Bless

"Hello, Margaret," she greets her boss, "I'm going to be taking the rest of the day off. I'm not feeling well and Janine can take care of the rest of your appointments." Sarah almost breathes a sigh of relief when her boss doesn't ask beyond a thoughtful get well and apology for overworking her for the last couple of weeks, ending the conversation with a simple instruction to "have a restful weekend". Stunned as she hangs up, she realizes that the boy is very fidgety at her side.

He whips his head back and forth, and when she tucks her phone back into her purse, he turns to look up at her, wide-eyed and awestruck. He follows her lead easily and his childish awe of the city dispels her happiness at his excitement. He should be around nine years old, maybe ten, she wonders, but he doesn't talk, or won't talk. Maybe he's a mute? But why is he acting as if he had never been to the city? Does is live out of the city? Then how did he get here?

"My name is Sarah," she introduces, and casually asks, "What's your name?"

She smiles, hopeful, but he only stares at her, so she sighs. "Well I need to call you something. Should I make up a nickname for you?"

To her surprise he smiles and nods his head, and she laughs at his excitement. "Blue," she says unexpectedly. "I'll call you Blue, because of your eyes."

They continue walking, dodging the bustle of the streets and as they stroll, she feels Blue tug at her hand. He points at a steaming hot dog stand with a crows and, realizing that it is almost noon, she steers them to the stand, ordering two hot dogs.

When she presents him the hot dog, he eyes it with fascination glittering in his eyes. She pretends not to notice when he watches her lift the hot dog to her lips for a bite. After chewing then swallowing her bite, she prompts him to eat his and squeezes the hand that hasn't left hers. Slowly, he lifts the hot dog to his mouth, biting it with a satisfied smile. She chuckles at his grin, wiping the mustard on the edges of his lips with a napkin.

The End

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