A Wally-Mart Christmas

"Mommy, I want that for Christmas!" the familiar wails of desired gifts filled the toy isles of the Wal-Mart where I'd suffered the past six months working. This was followed by the usual declining from the chills mother. The never-ending cycle continued moments later, only this time there was no decline from the mother. The child continued protesting that she needed the toy, but the mother refused to reply. I thought about it for a moment and realized that this mom must've known what she was doing, as the child's protests came to an eventual halt.

I continued on my way, re-organizing the shelves of toys that kids had disarranged in mad rampages earlier that day. As I rounded the corner of a Hot Wheels display, I entered the Barbie isle to find what looked like an oversized Kelly doll collapsed on the floor twitching every few moments.

"Honey, what's the matter?" I heard my voice escape from me before I thought about what I was saying. What did I care? It's kids like her that make me hate this time of year.

"Mommy? Why are you wearing that silly vest, Mommy?" the small child inquired with a sing-song voice, quickly wiping the tears away as if nothing had happened. I looked down at her rather puzzled. This blonde girl though I was her mother?

"Sweetie, I'm not your mom. Where is she? Are you lost?" flashing a huge grin with many missing teeth, the child told me to stop being so silly and quickly attached herself to my leg. Her grasp dug through my thin, worn jeans. My mind wanted to kick her off and run, but my heart reached out to her. This strange yet sweet little girl was lost and so confused. I softly peeled her tiny arms off my legs. I took her hand and lead her to customer services- just like I have been taught to do six months ago.

Seeing Cheryl, the lady who worked at the customer service sounder, the Kelly-doll-like child rant to her and threw her arms around her legs much like she had to mine moments before. Cheryl opened her mouth to question what was going on, but I shook my head vigorously. The last thing this deranged child needed was to be confused anymore. I retreated from the room as quickly as possible. I'd worked her six months and witnessed some weird things, but I never felt so much compassion for a human before. Poor Cheryl, ever since she moved out of our parents house, she's been so low on money, and has been taking her daughter to work with her every day since. I just hoped one day Cheryl would teach her daughter I was her aunt, not her mother.