Blue-Eyed Strangers

November 5, 2009
Today is January 2, 2009, and I need caffeine. The grandparents I'm currently staying with for Winter Break aren't avid supporters of Dr. Pepper, and neither is the 7-11 down the street. With all the legal drivers still asleep, I'm left with no other means of transportation but my own two feet to carry me to Starbucks – the place I met you.

I hop up the steps, careful not to slip on the layer of snow that still covers Kansas City. You're holding the door open for me with stout, chubby fingers. As I slip into the shop, you follow, allowing the door to swing shut with a jingle. I grin at you, and a ghost of a smile plays across your lips, exposing a missing tooth from your mouth and dimples in your cheeks. Your unforgettable blue eyes follow me behind your unruly blonde ringlets.

A pink dress that's hardly appropriate for winter hangs lazily off of your frail shoulders, and your petite feet are sheathed in threadbare socks. Once I reach the apathetic worker at the counter, you flit off to some crevice of the shop, and I order and receive my chai. Sipping the beverage, I leave the store with only a brief look through the window, but I don't see you.

On the walk home, the wind picked up and tossed belatedly-removed Christmas lights and missing critter ads at my ankles. One sign seemingly has a stronger hold on its post, and I glanced at it respectfully for not attacking me. Instead of the expected cat or dog, bright blue human eyes shine back at me. An image shows a gap-filled smile that procures dimples, and a candy cane that's hooked on the collar of a reindeer sweater.

The caption under the picture contradicts the giddy vibe of the little girl: “Casey Milano, missing since December 26, 2008.”

Jogging back to the shop, I imagine you waiting to hold the door open for me with your little fingers. I imagine our silent, brief encounter and your adorable smile. But when I reach the shop, you aren't there. I'm sorry that I never said hello. I'm sorry that I didn't notice the bruises on your arms or the desperation in your blue eyes. I'm sorry that my call to the police hasn't and likely won't help you. I'm sorry, Casey, and I regret not saving you.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ashley2055 said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 3:51 pm
i read it a few times to fully inderstand it, but it was really moving
xxlexilooxx said...
Dec. 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm
Wow. Very touching. Makes you think that you always need to notice things, and help when you dan.
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