"Amy," she said quietly.
"Hey Amy," I said, a little too cheerfully. "I'm Ellen. Is this where you used to live?" I said, pointing back at my little faded blue apartment and the trees, and the trash cans that were glued to the sidewalk now from all the ice. She stared at the apartment and nodded at it, as if it had asked her the question.
"Well, did you want to come in for a little while? I can't stay long, I do have to go soon, but you can come in for a few minutes if you want. I know when I moved from my first house I always wanted to go back and see what they did to my old room. See if they painted it a different color or anything. I didn't paint anything yet. Maybe I will in the summer." I smiled at her, and she smiled back slowly, as if her face had forgotten which muscles it took to pull up the chapped corners of her mouth. She stared at the house, and then at me and then back at the house again, and without saying anything she unlocked her seat belt and got out of the car. We were standing there in the middle of the frozen street, her car was still running and dripping fluid, making a little puddle that was curling and flowing over the cracks in the ice and the dirty solid snow that was pushed up onto the curb.
"Did you want to…?" I motioned to the keys hanging in the ignition. It was alright for me to leave my car running, but if hers got stolen I would feel pretty terrible.
"Oh, yeah, thanks," she said softly. I watched her lean into her car and shut it off, pull the keys out and put them in the pocket of her coat. When she turned to face me again I smiled a sort of awkward, ok right this way, kind of smile, and turned to walk to the apartment. She followed me hesitantly and I heard her take in a deep breath. The cold air must have stung her lungs because she started coughing.