Non-Fiction Part I

I had a half year run as a bookstore employee. One average day, a small girl was calling for her parents in the middle of the store. I thought she belonged to the adults next to her, but when they walked by her I knew she was all alone.

I approached her in a non-threatening manner and knelt down so we were eye to eye. “Hi! Are you lost? My name is Jesse. What’s your name?” She had a bewildered look and did not reply. Perhaps to her, I was a stranger. But when I held out my hand, she took it with no hesitation.

I lead her to the center of the store to sent out a call on the store intercom. Since I didn’t know her name, I described her clothing. Not long after, a mother came rushing onto the scene and was all over her daughter in worry.

I made a comment about the child’s good behavior. I knew the mother was probably embarrassed and I didn’t want her feel any worse. The mother turned and stared at me; not in hate or relief- just an expressionless gaze I’ll never forget.

And she walked away without a word.

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