A STORY OF DOUBT
The little boy cried out over and over, "Mom where are you?!" He was walking back and forth in the front of the store. People with shopping carts full of milk, bread, fruit, and other household items rattled past the frantic boy as they raced to wait in line for a check out spot. The boy decided to stop yelling and just look. So he walked to the front of each aisle and peered down the long trek to see if his mother and her cart were present. He went to the first aisle and saw nothing but potato chips and an old man in an automatic shopping cart. He went to aisle two were three college kids were arguing over who would pay for the stuff in the cart... but no mom.
As he walked to the third aisle he began to wonder what had happened. He had just come from aisle three. That's where all the fruit snacks were. He was looking at them and then she was gone. He looked down the aisle and she wasn't there either. The little boy got another pain in his stomach. It felt like bees were flying in his stomach and were trying to get out. He started to cry a little more. "Mom where are you," he questioningly cried out as he looked down aisle four.
Had she left him at the store all by himself?
Had she decided he was too much trouble to feed... all he had asked for was fruit snacks!?
Had she left the store to head home and forgot all about him?
He felt sad. He felt scared. He felt a little angry.
Just as he reached aisle five he noticed a man in a blue vest putting cans onto a shelf. He walked silently up to the man who obviously worked at the store. Who else would be putting cans on the shelf instead of taking them off? The little boy walked up to him and just as he approached the man looked down.
"I think my mom left me at the store or got abducted by aliens or something," the boy said to the can stacking wizard of aisle five. The man looked down at the boy with one eye brow cocked higher than the other. The little boy started to cry a little. His mom was gone and he couldn't find her.
"Now what makes you think that?" he asked as he knelt down in the middle of pallets of canned peas.
"Well," the boy answered, "I was looking at fruit snacks and then she was gone. I asked her if we could get some and then she just was gone."
The man in the blue vest slowly got up from his kneeling position. Ever so slowly. The boy heard him grunt a little as he came to his feet. "Let's see if we can find her."
"We won't find her," the little boy said right away, "I have looked all over the world and she is just plain gone." The little boy pointed back the way he came. "She's not anywhere."
The man in the blue vest took the little boy by the hand and headed towards aisle six. There were in fact twenty aisles in this grocery store warehouse. "So what makes you think that your mom left without you?"
"Because I don't see her"
"Has she ever accidentally left you anywhere before" the man asked.
"Has she ever been abducted by aliens before," the man asked as they passed aisle seven.
"Not that I know of."
"So why would you doubt her now? I am sure she is here and we just have to find her," the man said as he walked up to a small stand at aisle ten. He talked with a super tall man with a bushy mustache who also had on a blue vest, but had a huge button on it with all kinds of stickers. The guy also had a radio the size of a dictionary attached to his belt. After a minute, an announcement came over the store that echoed down the aisles. It sounded crackly and garbled. He thought he heard... "boy... lost... ten..."
Just as the announcement was blasting over the store... announcing to the world that his mother had left him to fend for himself with nothing but a box of fruit snacks to eat... his mother appeared with her full cart around the corner of aisle fifteen. His baby sister was bouncing up and down in the seat of the cart sucking on a bottle and sporting a different outfit than she had on when they entered the store.
"Mom!" the little boy cried out and sprinted down the four aisles to meet his mother. "Mom I thought you left without me" the little boy said as he hugged his mom beside the cart. The man in the blue vest walked up then too.
"Honey I asked you to follow me to the bathroom so I could change your sister," his mother looked down and hugged him. "I thought you heard me. I looked around after I changed her and didn't see you. I went to the fruit snack aisle and you weren't there." His mom smiled.
"I forgot," the boy said.
"See," the man with the blue vest said, "there was no reason to doubt. Here she is and all is well."
"Honey I have never left you anywhere before... have I," his mother asked.
"Well then I hope you learned something about me today," his mother said as she looked down at her now non-frantic son.
His mom thanked the man in the blue vest as he began to walk away. The tall man with the mustache and the huge radio also got some thanks from her. "Hey mom," the little boy asked, "can we get some fruit snacks?"
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