Hurrying out of the snow blizzard and into the safety of the supermarket, Zoe paused to dust off her woollen coat. Catching her breath and noticing her glasses starting to fog up, she tried to get her thoughts together. Peering outside, she saw the snow flurrying down and landing on top of an already thick blanket of white. People were quickly walking by with umbrellas and winter clothes clutched tightly around them.
Loud voices turned Zoe’s head and she looked over to where green plastic shopping baskets were stacked up. She saw two thirty-something women with a number of young children around them where having a conversation about the sudden change in the weather and the early closing of the schools.
Zoe moved over to them and grabbed a basket from another stack. Avoiding a three year old boy, who was staring up at her with huge blue eyes, she ducked into the clothes section. A very pink pyjama set with butterflies and the words Goodnight, Sweet Dreams catch her attention. She stopped and picked up the sleeve to feel the material. It was soft as she rubbed it. They didn’t have her size or mum’s.
Wandering off, she drifted down a few aisles till she ended up looping back to the Mother’s Day section. It was tucked just next to Easter and the four shelves looked sadly empty. Zoe checked out the wilting potted plants then the three different boxes of chocolate. There were four wines to choice from and then a selection of bath stuff.
That’s it? Zoe thought then stopped herself from crying it aloud.
Glancing about desperately, she wondered where else the Mother’s Day stuff could be, but could only chocolate eggs and rabbits. Deciding nothing in front of her would do, Zoe walked away and went to the entertainment section. There, past the games, she looked at the DVD’s and picked up a rom-com that had come out last year, but she knew mum hadn’t seen yet. Browsing through the others, Zoe didn’t spot anything else.
She headed on to the next aisle where a woman with a baby was looking through the magazines. Zoe stopped at the books and picked up an interesting looking one. Her mum wasn’t into historical murder mysteries. She put it back and grabbed another about a cheating husband. It wouldn’t do either. She looked at a few more then decided on a book at a woman getting her dream of opening a bookshop and starting her life over again.
Zoe put it in the basket then decided to head to the wine section. She had her ID with her, so buying a bottle wouldn’t be a problem. Arriving at Wines Of The World so declared by the big sign over head, there were three couples of different ages selecting wine and talking. She squeezed past the first couple, who were looking at an Australian white wine and the second couple who were scrutinising rose wines. Hoovering around the third couple in the red section, she tried to decide what to get.
There wasn’t anything that looked like mum drank. Not waiting for the couple to move off, she first went to one side of them then the other and looked at the dark green bottles on the shelves. After a few moments, she changed her mind and walked into the soft drinks area. She grabbed a bottle of water for herself then went over to snacks and sweets. There she found a better looking box of chocolates then had been on the Mother’s Day shelf. Putting that into the basket, she wondered what else to get.
When nothing came to mind, she went to the check out and bought her things. Heading out, she was met with a white wash scene of falling snow. Pulling up her hood and watching a handful of people darting inside, she told herself to never again leave Mother’s Day to the last minute.