James McCabe II, “The First Pair.”

The First Pair

When my sister first broke the news, my parents kicked her out of the house. I guess they weren’t interested in raising a bastard child or supporting his single mother. Mary never told them who the father was; I still don’t know myself. But I do know I refused to let my sister and niece or nephew rot on the streets. Before then, I didn’t realize how smart it was to stay friends with Ana. She was glad to take Mary in. Mary has been staying there for a while now.

Wanting to be a good future uncle, I would take time out of my weekends to go to yard sales and scrounge for anything baby-related. I managed to find a crib with a built-in mobile of sea animals, and even found a not-so-cheap dollhouse. I’m hoping she doesn’t turn out to be a boy. But the oddest item was a pair of baby shoes. I didn’t pay much attention to the shoes themselves; the sign was what caught my eye. It said, “For sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.” I had to stop and read that twice. The look on the woman’s face reminded me of Mary; she had a nightmare about losing the baby. The sign wasn’t subtle about its implication, but I doubt the woman caught that in her state.

I asked about the price. She was willing to part with them for ten bucks; she obviously didn’t want to keep them. I bought them without asking any questions; I can barely comfort Mary, let alone strangers.  I noticed I didn’t see a guy with her, despite the toolbox, Play-station, and clothes too big for her. In the car I smacked my forehead in frustration; I forgot I had a card for my sister’s support group. I got back out and handed the woman the card, saying call if she needed it. She gave me a pained smile, one like Mary’s after I first said I’d help her out. I got back in my car and took off. At a stop sign I took the time to look at the shoes. They were very much girl shoes.

I really hope it’s not a boy.


About the Author

James McCabe II (30 December 1991) is a student at Merced College. After a brief period majoring in mathematics, he decided it was time to follow his passion for writing and literature. He is grateful for the consistent support of his family through the years.


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