The grocery bagging girl seemed unusually intent upon helping me to my car with the groceries.
"It's okay, I'll..." I began.
"No, that's fine."
"It's all right, I'll just..."
"No, I'll take them for you."
"That's fine, I'll take them for you."
She had a death grip on the handle of the grocery cart.
I relented. "You must really want to go outside, huh?"
She pushed the cart through the automatic doors, and I directed her to the right.
"Hooooo-ee, I have had some kind of strange day today!" she exclaimed.
"How do you mean?"
"Are you sure you really want to know?"
Here is the point where I could have made my escape, I think. But I was polite as usual. "Yeah, what's been strange about it?" I asked.
"I'm not saying I have premonitions," she began. "Because I don't believe in premonitions. But a month ago, I had this dream." I opened my car trunk, and she helped me load the groceries in.
"I dreamed my brother's girlfriend was pregnant. And then today I find out she's two months pregnant and she didn't know it! They say, 'It's just a coincidence.' But I tell you what, in seven months they are going to know I'm right. Because in my dream it was a little baby girl, and she had a full head of hair, and she looked just like my brother except her skin was darker than his."
"Maybe you smelled the hormones on her," I offered weakly. We were standing at the back of my car. A cold wind blew.
"In this same dream, I dreamed my best friend's mama was very sick. And what scares me is, in my dream she died. And I couldn't think of anything to say to her except 'There is no way I can know how you feel right now.' So I hope I'm not having premonitions. I hope I'm not right. And then the other thing is, in my dream I was pregnant! And my boyfriend wasn't with me at the time, but then he came back and he helped me with the baby boy."
Silver's furry snout appeared in the back window of the car. She blinked at us quizzically. The girl spotted her and waved.
"So I don't know what to think, because I've been throwing up in the mornings, especially when I see my boyfriend. We broke up, but if my dream is right, he'll be back with me three months after the baby is born."
I tried to get into the spirit of the story. "Huh...I think you might be pregnant," I said with a mixture of joviality and warning. She continued as though she hadn't heard me.
"I almost hope I am pregnant, because you know that's the greatest gift God can ever give you. Everyone says this is all just a coincidence, but I know in seven months they are going to start seeing that I am right. She was already pregnant a month when I had that dream, and she didn't even know it. She didn't believe me when I told her. When that baby girl is born, they'll know..."
"I--" I wasn't sure what to say. What I was thinking was, I hope this psychokinetic pregnancy business isn't contagious. Silver looked out at me forlornly.
"But what I wonder is if I am right about me. It'll be a little boy. I've been throwing up a lot of mornings, especially when I see my boyfriend."
My car door seemed to be a thousand miles away.
"But next time you come, you talk to me, and you'll see."
And as suddenly as she had introduced herself into my afternoon, she excused herself from it.