He decides to follow the women in the tracksuits because they seem to know where they are going. They move through the building with incredible ease. Fortune wonders if they have practiced walking through the mall with their eyes closed like he practices in his house when he pretends to be blind. It would take forever to memorize all the numbers and steps inside the Mall of America. Fortune’s head would explode. As he follows them he feels like the second place runner following them on the track.
He wants to yell out for his parents but can’t. He doesn’t want to get thrown out of the building because of a noise complaint. Fortune knows noise complaints happen a lot because they write about them all the time in the police logs of the newspaper. Also, if there are bad guys Fortune doesn’t want to make too much noise just in case they are inside. He has seen a lot of movies and the people who catch the bad guys never make much noise.
The women in the tracksuits curve around the corners of the mall. They pass by the Disney store. Mickey Mouse stares Fortune down as he walks by. There is a group of four metal trash cans all in a row to their right. Two of them are overflowing with trash. They walk by Lego Land: the biggest collection of Lego’s in all of America. There is a plane made out of Legos hanging from the ceiling. Fortune sees this and briefly considers writing it down so he can remember it but sadness overcomes him when he sees a family inside and a boy holding up a Star Wars Lego set. Everything is ok. They just went inside. Nothing bad has happened. Mom loves shopping. She just couldn’t wait. It makes perfect sense. Nothing bad has happened. They just went inside. Everything is ok. Everything is ok. They just went inside. Nothing bad has happened. Dad loves breakfast. She just couldn’t wait. It makes perfect sense. Nothing bad has happened. They just went inside. Everything is ok.
The women disappear around a corner. He is left walking alone through the mall. More and more people are making their way through the doors all around him. There are more families. There are more mother’s pushing their babies in strollers. There are more kids making their way through other crowds of kids towards the center of the mall. The center of the mall is where the roller coasters are. Fortune knows this because every time he goes around another corner he catches a view of the bright yellow and blue paint on the rails.
Most of the stores have yet to even open. Everyone who is coming in just keeps walking around. None of them are shopping yet. Fortune passes by the Gap and Baby Gap, a store with American Flags and shirts that say, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on them and the food court.
If his parents are eating breakfast they would be doing it here. Fortune breaks into a run. His backpack bounces up and down on his shoulders. Fortune feels the edge of the shovel swing down and hit against his tailbone.