– Robert Creeley, The Rain
It’s winter, close to Christmas, rainy, and cold.
I am dry, yet not that warm in the department store that I work at. It’s the holidays weekend and there is a sale going on. Hence the swirl of people browsing the store, scouting every corner in fear of missing a sale, an ordinary item that has been made so valuable thanks to the reduced price.
Greedy paws graze the delicate fabric of brand new clothes.
I am nervously biting my bottom lip, dwelling on rent, tuition, and that long unfinished paper.
I catch casual glances of wandering customers while mindlessly putting back rejected clothes on the racks: kids licking greedily on ice cream cones, women stroking the clothes with freshly manicured fingernails.
I am wearing the Uggs that I got at a clothing swap. They are comfortable, like wearing pillows, perfect for 8-hour shifts. But the raincoats and umbrellas, that people are carrying, worry me. My boots will absorb all the rain like sponges. I brought a spare pair of shoes to wear on my way back home. But they are not waterproof either, considering the tired holes in the soles.
Credit cards swipe, cash registers open and close, happy shoppers leave with big bags.
I check out the shoe section on my break, look at the prices, and bite my lower lip.
A few blocks from my house, wet feet, broken spirit, and worn out body, I break down in tears. They mingle with the raindrops and wash my face with a damp sorrow.
Today, all my papers are finished, my graduation is done, and I can afford to dress my feet in the right boots. And if I am in a department store, holding a plastic square that contains all my wealth, I will think twice. Buy only as much as I need, and save to help as much as I can.
In response to the one-word prompt: Miraculous