It was the last day of winter 2012 in Manhattan.
People kept on humming their melancholy chanting. Their eyes were heavy with tears and anger. People were obligated to wear black coat in this Remembrance Day of Lydia Brimham’s Death. Those who won’t obey the rule would be ostracized by the folks here. It was like a culture—black symbolized respect upon her death.
The sky turned kind of dark at nine a.m. in Time Square. The Gregorian chanting was ended at the same time the snowstorm came uproar, and slowly, people dismissed themselves.
There was one who covered her neck with a red scarf, walking confidently among the crowd. Her long straight hair mingled with the snow color. Her emerald green eyes stared at the avenue, sharp and eager. She knew best how to approach, and in the count of three, she came.
Sylvie Elle was hiding her face under the red umbrella, walking in the middle of the crowd when the sky had turned bright again. She wore a black coat and a red scarf.
She had to help restoring the perfect puzzle, and her mission was to be continued. She knew how to find the right person. But then, it came a distraction, her mind went off when something wasn’t fall into place.
A week ago, she had observed the place before this Remembrance Day was held. It took place in a coffee shop with a brown canopy across the road. He was there every morning, sitting alone with the latest newspaper and a bitter cup of coffee. She always noticed his movement with her hawk eyes. And behind the glass window, she had waited for him.
Five minutes later, he walked out from the coffee shop. He was an old man, carrying newspaper in his armpit. He wore a gray flat cap and a black coat. When Elle followed him walking from behind, he turned his back suddenly to notice that something was off.
“How long have you been following me around, angel?” His voice sounded hoarse, and he chuckled afterward. “Well, if you call yourself an angel.”
She chuckled sarcastically.
“What is it that you want?” He approached her a little closer “—but firstly, I knew that you’ve been following me for a while. I don’t think such an angel would have time to grab a coffee.”
“You’ve noticed,” she murmured.
“Oh, so you think I wouldn’t know even you covered your pretty face behind your umbrella, and watching in the corner of the pavement from afar?”
“You’re smart, but—” she smiled, “life won’t just stop there. The political issue and family matters, which you couldn’t run away from all that.”
“I saw them on the television these days, still as phenomenal as they used to be,” his eyes stared away at the tall building next to them as he spoke “—making a huge mistake that goes public. They are poor little souls.”
“You’re right, it is a matter that related to your family—the Aloise,” she shouted agreed with him. “You need to be there for them.”
He glanced sorrowfully at her, but he decided to take a deep breath and just left her behind. Nonetheless, Elle followed him persistently.
“How’s she?” He asked without staring back at her. “My affection for her will be unjust with this partition between us.”
Elle could read his thought like a shallow river, since she knew instantly of whom he was referring, “Catherine is doing fine.”
He stopped walking to face her, and his mouth went crumpled along with his wrinkled forehead, and he spoke, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to meet her before I die. I’m too old for this matter.”
Elle stared pitifully at him, “You’ll find out when the time is right.”
Her favorite place in here was the backyard terrace, which added with a beautiful view full of lavender flowers and the invigorating smell. New Rochelle neighborhood was only a temporary living place for her. This was Aunt Sarah’s place, located in the Bronx.
Her eyes stared boldly at the pretty flowers, looking for inspirations, and the words suddenly echoed on her mind, it was something that Elle had said before she disappeared, “You might have wondered, why this life has been leading you to a new perspective. This is the real world.”
After that day, it felt like a fresh start, as if everything had been erased from her mind. She almost forgot all of the sadness and tragedy that happened in the past. However, she felt something was missing, but she didn’t know what it was, like there was a hole in her heart.
The strangest thing, she couldn’t retrieve some moments she had with Elle and Marissa. All that she could remember that they were the caretaker of the Aloise family by now.
But after all, it was just her own thought that bothered her.
There was no precise thought at the time, especially for leaving her Dad alone in Brooklyn. She hadn’t made up her mind about what to do with her apartment in Bronx, so she decided to live with Aunt Sarah for a while.
She had been attending college regularly, so ordinary, and boring. She was in the middle of her third semester now.
Life had changed swiftly. She would turn nineteen soon this October 2013. She hadn’t planned anything significant for her future, but she already had a part-time job twice a week as an errand girl. Life seemed hard at the time that she had no idea of what to do next.