Baby Shoes

The building is huge and noisy, I keep my eyes away from those of the people standing next to their commission and the smell of Cinnabon lingers in the air around us. I smile at Em and give her had a squeeze.

“We have to get a present for Dawn, her shower is next week.” I can see the effort she puts into not caring that it isn’t her own shower and so I don’t say anything. I smile and nod and we walk along to the Baby Gap.

The place smells like Johnson and Johnson baby powder, a smell I’ve come to associate with sadness. Emily walks through the store as if in a dream, trailing her fingers over striped onesies and tiny shirts and pants. She stops and picks up a pair of plain, blue and white baby shoes. They’re so tiny, both of them fit in the palm of her hand. She stares at them and tears crowd her eyelids.

I put my arms around her and she starts to cry, clinging to the baby shoes so hard her knuckles turn white. “Someday, Em, someday you’ll be a great mom.”

“Why not today?”

Alas, I wish I knew the answer.

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