A Lizzie Dress
Jacqueline’s almost to the escalator when she spots a display of little-girl dresses. Frilly. Pastel. Adorable. The same kind she used to buy for Lizzie. Jacqueline smiles, remembering Lizzie’s pretend fashion shows. How she’d sashay and twirl and bow. Such a precious child.
“Mommy, Mommy!” Darting in front of Jacqueline, a dark-haired girl wearing a backwards baseball hat snatches a pink polka-dot dress from the rack. She races over to a woman pushing a stroller and thrusts the garment at her. “Can we buy this? Please? Please? Look! It’s my size and everything!”
The woman examines the price tag. “Sorry, honey.” She hands the dress back. “It costs too much.”
“But I’d look so pretty in it!”
“You certainly would. We just can’t afford it right now. Maybe it’ll go on sale. We’ll check again in a few weeks, okay?”
“But what if somebody else buys it?” The girl’s lower lip juts out.
“We’ll just have to wait and see. Now please put it back where it belongs.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so. If you hurry, we can go to the clearance section.”
“Okay,” the girl mumbles, shoving the garment back in the wrong spot.
Once the girl and her mother have disappeared, Jacqueline plucks the dress from the rack. Oh, what a Lizzie dress this is! The color, the fabric, the pattern. Everything about it screams “Lizzie.”
Jacqueline glances around. No sign of the girl or her mother. Garment in hand, she rushes toward the register. No one’s in line; the transaction is quick. As the clerk hands her the bag, Jacqueline smiles, thinking of her lovely Lizzie.
When the girl and her mother reappear, Jacqueline’s by the escalator. She waits for them to pass—then slips the bag into the stroller’s basket.