• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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Concentrating On Hoping

The street is a mosaic.

Burnt orange, rain-slick black, blissfully unexpected blue, nacreous paving stones.

I snatch a second of hoping that winter’s shell is beginning to splinter.

I let my feet fall to the sides of my bike.

My breath gathers in clouds.

More clouds, mirrored in the puddle hugging the pavement. Even as the cold grips my cheeks tightly and snakes around my wrists, the colour of the sky pushes into my chest, sticks to my ribs.

A woman is waiting next to me.

I hesitate to think she is waiting with me, because she has continued staring stoically ahead, even as my wheels have hissed to a wet stop beside her.

Maybe she is concentrating harder than I am on hoping.

The lights are taking a long time to change.

I wonder where she is going. Staring down, soaking in the stillness of her puddle twin, I feel the bizarre urge to ask her.

Finally, the green winks across the water.