It amazed me how the layout of the mall was exactly what I had pictured. I grabbed a quick snack at the same food kiosk that Quinn and I had. Then up the escalator and a third of the way down the mall corridor was the store I was looking for. Hanging in the window was a black spaghetti strap number. I held my heart for a minute. How could a person dream every detail of the future before it happens. That was confirmation that the dream was more than just a dream. It was a vision. I was right to warn Quinn.
If the mall is fact, then so is what is happening to Quinn right now. His house would be a pile of ashes lining his property. His bakery would be shot apart. And Anna will be taking a few of her last breathes. ‘Lord, hold Quinn up through this.'
I hope he took my advice and saved one of his contracts. If he left the airport thinking I was crazy and ignored what I said, everything would be a waste. However I remember his face as we stood behind Stacie's car. I cannot let my heart believe that he would ignore it all. In his eyes I saw a twinkle of hope. He wanted to believe me.
Entering the store, a tall, slender woman greeted me in French. She appeared to be in her late thirties or early forties probably. Not the same sassy young thing I remember.
“Puis-je vous aider?” She asked.
I shook my head. “No thank you.”
“Ooh. An American?”
“No. I am from Canada.”
“I love Canada. I have an aunt who lives in Manitoba. Do you live in Manitoba?” The woman's English was good but her accent was rich.
I shook my head again. “Quebec.”
She chuckled out loud.
“What is so funny about that?”
“A Canadian - from Quebec - who doesn’t speak French?” She laughed again behind her hand.
“Je parle français.” I just don’t like to.
She regained her composure. “Sorry.”
I walked away from her looking at the clothes hanging around the store. The fashions were fancy compared to my closet. Then I spotted the lilac colour I remembered. I quickened my step to its side. Holding the hanger in front of me I tried to hold back my emotions. It’s here.
Right away the tall woman was beside me. “Would you like to try it on?”
“No thank you. I can’t reach the zipper.”
The clerk’s jet black hair flopped to one side as she cocked her head in confusion.
“But I am looking for a red dress.” I said.
Her eyes lit up. “I have many red dresses.” She turned to walk away.
“No. I know exactly which one I want.”
She stopped in her tracks.
“It has small white flowers and the skirt is wide, so it lifts up when you dance in circles.” I almost started to waltz in her store. Luckily I caught myself before my memories took over.
She watched me closely for a moment. Her eyes roaming over me looking for answers. My face must have revealed my heart more than I had planned on. She smiled all the way to her eyes and then turned silently to walk across the store.
With no trouble, the woman found the red dress. seeing the lilac dress didn't prepare me enough for seeing the red one in front of me. I choked back a tear. It’s real.
I snatched it from her and announced I would pay for it. She tried to convince me to try it on but I told her I knew it would fit. It would fit perfectly, in fact. After giving me that same look she did before, she wrapped the dress into the store bag and handed it to me.
As I walked away she called out. “It's none of my business, but you are not a typical shopper. Why that dress?”
My eyes closed as my feelings for Quinn surfaced once more. “There is a man who loves this dress on me. I guess I figured that even if I can’t have him, I can have the dress.”
My attention had been on my treasured images of Quinn, but when I looked up at the woman she had a tear curving down her high cheek.
“Thank you. Au revoir.” I said.
She wiped her face and waved to me.