Rows Upon Rows

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Rows upon rows of clothes stretched as far as my little blue eyes could see. I clenched my left hand tightly around my mommy’s right hand as we walked, my big sister trailing behind us. It was another shopping day; for me that meant hiding in racks filled with shirts and pants of all different sizes and textures, though I’d certainly been scolded for doing that every time my mom caught me at it. Despite that, it was fun, so what did it matter?


Then my mommy shook off my hand and disappeared into the ocean of garments, telling my sister to watch and look out for me. I turned to my sibling, wondering what we were supposed to do now that mommy had gone off and left us here. I looked around curiously, though I couldn’t even see over cash registers yet, never mind metal racks filled with different kinds of attire, so there wasn’t much to see. When I turned to look for my brown-eyed sister, she was gone. Whipping my head back and forth, I searched for her, and finally found her peering out at me from behind a particular aisle of clothes. She smirked at me and beckoned, and I ran as fast as my skinny little legs would carry me, caring about nothing else. Even at that speed, she still disappeared by the time I got there. ‘Where did you go?’ I wondered, ‘Mommy told you to stay with me!’



I tried to run after her, but I had no idea where she had vanished. My small hands rummaged carelessly through the shirts as I called my sister’s name, my eyes looking for my older sibling, wondering if she were just sitting amid the clothes as we sometimes did together. However, it was to no avail; my older sister was nowhere to be found. I hurried in front of the aisles, now looking down them for my mommy.
‘This place was so big and unfamiliar; it would be impossible to find her!’ At this realization, my heart thudded dreadfully in my chest and I felt tears well up in my eyes. What if I never found either of them again, and I was left here, lost and forgotten, amongst piles of never-worn fabrics?


As I rubbed the tears from my eyes with my small hands, I felt a sudden, light tap on the shoulder. I turned and was face to face with a stranger, an old woman.
“Are you lost?” she asked kindly. I simply nodded, and she reached out her hand. I took it, and she led me away from the labyrinth and to a cash register, where I sat down on a hard spinny-chair next to a computer and a microphone.
“What is your name?” she questioned. I gave my first and last name to my savior and waited, clenching and unclenching my petite fists. She repeated what I had told her over the loudspeaker.

For a time we waited, and then I saw two familiar shapes approach us. One was my mother, and the other was my sister, who wasn’t looking very happy about one thing or another. My mom thanked the kind old lady, and then extended her hand to me. I ignored it and instead leapt out of the chair and hugged my mom, never wanting to let her go. Then, once again, I clenched on to my mother’s hand, though this time we were leaving the horrible maze. As we walked through the heavy gray doors, I could hear my mom yelling at my sister for leaving me, but I could care less. At least I was back with my family again.





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