The Baby

The baby…her baby wouldn’t stop crying.  Andrea had one hand on the stroller, pushing it back and forth, though it went in more in a semicircle, which was good because up and back would have put the baby’s feet into the rain.  They were snug under the bus stop’s plexiglass shelter with its big colorful advertisement for Christina Barnett, the friendly neighborhood Coldwell Banker Agent who could help me find my dream home because she was the number one agent in all of Berne County.  Oh, Christina, you with your blue suede shoes, blue suit, blue, blue…Andrea formed tears in her own eyes.  Now she and the baby really did look alike.  Blue, Christina, you don’t know blue.  I can tell you about blue, if you’ve got the time to hear it being the number one agent who’s going to find me that dream home and all.  He left me, Christina.  I’ve got no job, no money, no anything to hold onto except this…this…this crying baby.  Tears were now falling down Andrea’s face.  She wiped at them with her pinky finger.  She got up and walked into the rain to look up the street for the bus.  Still not in sight.  Little Aaron had started whaling in a high pitched tone that grated on everyone else waiting for the bus.  They all looked at her as if she were the one making the racket.  She pretended not to notice.  She could pick up the baby, but that wasn’t what he wanted.  He was hungry.  He was always hungry.  She had a pocket full of nothing.  She’d applied for the SNAP program and a couple of other assistance programs that afternoon, but that didn’t put food in a little belly today.  Andrea felt as useless as a deflated tire.  She walked out of the shelter and looked again for the bus.  Still nothing.  She didn’t turn around and sit back down to wait.  Instead, Andrea kept on walking along the sidewalk.  She started to feel the weight lift from her shoulders.  With each step she felt better, more alive.  She could hear someone from the bus shelter yelling out, but she didn’t turn to look.  She just kept walking.

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