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Worn Sneakers

By , Cumberland, RI
Lights were flashing through the dark skies casting shadows through the alleys. The city was not as busy at this time of night; only a few lone cars could be heard passing by. Quick steps could be heard skimming the pavement, the noise echoing through the night. There were two shadows running behind a corner, a woman and a young girl. The two were breathing heavily, legs shaking, peering cautiously from side to side. In the warm night air, the two broke a slow smile at one another while their hair was slightly swimming in the air. The girl slid down the brick wall of which she had been resting on, resting her worn sneakers.
“Are we good?” the young girl asked looking up to the woman leaning against the wall.
“For now, I guess.” The woman became quiet.
“Did you take something this time?” the young girl murmured.
The woman peered down at her in surprise, “this time?” she repeated.
The young girl continued to gaze up at her, “yeah, like last time.”
“When did you get to be so observant? I guess I haven’t been paying attention to time lately.”
“I’ve always been like this.” The girl argued quietly.
“If you say so,” the woman chuckled silently, “where shall we head to tomorrow? The carnival? The beach? How about that café you always used to love?”
“Does this mean it’s just us now?” a smile began forming on her face.
“Why are you so happy?” the woman pretended to be stern, ruffling the girl’s hair.
“Happy? When did I say I was happy? I asked first!” she turned away.
“Fine, so what if it’s just us for now? Are you better?”
The young girl peaked slowly out of the corners of her eyes before slowly turning her head. “I guess so.” She conceded.
“You’re sure?”
“Just us right? Just us women, no men allowed?”
“Yup, just us for now, all on our own.”
“No more running?”
“No more running.”
“We can do what we want?”
“Anything we want. We’re free.”
“And we won’t get stuck again?” the girl asked to make sure.
“Nope, we can do it this time.” The woman repeated the familiar words in her mind.
“I guess I can accept that.”
“Good and you’re not mad at me for making us leave right?”
“No way! So can we really go to the carnival tomorrow?”
“I said so didn’t I?”
“That means I get cotton candy.”
“Yes miss, anything else you might desire?”
“Well when you put it that way…” the woman and the girl laughed with one another.
The woman helped the young girl up and the two walked on to the next day. A few lone cars drove by, but the two walked on, independent from the rest of the world.





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