I could not wait for her to reach the counter. She stood a whole head taller the rest of the Soccer Moms in line, and I could just see her face serenely whispering to—nobody. While the rest of the customers were frantically juggling merchandise, children and a hectic morning schedule, she was wide-eyed staring at a large bouquet of artificial flowers in her hands in wonder as though it were an art masterpiece.
She finally did make it to my counter, and then she hesitated. Right in the middle of laying them onto my counter she stopped and appeared unable to do it. She didn't want to let go of her merchandise.
"Did you find everything alright Ma'am?" I asked her, and I reached for her flowers. She still seemed reluctant to part with them, but she did hand them over to me. She made several quick, bird like darts as though she wanted to snatch them back from me, but caught herself in time.
"Yes, yes everything was fine. Please be careful with those. Can you wrap them gently in paper. Gently now. Gently." She began to wiggle her fingers and weave her arms above them as though she couldn't bear the anticipation of holding them again. I finished ringing up her purchase, reminded her twice of the price before she realized she needed to actually pay me.
"These are my babies." She said as I finished wrapping her flowers "My babies! Ooh how beautiful. Yes, just like that thank you. That's nice. Ooh I have my babies."
With that, she picked up her bouquet, whispered something sweet to the bundle of plastic, rubber, silk, and wire in her hands and left the store. This children, is why we don't do drugs.