Celeste awoke with a start and at first didn’t remember where she was. She closed her eyes tight for a brief second and had a premonition that Arnold’s business was in trouble. Quietly she peeked out into the storefront. . . all was quiet. She closed the door, turned on the desk lamp and opened the laptop. Time to begin . .
Four (4) hours later Celeste closed the laptop and took a deep breath. The new website was set up and an email describing all the services Arnold’s offered had been sent to everyone within 20 miles. The Grand Reopening was set for two days after Arnold returned. . . and he’d also be sent an email in one (1) hour.
Time for Celeste to grab her things and move on quickly and quietly. She glanced over the office . . all was as she found it. She picked up her blankets, cardboard, plastic and trash then headed out the back door carefully locking it behind her.
As she made her way along the dark alley she noticed the snow had melted and a pair of beautiful tree trunks were growing as part of what must have once been elegant landscaping. Now weeds grew unchecked through much of it like a cancer. As she looked over the remaining plants she envisioned a fairy garden that would attract birds, butterflies and small fanciful children! Yes, she would be visiting this spot often.
Coming to the end of the alley she looked sideways down the street wondering where to head next. . ? With Arnold probably in a panic and heading straight home (at minimum) or calling the police she knew she needed to head a few blocks away and lay low a while. Even though it was a bit farfetched she hoped she could someday help Arnold again.
As Celeste walked the dark streets she let her mind wander back to evenings at her grandma’s home and sipping hot chamomile tea with honey as they watched old movies together. She could almost hear the fire crackling in the small fireplace and smell the bleach used to deep clean the house every Monday. Every visit she was assured she was loved and wanted. Celeste thought of the cold granite stone marking her grandma’s grave. By the day of the funeral she had become an expert at suppression of her emotions. She remembered everyone saying how peaceful grandma looked and how nice her family was. She really couldn’t blame those people as they were strangers to her life and her family really was quite layogenic. So many had mistaken them for loving caring people.