep brown creases of my palms, somehow feeling like they had found a home.
It was raining outside and the large raindrops pelted my face with an uncertain drumbeat. I lowered my head, but not before a large raindrop hit my glasses, shattering itself into three smaller drops like a glass bottle against a brick wall. I quickened my steps, the stiff material of my skirt beating about my bare thighs and knees; the skirt was always so full and puffy, no matter how many times I smoothed it down.
I smiled to myself, thinking of a lovely compliment a friend had paid me earlier that day. The smallest bit of encouragement from her always inspired me to do more, to try more. Ducking into the car, I wiped my glasses off on my skirt, the thick muslin effortlessly erasing the rain’s existence. Still half-grinning to myself, I picked up my pad and pen and started to write in my messy, smeared handwriting, the rain beating against the cool glass and metal of my car.