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Kristin Cowden, Managing Editor

I’ve decided to make a series of short stories about people I see in parking lots. Enjoy!

I sit in my car in a vacant parking lot. It’s been rough week. Another car pulls up beside me. It’s an elder woman, in her 80s at least. It’s an elder woman from Eastern Europe, and as an Eastern European myself, I can tell by the headscarf she is wearing. I turn my head slightly to look at her, with a pitiful emotion stained on my face. As I look at her, she pulls out a single cigarette from a half-empty pack as her fingers shake. She has her car windows down, so she must be shaking from the cold. Or it could be from a life with a story riddled with tears. And so, she smoked. Until she forgets.

I smile and turn away. Before I drive off, I look back at her once more and see a tear fall down her tender face. I know she’s aware of my presence. However, I say nothing. I drive off, as nothing remains.