The birds were chirping on Saturday morning, and Thelma took that as a sign. It was the first time she’d heard their song since she moved to Driscoll late in the fall.
She had been in a funk all winter, she was heading to the bookstore on this bright spring morning. The new Jamie Staunton book had hit store shelves just the week before, and Thelma was anxious to get her hands on it.
After all, Staunton had been her favorite author long before she met Simon, and she couldn’t give up everything she loved just because her boyfriend had turned out to be a louse.
Thelma whipped her Volkswagen into a spot near the far edge of the parking lot, looking forward to walking through the sunshine. She hopped out and slammed the door behind her, then started to drop her keys in her purse — but shrieked and dropped them to the pavement instead.
The keys still hung from a plastic red Chuck Taylor All-Stars basketball shoe, Simon’s favorite footwear. Somehow, she had forgotten to change to a new key ring after all those months, and it only just now slapped her across the face like a cold washcloth.
“Let me help,” a man’s voice said from a few feet in front of her, and a pair of red Chuck Taylors bounced into view as a young man stooped to retrieve the keys. Thelma’s heart jumped at the sight of the shoes.
“Snazzy key chain!” the young man said, standing to hand the keys to Thelma. “My name’s Greg.”
Greg carried the new Staunton book in his left hand, and extended his right to Thelma. She took it timidly in hers, relieved he wasn’t Simon.
“Thank you, Greg.” She blushed. He just might be trouble.