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H(e)aven

By @Cameron505

Alliyah

Alliyah

They had kicked her out of the coffee shop, but she didn’t care. She knew she had just done the right thing. If her parents were alive, they’d agree – she was certain of it.

Her flannel shirt flapped in the wind, as the young woman skateboarded down the crowded Manhattan street, and people scowled and cursed as she forced them to move out of her way. 

She loved the wind in her curls and the cool breeze on her skin, which was why she never layered up much. 

The sky was perfectly blue. Not a single cloud in sight! But the tall buildings that surrounded and shielded her from the sunlight, provided shadows that made her feel slightly cold. It was one of the many reasons she loved New York, despite it not being where she was born or raised in.

Construction noises filled her ears, alongside with the sounds of honking horns and road rage coming from the yellow sea of cabs to her left. 

Just the previous week she had acquired a colorful set of pens in that store to her right, so she frowned when she saw it was being dismantled and a sign showed that they would turn it into a plant store.

“Wonder how long that will be up for…” She mumbled to herself.

A sudden glimpse across the road caused her to come to a hasty stop. She had caught a friend exiting a building, thus she picked up her skateboard and jaywalked her way to him, and greeted:

“Hey, where are you headed to?”

Malcolm flinched and faked a grin:

“Oh, salutations, sister!” His voice was high-pitched, then he looked away, before clearing his throat. “Nowhere. I mean, home. W- Why? Where are you going?”

Alliyah narrowed her eyes and stared him up and down:

“What’s wrong? You’re hiding something.” She glanced back and up at the building he had just exited. “Who lives here?”

“It’s none of your business.” He sounded more serious than she had ever witnessed, then put on a fake grin again. “I mean, no one important. I have to go now, gotta study. Peace.”

She stayed looking at him, eyes wide open, as he headed down the street on his own skateboard, his skirt whirling with the breeze.

Then, someone dropping something caught her attention and disrupted her reflections. She was quick to tap that person’s shoulder:

“You dropped this.” She bent down to grab the item and held up a fifty-dollar bill.

The person turned around and slid off their pink headphones.

“I did not.” The young woman’s tone was soft even though she narrowed her eyes.

“Yeah, you did. I saw it.”

“You saw wrong. That does not belong to me.” The girl turned around and walked away. Alliyah chuckled when she saw that the back of her jacket had written I wish I had more middle fingers across it.

She blinked away the interaction, and tapped a random stranger’s shoulder instead:

“Hey, you dropped this.”

“Oh, you’re correct. Thanks, darling.”

Alliyah rolled her eyes, knowing the character was lying, but… So was she. Therefore she shrugged it off and resumed her journey to the skate-park.

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