"I would have called her Ruth."
"Sorry Ma'am?" The checkout clerk looked up from swiping Anna's few purchases across the scanner.
"Ruth," said Anna, pointing to the young woman's name-tag. "That was the name I had picked out for her."
"Oh," said the young woman, her hand suspended in the air, holding a box of camomile tea.
"It's a good, strong name," said Anna. Her voice turned wistful. "She died before she was born."
Another 'bip' from the scanner as Ruth swiped the tea across it.
"I'm sorry, Ma'am," she said.
Anna waved a slight hand in the air. "It was a long time ago," she said.
She eyed the bright patterns inked into Ruth's left arm, the three silver rings in her left eyebrow.
"Did getting those hurt?"
Ruth glanced down at her tattoos and shook her head. "It felt...intense when I was getting them done, but it was OK."
She looked up again. "I'm really sorry about your daughter."
Anna smiled. "Thank you, Ruth." She gave a slight shrug. "There was nothing anyone could do. She had a hole in her heart."
Her voice turned wistful again. "She left one in mine too."
Ruth reached out and touched Anna's arm. Anna smiled and patted the young woman's hand.
"I'm sorry, my dear. You musn't mind an old woman like me." She looked down at her purchases. "How much do I owe you?"
Ruth glanced at the screen. "Twelve dollars, seventy-two cents," she said. "Are these all to go?"
Anna nodded. "Yes, thank you." She paused as she opened her purse. "Except perhaps the strawberries. Maybe I'll sit and eat a few before I go home." She handed Ruth a twenty dollar bill.
Ruth made the change and gave it to Anna with her purchases.
"I hope you have a good day, Mrs.--"
"Goldberg," said Anna. "Thank you dear. You have been very kind." She looked at the young woman before her. "Ruth. Yes, it is a good name."
Anna took her purchases and sat outside the store at one of the tables there. She stayed a while, the sun warming her face, remembering what might have been.