Slipping Into Blue

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She slipped on earphones and adjusted the volume. The drama that played out on the street each day became a silent movie. She imagined what the old woman was screaming as she shook her broom at two young boys. She smirked as they pointed at one another and shrugged their shoulders. Those McDougal twins at it again. She laughed and scanned the sidewalk.

A balding, middle-aged man pulled his phone from his pocket and stabbed beefy fingers at its keypad. As he passed, her eyes followed a trickle of sweat running down his face. She glanced at his worn suit, wrinkled shirt, and beat-up briefcase  grasped in his white-knuckled hand. No need to hear what he was saying. Good luck, Buddy. Hope you make the sale.

She tapped her finger against her leg, keeping time with the music. Rounding a corner, she stumbled. Can’t be him.  Distracted, she stepped into the river of hustling commuters, and yelped as she was jostled out of the way. Seeking refuge in a doorway, she tore the earphones from her head and took a deep breath. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she scrutinized the crowd.

Her eyes widened as she spotted him, his all too familiar lanky frame leaning against a brick building. A wool cap covered most of the blue-black, spiky hair that brushed the collar of his denim jacket. A cigarette dangled from his left hand as she automatically looked for the gold bracelet he always wore. Damn. She stepped into the street,  but pulled back as a car honked its horn. Looking again, she darted across traffic and swallowed, trying to diminish the lump that was threatening to close her throat.

She crept behind him and paused. Her hand shook as she reached up to tap his shoulder.

“Yeah?” He turned his head. Big brown eyes peered at her.

“Sorry…” She backed away. “Thought you were someone else.”

Images of the greenest eyes she’d ever seen filled her head. She grabbed a smoke from her bag and lit it, pulling a long drag as smoke filled her lungs. Get it together, Lacey. He’s gone. Stop looking for ghosts.

 

by Michele Vecchitto

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