Cross

Lily focused her eyes upon the door of the Cup-n-Saucer. She longed to escape. Walking past the waitress, Lily nodded her head. The waitress nodded in return as if understanding. In the glass window in front of her Lily saw Beth’s orange hair reflected. Beth’s black nails curled as talons and Desiree Dramal’s long black slacks seemed to lengthen and writhe with each of Lily’s footfalls. Suddenly the image of Beth’s beige stationery with B.A. at the top and IT IS NOT FINISHED burned upon Lily’s brain as she heard the glass door close behind her.

“Lily!”

Looking up, Lily saw Alice.

“Hey, Alice. What’re you doing here?”

“A couple of my friends are meeting me here this afternoon,” Alice said.

“I see. Enjoy.”

“Lily, why don’t you—“

“I’m really tired, Alice. Going home now. See you at work, okay?”

“You bet, Lily. You know, I heard you mention coffee when we were still at work but I thought you were just kidding. But my friend Beth called me and asked me to meet our mutual friend Desiree at the Cup-n-Saucer, and—well, isn’t that ironic, Lily? I mean, we could all be together.”

“That is ironic, Alice. See you soon, okay?” Lily heard her own voice and wondered if it sounded cruel to Alice. She liked Alice but doubted her judgment.

Lily drove towards her rental property. She passed Beulah and contemplated its steeple and cross where they looked upon this city of man.

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