Washed Ashore

He’d been searching for her for weeks, a timid frail creature, nineteen, lonely, afraid, helpless, lost in a world of dirt, oil, grease and choking noise; and there she was, leaning against a frozen brick wall, warming herself with her last match.

He steered his black sedan up next to her, rolled the passenger window down and called out to her: “Marissa, please come home, you don’t need to be lost anymore, your mother and I love you, we’ll get you help, please come with me?”

She knew this voice, she hadn’t heard it since she was sixteen; the one male voice she’d heard in the last three years that didn’t hurt her or want anything from her; the one voice she chose not to listen to for so many years, the voice that loved her, an echo from a comfortable protected life, so she shifted her broken tired gray spirit and she slid in next to him, falling asleep in the plush seat of the sedan’s homey warmth.

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