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WE ALL inch forward and wait. Inch forward and wait. The woman at the front, she’s jabbing her finger at the cashier. Her face puckers up in baby face rage because of . . . oh god, who knows? I can’t say. I’m six people back. Something trivial, no doubt. Out of boredom and to kill time, I look in the neighbouring grocery carts. Oh, dear. Condoms and peanut butter? Wow. I never would have envisaged that from the suit pushing the cart. The woman in front of me is holding her toddler, he’s peering at me over her shoulder with big, blue innocent eyes and a thoughtful expression. Those eyes inspire tolerance. A commotion at the front snaps my attention away from the youngster. Frustrated, the woman at the front turns to glower at everybody in line. The customers are too busy staring at phones or other people’s carts. The cookies are for the kids, honest. I receive the full brunt of her glare. Her eyes. Tiny, black and fierce, like the unfathomable pit of her own personal nightmare. Those eyes have seen things I can’t imagine. Whatever her burdens, she doesn’t need me to add to them. So, peeping first at the toddler for strength, I catch her gaze. I smile and nod. Her glare softens. She takes a deep breath before turning away. She musters up a tremulous smile to the cashier as she leaves. We all inch forward and wait.