When Patience receives an unwanted token from a stranger, she doesn’t expect the life-altering events that follow, but after her few days of good luck turn sour, she’s more than willing to rid herself of the thing and the shadows that come with it.
Patience Madison walked briskly down the cobblestone walk. Her ankle attempted to take an angle it wasn’t designed for and she quickly straightened it, continuing her journey. Cobblestones and heels were just not meant to work together cooperatively. She cursed herself for wearing them when she knew she’d be taking the horrendous walk down Fifth Avenue. At that point, coffee became necessary to her appointment’s survival. She’d text saying she’d be a little late, keeping her blood thirsty tendencies to herself.
Once at the coffee shop, she stood in line, thankful it was so short for once. People have to have their lattes and iced mocha with whip. She was no different in that respect and ordered the latter because it sounded good. Besides, the mocha would boost her energy along with the caffeine. Her appointment texted back with a ‘no worries’ and she ordered something for them as well.
The décor of the coffee shop was warm and soothing in creams and chocolates with big comfy chairs, tables, and Wi-Fi for the geek squad who could be found all hours the shop was open. About the norm for coffee shop atmosphere, she supposed.
The barista yelled out her name; she grabbed her drinks and headed for the door. When she pushed out, she damn near ran over an elderly homeless-looking woman.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. Excuse me,” said Patience.
The woman’s grey eyes studied the cups in her hands before finally settling on her face. “Patience. Such a pretty name.”
Patience gave the woman a tight smile because she so did not fit her name. “Thank you, but I rarely have any. If you’ll excuse me.” She tried to step around the woman, but the woman blocked her path . . . to her appointment, to freedom, to the world. “I’m sorry, but I really am in a hurry.”
“Here.” The woman had something like a silver coin in her hand. “A token . . . of appreciation.”
Patience raised both cups. “My hands are kind of full, sorry.” She attempted to move around her again to no avail. Oh my God, woman, move!
“Perhaps you should slow down,” the woman said. “You look like you could use a good rest.”
Patience blinked. Did she hear her correctly? “I’m late for an appointment. Now, if you don’t mind . . . .”
“I’ll put it in your pocket for you,” the woman said, and she touched her arm.
Patience tried not to look displeased or shudder visibly, but if the woman was homeless . . . she shook the thought from her mind. It was wrong to think like that. She didn’t know if the woman was homeless or not.
“Don’t forget to pass it along.” And she let go of Patience’s arm and walked away.
Patience noticed the time on the large clock above the bank. “Crap. Bo is going to kill me.”
As Patience walked the opposite direction, the woman turned and yelled something else back to her, but she couldn’t hear the words over the sounds of the city.
* * * * *