"I lost my wallet, yesterday." Echoed the wearisome voice of Eilidh Young, from the hallway. "I've got to go back and look for it."
From the kitchen, came a hearty and mirthful chuckle. The musical laughter belonged to none other, than Roberta; her older sister by 5 years. "It's a pity you have work off, today. Otherwise I would've quite liked to see you beg for a lift!" She hiccuped, clearly thinking this the most amusing situation to ever have graced her knowledge, in centuries.
It was 10:15 in the morning on Saturday, and the library closed earlier on weekends, than it did on weekdays. Besides, who knew if that was even where her wallet was? Eilidh had been to a few places the day before, which was a Friday. She had left the house at 9:30 that morning, darted down the road to the secluded bus stop on their street, caught the number 54 bus downtown and dropped off right outside the department store, 'Sinclair's'. From there, she had dashed up Crescent Avenue, (a few doors up from 'Sinclair's'), and entered the cafe she worked in, called: 'The New Moon'.
She started work at 10 am, and 7 whole hours later, at 5pm, she sped-walked back down Crescent Avenue, and stopped to wait for the number 54, outside 'Sinclair's' (which would be closing in around half an hour). A notifying BEEP from her phone, told Eilidh the disheartening news that her bus would be late by an hour or so. She didn't even bother checking that she had her monthly bus ticket safely tucked away inside her battered brown faux leather wallet. Groaning with exhaustion and angst that she would have to wait for her bus, or else walk; Eilidh, -having nothing better to do-, decided to cross the bustling main road to the adjacent library downtown that she sometimes stopped by after work, in situations like this.
Spending the better half of almost an hour in there, Eilidh preoccupied herself with reading her current novel, which she always carried around with her in her tattered satchel-bag. When she had enough of reading, she went over to the music booth in the library, plugged in her own headphones, and turned the music genre dial to the '70's number one hits'. Eilidh was partially certain that her satchel had been by her side all the time, and in it- her wallet.
However, she couldn't be entirely sure, because when she finally left the closing library at around 5:45pm, and prepared to cross the road to the bus-stop; terror and woe filled every single inch and fibre of her body, as she witnessed (almost in slow motion), the number 54 bus whizzing down the street speedily, past her bus-stop, spraying fountains of murky grey water in its wake. It had now been raining heavily for some time, and standing at the edge of the curb was an unfortunate place to be, when out of the blue, a silver family car shot past Eilidh; baptising her in a waterfall of grubby rainwater.
Soaking wet to the bone and beginning to sniffle in embitterment and embarrassment, Eilidh began to trudge home, in the grimmest of manner. Her medium-length, dark-brown, straight hair was matted and clinging morosely in steeped rags, to her exposed neck and cheeks. Her black pressed uniform trousers were drenched to the thigh, and sagging with the mass of the muddy water they had drank. The mouldy-grey duffle coat she always wore to work, was also wet, and it felt to Eilidh as if she were carrying a massive bear cub beneath her coat. In summary, she felt utterly miserable: so much that she of course did not even think to check that she had her wallet. There was practically no need to do so, now that she wouldn't be needing her ticket.
Therefore, for these reasons, Eilidh concluded that it was very nearly possible that her wallet could have been lost in a number of places. Since she had it to get to work in the morning, she ruled out that she had lost it on the bus. There was a strange (but rather plausible if you took the correct amount of time to consider it) rule there in Queenston -the town Eilidh lived in-, that you had to show your ticket or pass twice whenever you boarded public transport. Firstly, when you first got onto the transport; and secondly, just before you stepped out and left. It was mainly to prevent fraudery and to ensure that nobody got away with not having a ticket of their own; but there were other reasons too.
Bearing this in mind, as Eilidh reached Crescent Avenue that Saturday morning, at 11:30am, she knew she must have either lost her wallet in the cafe, on the way to the bus-stop, in the library, or on the way home. This present morning, Eilidh had been greatly tempted to take the short cut downtown (which wasn't half as scary in the daylight as it was in the nighttime). But, remembering that she was on an errand to retrace her steps, she had to will herself to take the longer route as she had done last night. All the while, she kept a Hawkeye-lookout on the ground for her wallet, but her effort proved futile. Now, as she sauntered slowly up Crescent Avenue, she kept the same sharp and poised lookout on the tiled concrete pavement, just in case her wallet had dropped on her way to the bus-stop yesterday evening.
When this too proved useless, Eilidh knew she would have to look in 'The New Moon' for her wallet. And if it so happened that she did not find it there... then she would be obliged to search the library in conniptions, knowing it would be her last recluse.
"I'm sorry we can't find it, Lee." Said Jasmine, one of her close work colleagues who only worked on Wednesdays and the weekends. It was nearing on 12pm, noon, and Eilidh herself, along with the assistance of Jasmine and Connor, -another work-colleauge-, had searched the lost and found, beneath the tables and chairs, in the staff room, stock cupboard, cleaning supply wardrobe, in between the cushions of the dining booths, and even in the bathroom, but still to no avail. The boss, Mr. Johnson reassured Eilidh that he would ensure a good lookout was upheld, for her wallet, and that if she still had not found it by Monday, in time for work, she was personally brooked the day off to sort it out.
Ever grateful, Eilidh Young left the cafe and stood at the curb, waiting to cross the road to the library, which was usually very busy at this time of day. She only hoped that she would find her essential wallet, here. Her entire life was encapsulated all inside that small, pocket-sized ragged leather case. Truly, she felt she would lose her mind if she could not find it here. This was her final hope, and she had her fingers surreptitiously crossed inside her baggy Jean pockets; simply hoping, praying, that her wallet was somewhere beyond those double glass doors.
As she crossed the wide, forever-animated road, at a shy, goofy jog-trot, something caught her eye. It was the blinding sparkle of a silver heirloom ring, reflecting in a linear stream of high noon sunshine, that broke through the musty grey of the clouds, like a sharp needle-point through an old, soiled rag. Upon drawing nearer and closer to the pavement on the other side of the road, Eilidh noticed the someone boldly sporting this expensive-looking ring.
It was a young man, who looked about her age or so. He was not looking at her; in fact, she doubted he had even noticed her, and this was good, as it meant Eilidh could study him in more fine detail without getting caught. The man was shifting his gaze hastily, from left to right... right to left. The gait in which he stood and the imperiously impatient tip-tap-tapping of one opulent suede boot upon the smooth concrete tiling of the pavement, was enough to bear to Eilidh the indication that the man was waiting for someone... or something.
Enchanted in her inspection of the individual, Eilidh barely even realised that she was now on the pavement... and walking straight towards him, as if she were bewitched and in a hypnotic state. She only realised what her mind was urging her feet to do, when her eyes locked with the dark, cerulean eyes of the man. An exasperated expression quickly befell them as, before Eilidh knew it, her caked, muddy converses were crunching down upon the man's perfect suede boots, and she was tumbling over into his chest, somehow magically having lost balance.
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