She stares at the bottle of wine, longingly. She looks down, at her shopping cart. She makes the sudden realization, that there is no Norah in her cart. She reaches for her belt. Her fingers reach for her phone. Her brain stops her. Norah, is with Marshall, for the night.
She stares at the bottle, struggling to reconcile her feelings. All she wants was a night at home, alone, on the couch, with the TV, and a glass of wine. As, she exhales, she struggles to believe it. Her glance falls, from the bottle, sitting on the shelf, to the phone, strapped to her waist. The, truth, being, all she really wants is to be at home, with her daughter, sleeping in her arms. She is about to turn, and leave, when a voice from her past, catches her off guard.
"Big plans for the night?"
She turns, and looks at the man, standing behind her. She smiles, against her will, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm in town for a few days."
"How have you been?"
"It looks like you're going to have a big night, if you can decide which one to take home," he points to the shelf of wine.
"I think I'm going to pass, this time. I'm just going to go home, and catch up on my sleep."
"That's not the Mary I know. The Mary I know doesn't sleep."
"She doesn't these days. Bobby, you know there is this myth, that babies are sweet, and cute, and perfect. And they are sweet, and cute, but they are not perfect. They rarely sleep when you want them to. And mine, wants to be awake, every second I am."
"You have a kid?"
"Yes," she whips out her phone. She holds it up for him to see.
He stares at the picture on her phone, "Unbelievable."
"I never pictured you as someone who likes kids."
"Yet, you have one."
"It was certainly not ever part of my plan, she sort of just happened."
"I mean, don't get me wrong, I like my kid. I love her..."
"How old is she?"
"She's almost seven months old."
"And how are you balancing work, and raising a baby?"
"I'm not very good at it."
"Your husband, helps?"
"Ha. That's funny. No husband."
"You're still afraid of commitment?"
"What? No? I am committed, to raising Norah."
"But not to a man?"
"Is my ex. We're not together, and we're not ever going to be."
"So she's at home?"
"Actually, Marshall is babysitting, tonight."
"You let him baby-sit?"
"His girlfriend, or whatever she is, this week, is with him."
"And you're ok with that?"
"I am trying to be. It's the first time I have let anyone keep her overnight."
"That's a big step."
"It's a lot harder than I ever anticipated."
"So you don't have big plans?"
She looks at her watch, "It's seven thirty now. I'll run my groceries home, take a shower, and try to catch up on laundry. By ten o'clock I will probably be over at Marshall's collecting my child."
"When did you drop her off?"
"Fifteen minutes ago."
"You don't think he can even last three hours?"
"He might be able to, but I doubt that I will."
"I see. Maybe you need a distraction."
"What do you propose?"
"Bobby, I don't know."
"Believe it or not, I may have missed you guys, a little. Of course if you tell anyone that, I will flatly deny it."
"You missed me?"
"I missed certain qualities about you."
"Your instinct to protect everyone around you, to a fault."
"So, what do you say? Can I buy you dinner?"
"Ok," she agrees.
745 AM- She rolls over, and looks at the clock. She rubs her eyes, realizing that she has to be at Marshall's to pick up Norah in fifteen minutes. She quickly comes to the startling realization, that there is a hand around her waist. She rolls back over. She stares at the sleeping face of a bald-headed man. She shakes him violently.
"Hm?" he groans.
"Get up! Get dressed! You've got to go!"
"I have to go pick up Norah. You've got to go."
He opens his eyes, and looks at her.
"We shouldn't have gone for Mexican last night," he realizes.
"I think that's best."
"Things are going to be weird between us, now, aren't they?"
"Probably," she purses her lips, and nods her head, as she frantically tries to get dressed.
"This was a mistake," she tells him.
"Agreed. This should never have happened. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry. Just, go back to Chicago, and we'll pretend that this never happened.""And when I come back to Albuquerque?"
"We'll deal with it then. I have to go get my daughter. Let yourself out."