Life is filled with transactions.
|The late afternoon rays slanted through the trees, exploding in sparkles off the sequins on shirts suspended in the street vendors’ stalls. Deborah Dubray shielded her eyes. “I always forget how different the West Coast sun is,” she said to her mother.
“Well,” Marianne Dubray answered. “It’s been ten years since you lived in this part of the country. I’m sure it was easy for you to forget.” Deborah flinched, but didn’t reply.
They browsed among tables laden with long necklaces, wooden candle holders, and miniature metal sculptures, knights in armor astride comical horses. Same stuff as when I first brought Debbie here years ago, Marianne thought. She remembered her daughter tugging at her hand, pulling her toward pink dresses with ruffles, blowing in the wind. Pink, she wanted anything pink in those days.
Deborah’s voice broke in. “Look at this, Mom,” she said, holding up a tie-dyed tee shirt. “Do you believe I used to wear these?”
“There are many things I find hard to believe these days,” Marianne replied. She reached up and hooked long grey strands of hair behind her ear, brushing her fingers past the dangling earrings with the peace symbols. She glanced at Deborah’s midnight black coloring, short and gelled, very urban, no doubt perfect for a job in the Loop in downtown Chicago.
Deborah carefully folded the tie-dye and returned it to its place on the display table. She looked up at her mother for a long moment, then said, “Things change, Mom.” Marianne didn’t reply, and moved on down the sidewalk alone.
A block later, Deborah caught up. She handed Marianne a paper bag. Marianne opened it and drew out a long tie-dyed tee. “Will you wear it?” Deborah asked.
Marianne looked up at her daughter. “Yes,” she answered. “I will, absolutely.”
(Word count: 299)