The brown wool hat had been knitted with love and care. Through hours of time and precision he was marked superior to all the other hats that hung, unused on the coat rack.
“Hey – do you think she’ll pick me today?” Old Gray Hat asked Brown Hat one afternoon.
“Of course. Any day now.”
“She didn’t pick me yesterday or the day before though. I’m starting to have my doubts,” Old Gray Hat was beginning to unravel. “I’ve come to expect neglect in the summer, but these days… there’s just no good excuse.”
“I know what you mean,” but Brown Hat didn’t. Unaccustomed to his popularity, he smiled and said, “I can feel it though. You’re going to be picked.”
“Do you think she’s going to wear that coat with the pearl buttons? If she wears the coat with the pearl buttons then I’m sure she’ll wear me. We were a pair back in the day.”
“Oh yes, I can see that.”
“I haven’t seen Pearl in almost a year.”
Brown Hat knew Pearl quite well, but he tried to steer clear of her mention. Not two days earlier they were the best of partners, but now he began to wonder if she wasn’t always in a pair. When they were safely bundled to go outside, Pearl had commented on what a great team they made. She was classy in her buttoned all the way to the top, kind of way. Pearl wasn’t the type to wear fur around the collar and Brown Hat didn’t take her for the type to need accessories. Did she always have a hat? He tried to recall Pearl without someone tipping their hat to her, but when he could not remember her alone he became quiet. What was once special, now seemed dreary and worn out.
“I’m sure she’s doing alright,” he snapped suddenly.
“Oh,” Old Gray Hat paused. “Well, I’m sure I’ll see her again.”