Bliss by Foster Trecost

A thin line parted her lips, like something drawn with a pencil. Same with the eyes, closed but not quite, slit-windows to the world. Maybe she took in her surroundings, but I don't think she did.

We sat on the sidewalk, tables strewn about resembled an obstacle course. People passed between us holding umbrellas like lances, ready to impale body parts in their way, but she paid them no attention. She had made herself alone. I wasn't there, none of us were.

Beneath her coffee cup I could see a newspaper. I wasn’t sure why she would remove herself from society, yet buy something sure to pull her right back in. Then I realized it hadn't been read. Maybe she'd been seduced by the headlines, bought it on impulse. Maybe it had been left there by someone else.

My friend followed my gaze. “My God," he said. “I've never seen someone so sad."

I turned toward him and shook my head. When I turned back, she was standing. She walked on and I watched her until the crowd closed in, until I was no longer sure which one she was. On her table, an empty coffee cup sat atop the newspaper, still neatly creased, still unread.

“On the contrary," I said. “She just might be the happiest girl I've ever seen."


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