Food Court


“May I help you, Miss?”

“Oh….no…that’s okay,” the girl said; smiling nervously at the young woman refolding sweaters on the display rack. She smiled back and returned to her tasks. The girl walked over to another rack and picked up a bright teal top; sleeveless and airy. It just looked like it would go so well with her boy-cut jeans. She stared at it for a moment and put it back; her hands seemed to be reluctant to release the garment and she sighed. Turning to leave, her left hand brushed against the pile of similar tops with a nice variety of colors. Her hand lingered until she willed herself to walk away.

A moment later she was out of the store walking toward the food court. After passing several stores, she stopped and turned back to face the boutique. The shop seemed to beckon, but her gaze was interrupted as a woman walked up and stood between her and the store.

“Oh, honey. I’m glad I caught you before you wandered around. I finished up early at Macy’s and I know you’re probably starved. I’ve got to run to the ladies room, so you can order for us....Sarku’s?” She turned to walk hastily toward the rest room, but stopped only a few steps away and turned.

“Oh….” Reaching into her purse she pulled out a twenty and a ten.

“Chicken Teriyaki, okay?” She passed the money along even as they walked into the food court.


The woman went to walk away, but again stopped and turned.

“Maybe Cinnabon instead?” She backed away slowly, but stopped once again.

“Oh, just pick something. I gotta go.”

She turned and ran up the low ramp toward the rest rooms, leaving her son with money in his hands, and disappointment once again in his heart.

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This story is 312 words long.