C7: The Lady in Blue

Disembarking at the curb, Keitaro thanked the Uber driver for selflessly volunteering to park and wait for him for free. Keitaro joined the flow of shoppers entering the supercenter. He skipped over getting a cart to approach the greeter.

“Hi, welcome! Hello, welcome, welcome. Wel…”

Keitaro bowed slightly to the young woman. “Can you tell me where men’s basics will be?”

“Uh…” Her eyes followed the unmatched disaster of his dress shoes and garbage green scrubs up to his arm in the sling.

“Basics?” Her jaw fell when she noticed the horrendous bruising on Keitaro’s face and the swelling of his left eye.

“Socks, underwear, deodorant.”

“Oh, that’s that way. No, this way.” She twisted sideways without taking her eyes off of him. Like a driver passing a car crash, unable to not look.

“Thank you.”

Keitaro grabbed a basket and flowed with the crowd toward the self-care department of the store. He found the hygiene essentials quickly and carefully selected everything from
deodorant to hair spray.

“I hope he isn’t going to steal those,” a little old woman said down the aisle from Keitaro.

“You know, people these days will just walk out with the whole basket,” a second older woman whispered to her friend.

Distracted from his shopping, Keitaro stood up with black ice scented deodorant and eavesdropped.

“Well, you know the homeless find those slings and things in the dumpsters and wear them just to hide stuff in when they steal from stores,” the first woman said.

“Oh, they’ll do anything these days, won’t they?” the second woman said.

“Won’t even really be injured,” the first woman said.

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