A tall elderly woman of sixty-five was sitting by a bent bus sign with “Bus stop, three thirty-five and five twenty-nine,” in wood which was stapled over the old bus numbers.
The bench she sat on had already begun to show its age, with rusted screws and peeling paint. Her body hid the face of some local political figure. Beside her were three shoeboxes with the paper sticking out of the top. The concrete was cracking as well as the bolts that held the bench in place. Looked to be broken and decayed.
Across the street was a line of stores and in the middle was a small bank, one of many in the city. People of various sizes scurried back and forth across the sidewalk. Some entering the stores or hurrying out. One of the stores, in particular, had the name “Enis and Roa” scrawled in cursive. They specialized in young women’s clothing and shoes.
The elderly woman herself was Bonita Underwood. Her hair was held up in a messy bun with strays of hair sticking out and curling in on itself. Crow’s feet lined her eyes along with tear troughs. Mole scattered on her face. Her skin was a soft brown with the texture of soft leather, with skin tags dotting around her neck and shoulders.
She was wrapped tightly in a light red cotton sweater. Which was buttoned up halfway to reveal a light orange shirt with flower markings stitched around the neckline. Her jeans had pink and purple flowers wrapping around her legs and round her heels. Seemingly stitched or ironed on.
She held herself stiffly with her purse laying neatly on her lap. It was an old leather purse with beads swirling around into a floral design. They reach out and twisted in on itself in the shape of ferns and leaves.
Her hand fiddled with the strap impatiently and picked at the loose beads. Quietly, she cursed herself. Removing her fingers from destroying her tattered purse further.
She looked up to take in her surroundings and glanced at the sky, the night was beginning to settle. The sky turned in hue and the cars passed by with their lights on. It wouldn’t be long before the city lights did as well. She noted how sparse the gathering of people had become. Occasionally someone would hurry into their cars parked along the road, or busy themselves with window shopping.
Her skinny frame began to shiver and she brought her sweater closer around her, cursing the poor time management of the transit system. She rummaged through her purse and pulled out her phone, an old thing really. Something you’d buy at a gas stop or convenience store. She searched up the bus times and hissed lightly, she had another half hour or so in wait time. She clicked at it with her middle finger and tapped around, busying herself with it.
The woman herself had been doing fairly well with technology, with the help of her precious granddaughters of course. The eldest often helped her figure out her new computer whilst her youngest sought out the newest apps that made things easier. She smiled lightly to herself at the thought and turned to the three boxes of shoes. The trio of sisters had already begun to grow out of her shoes, and her daughter didn’t have the time to buy shoes with her busy schedule. Nothing their grandmother can’t fix.
Bonita was interrupted by a sharp shriek. She looked up and gasped, watching a man. He shoved himself into a young blond woman, yanking something from her. He threw her harshly to the ground. His body shook as he turned and ran, pushing over other pedestrians.
Edie Gallagher. A young woman of twenty-two, from British descent. She had soft features with a long round face with a slightly pointed cheek line. Her eyes were the color of bluebells and her hair was a soft blond. It puffed up and curled around her cheeks, the volume held it up into large puffy bangs. Two light green earrings hung from her ears while another was on her nose. She wore a loose jean jacket that reached her hips, her shirt was dark blue with darker stripes. Her jeans were softer in color and shore wore a pair of green converse.
She had a skip in her step as she browsed the windows in a local shopping strip. Looking over the various dresses and shoes, or occasionally stopping in a cafe for a coffee. Edie felt excited at the thought of a new outfit, one that would fit the setting. Her heart swelled at the thought of her catching the bouquet. Finding herself someone who would last as much as them. Edie let out a soft sigh but continued searching, she thought the shopping strip would help. However, she couldn't seem to find the dress that fit the requirements. She put her finger to her lips and tapped on them lightly. Walking up and down. In and out of stores, and only slightly bothering the workers.
She had just left a store named "The queen's choice", which was meant for prom-like settings. They did, however, do weddings or other kinds of occasions. She had to run her mouth, she just had to refuse help. She wanted to look special, pretty, and to stand out. Of course, not as much as the bride, but close. Her face flushed slightly as a young teenaged girl left the store and accidentally hit her with the door. Edie let out a squawk and jumped forward, bringing her hands close to her face in surrender. Her mouth let out a flurry of apologies as the younger girl just stared her down. She looked blank. Almost, tired. She had dark brown hair tugged down into straight square bangs and tied in a sharp ponytail. She watched as Edie continued to sputter apologies before moving away as quickly as the flustered woman could.
When Edie finally got enough distance she turned and scurried off, only slightly covering her face, of course. She slowed as her eyes caught the most pretty cursive sign. "Enis and Roa.", oh how pretty.
She tapped her mouth lightly with her middle finger as she moved into it. The woman failed to note how dark it was becoming, not fully realizing she had been wandering the shopping area for hours.
She only managed to figure it out when she left the store carrying a green bag with the most beautiful short green wine dress. She was grinning ear to ear. When she walked out into the pavement she blinked slowly, glancing from side to side then upwards. "When did the sun go down?" she murmured casually to herself. She gave a loose shrug and began walking down the sidewalk, giving a quick glance to the brown elderly woman. She looked quite chilly. A pang of sympathy passed her as she frowned. She hoped she would get home safely, She didn't like the thought of an old woman being hurt. She pulled up her bag and held her small blue clip wallet. She barely made it past one of the cars before she felt a light tap on her shoulder. "Yes?" Edie turned slowly to find a shaggy looking man wearing a light jean jacket. His beard was scruffy and unkempt while his hair was shaggy but it looked clean. He seemed to shower, but not actually care to look well.
She frowned and gripped her bag tighter as the man looked her up. She felt goosebumps form and fought the urge to shiver at his cold gaze. "You godda ligh'er." he said roughly, his voice sounded sore. She shook her head to the man and moved back to continue walking and get away from this man. She gasped as he grabbed her by the arm. It hurt. He held on tightly and twisted her arm, pulling her closer to him. She gaped before raising her hand and striking him across the face, she hoped it stung as much as her hand did. Her heart stopped as he turned sharply, his face bent into a snarling scowl, his teeth showing. She began to tug at his arm and turned to shriek as he winded his arm and socked her in the nose. Edie stumbled back and dropped her wallet, moving her hand to her nose. The pain shot against her face, leaving the feeling of a dull throb spreading around her nose. She felt blood against her fingers as she stared at the man. Her heart raced in her ear and ringing banged around in her head, her hands shook and her arm felt numb. Her face burned. Her eyes stung. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't move, She couldn't. Her throat tightened as he grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her forward. She screamed in his face as he ripped her bag from her, then shoved her to the ground.
Bonita stared in horror before pushing herself off the ground. Her hands shook but she tightened her grip and dug her nails into her palms. The old woman hurried across the street to the woman. A gathering was starting to form around her but didn’t want to touch her. She scowled and gave a shout, “Get outta the way, give the girl some space!” she hissed at them and shook her fist. They all gaped at her but the two in her way scurried out as she moved closer to the girl. She looked dazed and unfocused. She bent beside her and placed her hands on her shoulders. “Kid,” the woman shook and let out a shriek, trying to move back but Bonita held on. She looked to one of the onlookers “Call an ambulance.”.
Bonita spent the time attempting to calm the frightened girl, she looked sluggish but it seemed more from the pain than a concussion. She held her close and rocked back and forth, letting the young woman hold on tight in shock. It didn’t take long for the police to show up, she glared at the pair as she continued to comfort her. She learned of the girl's name, Edie Gallagher.
The elderly woman looked livid, glaring daggers at anyone and everyone. She refused to answer questions until the ambulance arrived and held the woman firmly as she shook. When they finally did arrive, she held Edie’s hand until she was inside the vehicle. Her body felt exhausted as everything calmed down, some people were questioned, she was one of them, and some had just left. Her shoeboxes had been collected and she waited quietly. She wasn’t waiting for the bus this time, instead, for her daughter to pick her up.
With slacked shoulders, she sat on the same bus stop, with heavy eyelids and numb limbs. Her fingers picked at the beads of her purse and quietly, she waited. Bonita happily welcomed the warmth inside her daughter's car as she pushed the boxes into the back seat and settled in the passenger. She leaned on the soft plush seat and let out a contented sigh, she hoped the young woman was okay. But for now, she planned to rest.