I’d been in that store longer than I cared to admit.
Heck. I was older than I cared to admit.
Still, every time that door opened my breath hitched in my throat. Would the person coming in be shopping for their child? Would they have a little girl with them?
They never did it seemed and today was no different. The store had been open a few hours when a twenty something came through the door. She browsed the accessories, picking up handkerchiefs, headbands and belts. She perused the blouses, grabbing a couple and laying them over her arm. As she made her way to the dressing rooms she stopped, turned, and came over to my rack. Quickly and efficiently pulling each piece out for a quick look-over she didn’t seem to be finding anything to suit her fancy. Her hand got closer and closer to me with each item, but I didn’t get my hopes up. Because even if she liked me, she’d see my tag and put me back. It had happened countless times before. Grabbing my sleeve and pulling me out, I watched as she sized me up. She looked at my fresh color, my shiny brass buttons, and the detailed red design across the front, and never once at my tag. And all at once I was pulled off the rack and slung across her arms, about to be tried on for the first time in…never mind.
Closing the door and sliding her purse to the floor, she lifted me off the hanger and slid both arms into my sleeves, buttoning me closed. Surveying her reflection, I knew she knew. The sleeves were shorter than she’d predicted. The hemline not as long. She finally found and looked at the tag which read, “1960’s Child’s Coat.”
Yet somehow, she didn’t take me off and as we both looked into the mirror we saw that the too short sleeves looked kind of like chic, cropped sleeves. That even though the last time I’d been worn my hemline fell almost to a little girl’s knees, that now, grazing her hips, it looked alright. It worked.
I had decided as soon as she’d taken me off the hanger that I didn’t care if she wasn’t a little girl. And as she took me to the front to purchase me, I realized that she didn’t care either.