She ran in to Wal-Mart to pick up a printer cartridge, but as often happened, she found herself taking the circuitous route to the needed aisle, winding her way through the Baby department. Today she looked at car seats and swings and toys. Checking the labels for the ages, 0-3months, 3 -6 months, 6+months. She imagined what toys she would pick out for her baby – today it was a son she was imagining, so her fantasy purchases were either neutral or boy colors and characters – Winnie the Pooh, trucks, tractors.
Not too long ago, people watching her might think the purchases were for her own child, but now, 4 days shy of her 50th birthday, people would think they were for her grandchild. It was cottonwood season; the white fluffy things were all through the atmosphere, so if anyone caught her with teary eyes, she would make some offhand remark about allergies.
The emotional pain she felt took on a physical sensation, such that she found her hand unconsciously rising up to her heart. Anyone watching her might thing she was having a heart attack. What excuse would she make up to cover that?
Really, she was having a heart attack of sorts. Just not one that medicine could treat. Her heart was under emotional attack and she had no defense. There was no weapon she knew to wield against these assailants. She was a helpless victim.
She’d read articles about how many infertile women cried when their periods started because once again they were not pregnant. Every 28 days, she found herself anxiously looking for traces of her cycle’s beginning; evidence that she was still able to conceive, if any man would ever find her desirable enough for a relationship.
Afraid she’d run in to someone she knew, she found her way to the printer supplies and bought the required cartridge and proceeded to the checkout. By the time she left the store and got in her car, the tears had welled up. Fortunately, it was dark and so no one would see her crying. She wouldn’t have to use the allergy lie and could save it for another day.