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Set in Steel

By , Shoreline, WA
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next »

Chapter 5

The next morning I woke to the ‘thump-thump-thump’ of the stairs, and Mrs. Thistle whistling from her room.  I sat up, and knocked on the wall, because there was no door, just an archway with crackling paint.  She replied, and we walked outside to see Frank talking to a woman with a small child on her hip and another tugging at her hand. 
“Hello Frank, Mary,” said Mrs. Thistle.
“Morning.” Said Frank with the tip of his hat.
“Good morning Mrs. Thistle.  And who is accompanying you today?” asked the woman next to Frank.
“This is Nina.  And she’s not just accompanying me for the day, she’ll be living with me for as long as she wishes.  All she has to do is help pay the rent.”
I gave a shy smile to the woman, but she didn’t send one back.  Instead, she tilted her head and nodded, then struggled to keep her baby on her hip.
“I’m Mary Burnett.  Live just next door.  Pleasure to meet you.”
“Pleasure to meet you too,” I say.
“Nina,” said Frank, “I’d like to take you on a tour of the city today.  I know that Larry must’ve taken you on a ‘tour’ which was probably more of a walk down some of the most dangerous streets in the city, so I want to make it up to you.”
“It would be my pleasure.” I reply.
Frank walks me over to the sidewalk and we wave goodbye to Mrs. Thistle and Mary. 
“Hey,” he says, “don’t feel bad about Mary.  She’s been pretty uppity since her husband has been in the saloon all the time these days.  It’s hard for her to support those kids without him, so she stays with him.”
“Oh, I understand.  It must be hard for her.”
“Yeah, it’s tough, but we all manage and help her out.  That’s just how it works.”
We come to agreement in silence as we walk on. From there, he showed me some unique sports that only a true New Yorker would know about.  We visited the Metropolitan Art Museum and I got to see some of the most fantastic architectural pieces there.
We arrived back at the tenement after a truly satisfying day.  I got to know how to properly take a cable car, and which streets to watch out for.
The small community of people in my tenement changed my perspective on these almost unhabitable places.  The friends that I made there made me feel better about my situation, knowing that I’m not alone.

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