softly focused image of fountains in front of city buildings at twilight



The bagel and orange juice that Evelyn offers me every morning sounds like a feast at this point and I wonder if she’s worried about me. The pang of guilt isn’t enough to send me home and as my personal groundhog day moment begins its never-ending loop, my appetite is forgotten.

“I think…I mean I did a test and it said I’m pregnant..”
“I have to go..”

“I think…I mean I did a test and it said I’m pregnant..”
“I have to go..”

A little black figure flits about with purpose at the edge of my vision. Focusing in on her, I note that it is the homeless lady moving about as if she’s looking for something. I wonder if she’s lost her necklace again and go over to see. She jumps a little when I approach her.

“Did you lose something?”

“My gem…my gem…” She’s distraught, muttering to herself, and shrinking away from me.

As if in answer to my confused hesitation, a sharp glint of light burns into my retina from the metal around her neck directing my attention to the misplaced item.

She moves surprisingly quickly.

“Wait – it’s right there!” She keeps moving “Your gem!” She stops and turns back, her eyes wide with surprise.

“It’s ok, look, it’s right there..” I point to her and back at my neck then at her again.

Pausing, she reaches up to her neck to feel the locket. Her features tell a story of love and loss as her bewilderment melts into a sad smile, her eyes glistening as she turns away returning to her own world where she sits alone waiting for her story to change.

I watch her. She’s sitting half-obscured by a cement barrier staring intently at something at the far edge of the viewing area.

I wonder if I wait here long enough, will my story change? Hasn’t it already? Someone should be watching out for her. It is so easy for jerks like Tyler & co to steal from or harm her, but she must have somewhere to go because she wasn’t here last night that I had noticed. It pisses me off that whoever is responsible for her just lets her go off on her own.

The sputtering of the first rush of water pushing through the pipes and, in turn, the jets of the fountain tell me that morning is waning and my stomach speaks up in protest of neglect. Mulling over the limited options, I think I recall that there’s a McDonald’s not too far away. Turning to look back at the lady as I make my way up the riverfront path, the cool overspray mists my face and I am captivated by the flock of gulls launching into the sunrise behind the fountain.

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