Her hair had grown longer, and could it be that her cheeks were a little chubbier?
Weirdly, Joni was passing someone a pipe. Not a hookah, but a totally un-exotic, regular pipe. And the man she passed it to passed her money in return. Across a counter. Joni was working in a store.
By the time Juno had digested this the man had left the counter, but luckily there was a second sales attendant beside Joni who now put a bunch of cigars in a box for another customer. ‘Robert Simpson of Toronto’, Juno read on the box. So Joni really had gone east.
A few moments later Juno stood in the department store where Joni worked. Casually strolling, she soon spotted her target’s blonde head busily bobbing behind the tobacco counter. She was still wondering what to do next when the blonde head suddenly bobbed out from behind the counter real hurriedly. Juno followed it at a safe distance, to the ladies’, as it turned out. Seemed to be a recurring theme this morning.
She slunk in through the door shortly after Joni, not quite sure why something told her to do this. Nobody was by the basins. Rounding the corner to the row of cubicle doors she heard a retching sound. Only one door was shut. Joni was being sick. Juno left the ladies’, one half of her thinking what a stupid way this was to spend a morning, hanging ’round this sorry excuse for a fancy store in this parochial little town, when she could be sipping iced tea on Venice Beach. The other half of her somehow felt compelled to stay, though.
Joni came out of the ladies’ after a couple more minutes. Juno lurked behind a hat stand and watched her return to the tobacco stall. Joni looked real pale and drawn, and something else about her struck Juno too… yes, there was no doubt that her slight frame was out of proportion. Juno nearly tipped the hats over. Joni was pregnant.