I caught her scanning shelves of feminine products, anxiously biting her thumb. Her search was thorough, but she eventually moved on. Then she quickly scoured the thermometers, syringes, and bottles of Neosporin; you could tell it was a long shot. With great caution, she moved closer to the aisle she had strategically been avoiding: baby products. Again, no luck.
Looking over her shoulder, presumably for anyone she could possibly know, she briskly walked to the front counter and bent her head low.
“Can I help you, ma’am?” A cashier with Coke-bottle glasses and wide, toothy grin greeted her.
“Um, yes.” A pause, “I wondered if you could tell me where I could find pregnancy tests.”
The Coke-bottle glasses cashier formed her mouth into a large ‘O’ and slowly nodded her head up and down. “We keep them back here,” she whispered – also seemingly aware of the disgrace that could potentially come with shopping for pregnancy tests. “How many you need?”
“Just one.” the woman responded. One certainly would be enough.
The woman shoved a delicate hand into her fitted, black winter coat and produced a small wallet. Out of routine her fingers first hovered over a debit card but, after thinking twice, plucked a couple bucks from the billfold instead. Moms, boyfriends, fiances and the like could easily check bank records, after all.
“That’ll be $2.18,” the cashier mechanically rattled off. To me, $2,18 seemed a small price to pay knowing the life-altering power of a pregnancy test. A joke, almost.
The woman mumbled her thanks to the cashier as she fumbled to grab the probably-not-consumer-recycled shopping bag.
“Good luck, honey, whatever it is.”
Those words haven’t left my head, probably like the results of that woman’s pregnancy test have’t left hers. “Good luck, honey, whatever it is.” Of course, the cashier’s sentiments were meant to be taken many different ways. If you’re pregnant and you want to be, good luck being a parent. If you’re not pregnant and you want to be, good luck for next time. If you aren’t pregnant and don’t want to be, then I guess you would have already gotten your piece of luck. But if you are pregnant and you don’t want to be, good luck figuring that one out.
How casually we can equate the creation – or non-creation – of life with the whims of luck.