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Assignment #1: A stranger comes to town

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She clicked off the overhead lights in the diner after all the floors had been swept and mopped. The streetlight outside cast shadows on the floor of signs and window panes and something odd she noted as she looked at the dingy floor.  It was moving. The shadow sort of bobbed and swayed, an indefinite form until it wasn't anymore. Or at least, it began to take some shape, a hat perhaps? A hat for certain as she finally looked up to see a man standing in the door that she ought to have remembered but didn't anymore because life is busy and we forget in the midst of a hundred cups of coffee and seventy-five orders of fries.  

She recognized nothing but the hat, which seemed familiar.  Where had she seen a hat like that? She ought to remember, she thought, it was unique with its broad brim and tall top. No one wore hats like that anymore.  

It was late and she was alone. She knew she had two choices: hide in the shadows until the top hat left or bravely open the door to explain the cooks were already gone and they were closed.  Except she wasn't hidden in the shadows, not that she noticed. But the strange hat did. It saw her little ivory shoes in the pale orange light, with legs that disappeared into darkness.  It knew she was Jeannie and that the diner was closed and that she ought to be moving towards the door to lock up and walk home. But she didn't. She just stood there, rooted to the spot. The hat wondered, what is she waiting for? Why won't she come out? He just stood there, and stared. 

Abruptly she turned and left, her disappearance interrupting his thoughts and tossing him alone into the darkness once more.  He turned and walked away into the night. Jeanie hid in the shadows until she was certain the hat had gone before she slipped out the back door and hurried along the cobblestone street, heels rapidly clicking, as she made her way down the block to the rundown little town home from the turn of the last century that she called home.  Looking over her shoulder, she saw no one but kept up the pace.

Click, click, click up the front stairs and into the warm glow of the vestibule where click, her key went unlocking the tall carved door, and the door shut behind her, click, safely home. When she hung her coat on the coat rack near the door, she paused in recognition, seeing the funny hat on the top of the stand, so much like what the late night stranger wore and she mused to herself that what a funny little story that will be to tell her husband in the morning.  She crept upstairs and silently to bed where she joined her wide awake and chilly husband for a good nights rest, unaware of his evening adventures and forgotten plans, never noticing the flowers on the dresser or the card on her nightstand or the breaking of the heart of the man she so casually slept beside. 

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