Even though a few wrinkles were now visible on Kate’s face, hers was the face I had kept imprinted in my mind for years. She was a stunning girl with piercing blue eyes and sun bleached blond hair. A natural beauty that never needed makeup. In summertime her face was covered with freckles that faded in the winter, yet one spot just below her left eye remained visible throughout the year. It was hard for me to take my eyes off of it.
At La Vida Cafe, Kate met with Carmen, whom she knew from church, every Sunday afternoon. She would order a cappuccino and the two of them would catch up on the events from the week. Carmen said something about her co-worker and Kate burst out laughing. A few people at the cafe turned at the noise, but Kate was not someone to mute herself just because someone did not like her style. Nope, she was definitely not the type. She flicked her hair and shared some of her ideas about Carmen’s situation. Carmen giggled.
It was a gorgeous Spring day. The sky was blue, the temperatures were climbing up, the birds were singing, and the flowers were blooming. Kate arrived at the park with a group of kids about five or six years old. She was a kindergarten teacher at Blessed Sacrament Preschool and Kindergarten. From the wagon that she and another teacher brought to the park, Kate pulled out a couple of different balls and handed them out. She spread a blanket on the ground and sat down.
Not even a minute passed by before Kate stood back up. She just could not sit still. She joined the kids running around the park kicking balls and playing ‘Tag.” A smile never left her face. I wondered how she could have so much energy. The kids seemed to love her, giggling whenever she ‘tagged’ them, made a face, or said something silly. What a vivacious woman. So full of life.
From the corner of my eye, having briefly looked up from my phone, I saw her enter the cereal aisle. Today was the day for which I have been waiting for a very long time. It was time to make myself known to Kate. Pretending not to notice her, I walked in her direction and bumped into her, making her drop the shopping basket to the ground. A look of fear sparked in her eyes, but I was not sure whether it was because a stranger bumped into her unexpectedly or because it was me who did it.
“Hello, Kate,” I said, picking up and handing her the basket.
Her eyes widened, and her nostrils flared. The corners of my mouth crept upwards. Finally. There was no mistaking it. She knew exactly who I was and she knew she was in trouble.
“We should talk,” I said to Kate with urgency in my voice but a smile on my face, and offered her my arm.
She grabbed it, albeit not without hesitation, and we walked out of the store without buying anything. The basket remained on the floor with some of the items previously in it now scattered around it.
Well over 10 years ago, I was accused of murder. Everything would have gone well if some woman did not come forward and testify that she saw me stabbing that runner. The witness sealed the deal. It was the nail to my coffin. They moved her out of state and gave her a new identity, but I was determined to find her. Knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone comes in handy every now and then.
“Write a story inspired by the word ‘vivacious.'”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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