By Katrina Alexis
I think I see Cassandra’s concern now in placing locked doors on our wings, though I’m still not sure why the men are separate from the women. Anyway, I went to my usual café for lunch today. (I needed a break from the confines of my room.)
I was in the middle of my meal when I noticed a heavily bearded figure with almost opaque glasses and a paint-splattered, long, green canvas coat. He stood out like a soda can on a freshly clipped lawn. Other heads turned his direction as well. He appeared to be searching the room for something or someone. I turned my head away and focused on the newspaper I’d laid out beside my plate.
Moments later, I felt his presence more than saw it … eyes boring into the back of my head. I waited to the point of awkwardness, but still he did not say anything. I was about ready to call over the management when he cleared his throat delicately.
Exasperated, I turned abruptly in my chair. “Yes?” I said, hoping my tone would put him off. “Can I help you?”
He spoke slowly and deliberately. “You live at the Xayyachack Mansion.” It was not a question. I was about to reply, “No,” and make good on my word when he handed me a folded envelope from a pocket deep within the reaches of his long coat. “Would you please give this to Mrs. … Mrs. Talbot for me?” He hesitated over her name and failed to get her title right.
“Certainly not!” I said, wrapping the remains of my sandwich in a napkin and folding the newspaper as I stood up.
He looked dejected and not at all harmful with his hands hanging limply by his side.
“Look,” I said. “Not to encourage you or anything, but there’s a proper way to go about speaking to Ms. Talbot. It’s called an application process. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” I gathered my coat and bag and hurried out the door. If I were a praying type of person, I’d pray he never takes my words seriously. Although, I doubt there’s any reason for real concern. He doesn’t stand a chance of being part of the Story Project.