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Big brown Bambi eyes stare up at you.


What. The. Hell.


Maybe it's a dream, a nightmare; you'd even go for an illusion because you're not sure what to make of this situation. What does one do with a baby they found on the floor of Walmart? Maybe go to customer service except there is no customer service.


Once again, ladies and gents. What. The. Hell.


You startle as the blue bundle starts crying, tears filling up at the corners of those glassy eyes. You frantically look around as if someone would come help, but no, there isn't a single soul in the store.


What are you supposed to do with this... thing? The baby cries harder at your lack of attention and starts wiggling. Like a worm, you think, scrunching up your face. Petite arms slip out of the blanket and reach out to you, but you only stare wide-eyed at them.


"You want me to hold you?! Are you crazy or are you crazy?"


Looking around once more, you decide that no, this is not an illusion. Your eardrums wouldn't be threatening to break if that was so. Slowly, but surely, you curl your hands around the shrieking baby, one arm instinctively bracketing the head. Hesitating for a moment, your other arm brings the infant closer to provide the necessary warmth.


As if by magic, the wails quiet down into little hiccups and large eyes are locking onto yours once again. Long eyelashes frame the honey-brown orbs and you can't help but think how beautiful this little creature is.


What now? Standing awkwardly waiting around for god-knows-what isn't going to help while you have a squishy human in your arms isn't going to help. You wish there was a handbook for this. It would be so much easier.


Raising a Baby 101.


You snort at that, despite yourself. Why is this even happening? Just a moment ago, you were about to leave because you realized you were the only soul in the place and it raised the hairs on your arms. Walking through the supermarket was a very uncomfortable experience. Now there's a baby in your arms and it's like you've turned into a teen mom. You've gone from uncomfortable to through the roof of anxiety.


Slowly, and fearfully now that there was a living, breathing creature in your arms, you turn around to go back the way you came. You make a face at the dirty slush that was tracked in and a tiny face tries to copy it, mouth scrunching and eyebrows furrowing adorably. It has you chuckling and the baby squeals in delight, hands coming together in awkward claps. A warmth like no other wells up inside of you at the sight of the baby's smile.


Following the grey sludge, you see the empty counters that you thought were super weird but ignored anyway when you came in. It halts your steps now, though. An inquiring and curious noise erupts from within your arms but there's a lightbulb in your mind and you turn around to walk through the store with purpose. The corners of your mouth lift as you see it—a baby carrier.


"Alright, bebé," you say when you fix the carrier along your front after a few seconds (read thirty minutes) of struggle. At least now you can walk around without worrying about the fragile living "You stay put, okay?"


The baby coos and grabs your nose. You make another face, just to see the baby imitate it again, and you aren't disappointed. It accompanies a squawk but you think it was worth it anyway. Maybe. Let's just say you haven't decided yet.


You grab a car seat, then start to make your way out of the baby aisle but something catches your eye. Similac. You hesitate because you don't exactly want to feed the thing but what if the baby starts crying for food before you make it to the station. Being stuck with a screaming baby inside the enclosed space of your car is the last thing you need. You quickly leave the car seat at the counter and grab a cart to put the baby formula in, and then another thing catches your eye.


But no. You wouldn't need diapers.... would you? Pampers dauntingly stares back at you until you let out a huff and throw it into the basket. After all, you don't want your car stinking. Before you know it, the cart is filled with things for the baby and you try not to let your mind wander to why you have all these things. The baby in the carrier is sleeping and you think you've never seen such an adorable sight in your life.


Finally, you place the one thing you actually planned on buying when you first walked in—gasoline. You also grab a bag of Doritos—because why not?—and quickly stuff the products in cheap plastic bags. You can't carry everything in one go, so you take the carrier off, carefully placing the sleeping creature onto a safe place and run to your car. Four bags at a time, plus one trip for the car seat and gasoline alone, you end up going back and forth quite a lot of times. By the end of it, you're just about completely covered with freezing white fuzz.


You search your bag and take out a hundred along with a few twenties, looking pointedly at the camera and stuffing the bills in a drawer. It's not your fault the employees left the store unattended, after all. You need emergency supplies, and that's that.


The baby is still snoring away when you place her back in the carrier, so you smile and throw its blanket over your entire front. That should prevent any snow from making its way to the warm and cozy little baby. You don't run this time, scared you might slip and hurt the fragile package in your arms, so you bear the rough beating of the snow and protectively wrap your arms around your upper body.


By the time you make it to your car, you can't really feel your limbs and the creature in your arms shifts uncomfortably. You put yourself between the car door and the seat to make sure the wind doesn't slam it close, and place the whimpering mass onto the seat. When you're securely in the car, you take a moment to just wiggle your toes and fingers. Then, you turn and buckle up the infant, once again taking an unnecessarily long amount of time trying to figure out how the straps works.


You start your car, the poor thing making protesting noises but eventually complying with your demands. Glancing at the baby, you can't help the small smile that covers your face at the curious eyes looking out the window. Not much you can see, though, other than rapid motion.


Curious little thing, you think with a chuckle.


Once you're about to leave the parking lot, you think maybe you should put your GPS on because you're not sure where the police station is. A gurgle gets you looking up and you stare at the blindingly cute grin the baby has on. You bite your lip and look outside, fingers hesitating at the on-screen keyboard of your phone.


Maybe you should just take the baby home. Yes. The weather is not the greatest and who knows how far the station will be. You don't want to be in this blizzard a minute longer. Nodding your head, you decide to go to the station later when the weather's better. Just until the storm is over.


It's not like you're pretty sure the station is close by or anything. Nope, not at all.


It takes twice the amount of time to reach home than it usually does. You really should've checked the weather this morning. None of this would've happened. A wail breaks through the otherwise silent house and you bring the baby close to you immediately. The wails don't stop so you grab the newly bought formula and quickly search up the instructions.


Not even twenty minutes later, you smell something funky and you just know it's the smelly little creature you're currently sharing your space with. Surprisingly, you find yourself not minding the stink and changing the diapers with an ease you wouldn't have had just four hours earlier. I just might get used to this, you think but then remember that it's just until the storm gets over.


You aren't mother material. It's a fact. Until now, you've successfully steered clear of whiney babies and annoying toddlers. You live alone, and you've practically always been a loner. You don't know the first thing about taking care of someone, much less a needy little baby! So yes, just until the storm gets over.


Settling on your bed, you put the satisfied-looking infant between yourself and the wall, just in case she rolls around. Though, you're certain the baby can't be more than two months old. You think it's a good thing that you don't move around much when you're asleep. You wonder what will happen after this; if you'll have the strength to actually give this up. Perhaps.... you could adopt the sweet little human. Yes, that would be nice, even if you don't have the slightest clue what you are doing.


You are by no means an emotional and touchy person but you can't help but caress the soft fuzz down to the chubby, squishy skin of the little angel. How could someone have abandoned such a precious little creature? What do they say, name something and you'll get attached? Well, you're pretty sure you're already severely attached to the baby girl sleeping beside you.


"Mia," you decide, "I will call you Mia." It seems fitting. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl. She blinks up at you, eyelashes fanning her cheeks and doe eyes curiously looking at you. The baby girl suddenly coos and gurgles. Then, sticking a thumb inside her mouth and cuddling up to you, she instantly falls asleep. Like she recognized you as someone she could trust and feel safe around.


What the hell, you think, maybe I am mother material after all.

July 30, 2020 20:31

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2 comments

Wow! Keep it up! ~A (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story ‘Tales of Walmart’? Thanks!)

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Lyra Davi
01:26 Aug 02, 2020

Thank you, and of course!

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