Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)
TITLE: Shoes in Hand
By Karen Boyd
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The coffee place on the corner, there was no where else he could have meant, right? There aren't many corners in this town, and even fewer coffee shops.
She folds her hands as she looks out the window again, and worries that the crowd of rowdy kids smoking cigars outside will think she's staring at them. She had, in fact, begun writing about them a half hour or so ago, as an excuse to look for his car. That didn't go anywhere, now she's given up excuses and her laptop is wasting batteries in front of her on the cold, metal table. In the hazy quiet light of the store, the screen screams white. When she turns again to type, she sees her hands, looking peaceful and old. Stretching her fingers out, the lines around her knuckles look alarming and deep. Wrinkled all the way up, each of her fingers are punctuated with thick fake nails. They could have been 80 year old fingers in that light: fingers that knit slippers for grandkids and applied outrageous orange lipstick. But she is 20, waiting in this coffee shop for some man she barely even knows: waiting to grow old.
She peers out the window for his gold Geo. Instead she sees her candy apple red Jeep parked between two empty spaces. Her latte is getting cold.
She stands folds up her laptop and pushes it slowly into the case. Swinging the bag and her purse over her shoulder, her resolve hardens. What was she doing, agreeing to see him in the first place? Straightening up, she almost never felt his hand.
"Hey, Baby," He grabs at the back pocket of her jeans with a greasy smile. She stops herself from kicking him in the shin with her outrageously pointed toes as she turns to leave.
Coming to think of it, the shoes don't feel that great, and kicking probably wouldn't have been the greatest idea anyway. As she waits to cross the street, she loosens the little buckles on her heels and takes them off. Brimming with relief and the spring air, she steps from the curb, shoes in hand. Each step comes with a little extra spring, and by the time she closes the car door, hope has taken over in the form of a wide smile. She pulls away with the windows down.
Sliding into second, she begins a long prayer of new beginnings. She hasn't decided if she'll cram the car full and head for the freeway or save up for the down payment on her own house, but it doesn't matter much. Her life is beginning its U-Turn and she is swimming in hope. She thanks the Lord for forgiveness, renewal, and escape.
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