The Purse

September 1, 2016

I gently placed my coffee cup on the wooden table at the café that had just opened. I enjoyed the ambiance, the soft music playing in the background, the quiet chatter of people, and the clanking of plates and forks in the open kitchen. I opened my small coffee colored purse that hung from the back of the wooden chair I sat on, and reached for my phone. A message from Caroline, my best friend, who was supposed to meet me here, popped up. It read that she was running 5 minutes late, that there was ‘heaps’ of traffic on Route 47. I sighed and took a sip of my ice water, condensation seeping into my fingertips. I played with my gold necklace, while tapping my foot lightly, an old habit. My thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice reaching my ears. I looked up and saw Caroline, running towards my table, a mess, as usual. We were the exact opposite, she was lively, boisterous, and blunt, however when we met in college, we just clicked.

We spent a good hour talking about her exhausting job and my new dog. Finally, we decided to go out and do some shopping. I slung my purse on my shoulder, engrossed in our conversation about how she rammed her car into a dumpster. We exited the café and began walking on the bustling sidewalk. I breathed in the cool air, letting the slight breeze graze through my hair. Suddenly I felt a tug on my shoulder and the sound of shoes scuffing the sidewalk. I spun around and my purse was gone, and I spotted a short figure sprinting away across the road with my purse tucked under their arm.
“My purse!” I pointed and took off, realizing I should’ve taken those classes at the gym Caroline always took. From the corner of my eye, I saw her, dodging people left and right. I stopped and leaned over, my hands on my knees, breathing heavily. I squinted and my eyes followed Caroline’s short figure running across the road, melting into the crowd of people on the other side of the street.  I sighed and pushed my way through the swarm of people, until I reached the other sidewalk. In front of me was a steep staircase leading to a narrow hall with a dim light emanating from a small light barely connected to the wall. “Caroline?” I called, my voice bouncing off the walls. I cautiously stepped down the stairs only to find Caroline’s suede jacket lying right a few feet in front of me. I quickly walked and picked it up shuffling through the pocket for her phone. Suddenly I heard a shoe scuff the floor behind me and just as I turned around I felt a shooting pain in my side. My legs went limp and I slipped into darkness.

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