On the cold winter morning, Devi woke up in her soft bed, and looked out at the morning weather. She watched as the white snow flakes fell silently to the ground, encasing the scenery in white velvet. Standing up, she walked over to her mahogany dresser, and pulled out a black hoodie and a pair of black cargo jeans. A few seconds later, Metallica's "Sanitarium" could be heard from her tiny New York City apartment. She got dressed while lip synching, and then walked into the small, dimly lit bathroom. She applied her black lipstick and eyeliner, along with a pale, neutral blush to give her face some amount of color. After doing that, she ran her brush through her auburn hair. As soon as she was done, she pulled her CD player out of a drawer, and put in the Metallica CD that she had been listening to. Then she grabbed her black sports watch, hard cover journal and her favorite purple pen, then walked out the door. She walked down the streets of the city that she had grown up in, knowing every alley there was, along with every short cut. She took a longer way to central park, and sat down on the grass in a secluded area by the lake. Putting her headphones on, she tuned everything in the world around her out. Opening the journal, she flipped through the pages that had already been written on with various poems. She remembered a picture that she saw every day, and began writing. The words flowed from her mind, as though she had already come up with the poem and was writing it down for safe keeping. But she wasn't. She never knew exactly how something would begin or end until it was done. Her poems were spontaneous. That was one thing that she didn't have to carefully plan out and make time for; unlike everything else in her life. When she was done, the purple writing had filled a little more than a page... Picture of a young girl Stands Among the tools Her hair Blazing red As the fiery sun Her eyes Deep, black oceans With only a hint Of blue in them She grows up And sees the picture again Realizing The tint of blue Was fear Of everything She heard at home the constant yelling And fighting A tear comes To the older girl now And she quickly wipes it away Realizing How much she's changed physically as she has Emotionally Her eyes A much paler blue Too shallow For anyone to see anything in Unless they knew her Her hair Still a vibrant, fiery red But showing more strength Than it did when she was younger Her smile More forced Grim... I take the small Wallet sized picture in my hand And wipe away the next few tears That come into my eyes I quickly walk away From the tool box Where so many memories are kept In that one Little picture Silently, she looked at the poem, remembering the picture that it was inspired by. Glancing at her watch, she realized that she had to go to work. Gathering her things, she looked up at the midday sky, and began walking again. A few minutes later, you could hear the sarcastic yell "Oh you're here early!" Devi smiled to herself and laughed then replied just as sarcastically "Yeah dad, I decided that maybe if you let me work now, I can move," but she paused for a second, looking at the man who was pumping gas. He looked to be about 55, but she wasn't quite sure. "Dad, when are you going to fire him? No one here likes him, Shannon hates him as much as I do..." The tall, well built man looked at his daughter, seriously contemplating it. Then another woman came outside with a few pieces of paper in her hand. "Bri, Rich is on the phone.." Brian flung his head back, trying to come up with an excuse to get the man on the phone to not call back anytime soon. "Tell him I'm with John in Atlantic City fixing the sweepers and liners." Before walking away, Shannon waved to Devi, and Devi waved back. She had always liked Shannon, and she had known her since she was only 8; that was about 11 years ago. Looking back at Brian who had his right hand to his forehead, she smiled sadly, wondering why he didn't just completely break off the relationship with Rich, his wife and kids. But then she soon realized that as much as she couldn't stand Rich's daughter Michelle, they had been friends for too long to do anything that drastic about it. Even so, Devi hated all of the lying that was going on. Quickly putting that out of her mind, Devi walked with her father inside, where she was greeted by Billy, a mechanic, and Chris, a mechanic in training. She smiled and waved at them both. Realizing that she was still carrying her journal and CD player, she put them both in a cabinet under the register, and then picked up her sub that she knew Shannon had ordered for her while everyone else was debating on what to have for lunch. As she was about to take the first bite, Ralph came inside from pumping gas. "Lucy, take this, and put it in the register," he said as a flung about seven, twenty dollar bills at her. She glared for a second, but stopped before he saw it. Then she picked up the twenties that were all over the counter, and reluctantly put them into the register. After glancing over in Shannon's direction, she found out that she too, was glaring at Ralph; yet Brian seemed unfazed. Thinking to herself, she realized that it wasn't even always how Ralph ordered her around that bothered her. It was also his nickname he had for her. He always called her Lucy because he thought that she looked like the famous actress, Lucille Ball. As the five finished lunch, Billy and Chris asked Brian what they should do since they both finished up the cars that they had been working on before they came out to eat. After getting instructions, they both walked outside onto the parking lot, and got into the cars that were assigned to them. Devi climbed off of the chair that she was on and walked into the first part of the garage, where there were only two bays. She turned to her right, and found her beloved German Shepard, Ruger, stretching, and walking over to her, wagging his tail. She smiled and bent down, petting the coarse fur, as he licked her face. She got back up, but felt a slight tug at her sweatshirt. Looking down, she saw Ruger holding onto it with his front few teeth. Smiling, she loosened the grip he had on the sweatshirt and kept walking into the back of the shop. At the back of the first shop, there was a little door, that led into a dimly lit room. She walked behind the door, and grabbed a broom. As she walked out of that room, Devi began sweeping up the shop, laughing a little as Ruger chased the clouds of dust that loomed over him. When she finished the tiny shop, she walked through another door, and began sweeping up the hallway that the door led to, noticing that her dad wasn't in his office. As she looked back up, she saw Chris advancing towards her. "Hey Dev, how are you doing?" Devi smiled and replied "I'm fine, and you?" Chris smiled, said that he was fine, and he walked off. She kept sweeping up the hallway, that opened up to a slightly wider area. She began sweeping around the tool box. Taking a glance at the pictures, she saw one that caught her eye, but she refused to show any emotion over it. As she kept walking, she heard Chris's foot steps coming up behind her, so she got out of the way. Then she walked into the larger of the two shops that were at the station. This one had 6 bays, and was almost completely filled. She swept around everything, and began zoning out, until she felt someone tap her shoulder. She jumped a little, and turned around to see that it was only Shannon. Laughing a little, Shannon told Devi that it was a few minutes before three o'clock, so she should go out front to change shifts. Devi nodded, and finished up her job as best as she could. She walked through the hall again, into the front shop, and then into the waiting room. As she got into the waiting room, she walked behind the counter, and opened up the drawer to get her roll out. "Lucy, change shifts now," Ralph ordered. Devi could feel her blood boiling from being ordered around, but out of sheer respect for her father's choice of people to hire, she didn't say anything. Yet she heard Shannon in the background, "What is it with you calling her Lucy?! Her name is Devi..There is absolutely NO correlation between the two!" Devi laughed silently to herself, and then listened to Ralph try to explain that he though she looked like Lucille Ball, because of her red hair. As that conversation finished, Devi had finished changing shifts, and putting most of her money into the drawer, keeping out only what she would need. As Ralph left, she heard the ringing of the bell, signaling that a car was there. Walking out the front door, Devi smiled and politely greeted the person and filled the truck up with regular, as he had requested.. "So, how are you doing today?" She asked the man who looked to be about 40. He was driving a black Ford F250. The man smiled and replied, "I'm fine, yourself?" Devi smiled, and said that she was doing fine as she began washing the windshield on the truck. After the conversation had been going on for a minute or so, Devi finished the window. Then she asked enthusiastically, "Would you like me to check the oil while you're here?" The man shrugged his shoulders, and said that she could. Devi walked around to the front of the truck, and began looking for the lever that would release the hood. After a little struggling, she finally found it. After checking the oil twice to be sure, she closed the hood, and told the driver that the oil was fine. By then, the nozzle had clicked off, so she hooked it back onto the pump. She then told the driver that it was $31.50 for the gas. He handed her $33.00 and told her to keep the change. Smiling, she thanked him, and told him to have a good day. Walking back inside, Devi put her money into one of her pockets, the shift money in another, and then sat down. She turned around on the chair, and pulled out her journal, and began writing again. She got about two stanza's out of a poem before another car came. ~~*~~*~~ By the end of the night, she had closed the day, and had written two poems. Both were fairly depressing, but none the less, she was glad to have written them because as of now, that was her only release of emotion. Replaying everything that went on in the front room that day, she laughed a little at the people who were arguing with her over what they had to fill out, talking to people on the phone who though that she was Shannon. As she walked out of the front room into the cold winter night air, she noticed an envelope on the island. Walking over to it, she picked it up, and found that her name had been scribbled across the front. Her hands trembling slightly, she pulled out a bracelet that had florescent green stones, lined with silver on it. Looking at it, she realized the door to the shop was still unlocked. Walking over again to it, she locked the door, then began walking home. She had made this trip a million times at night, but tonight something was bothering her. At every sound, she clenched her fists and was ready to attack anything or anyone who threatened her. She passed by a few people, and each time they approached, she tensed up, and waited for them to make a threatening movement. As she came closer to her apartment building, she let out a sigh of relief. She walked up the cracking, cement steps and walked in. Going up a few flights of stairs, she made a right, and went to her apartment. As she walked in, she found a message on her answering machine. "Hey Dev, it's Renae, call me when you get a chance!" Renae, one of her best friends sounded really excited about something. Devi figured that it had something to do with Renae's boyfriend. Glad that she was happy, Devi realized that since tomorrow was Saturday, she didn't have to work. Quickly deciding to go down to a café and write, she smiled to herself, she fell asleep, curled up in a few blankets. The next morning, Devi awoke to the sun shining onto her face. She closed her eyes, and tried to wake up a little more before being attacked by the bright sunlight again. As she re-opened her eyes, Devi lazily got up. She got dressed and put her make up on just as she had the day before, then walked outside. A few people were at the bottom of the steps talking, but she paid no attention to them, considering they were always there. After going down a few roads and through a few different alley ways to her favorite café she sat down, and ordered a french vanilla cappuccino. As she waited in silence for her drink, she pulled out her journal, and began writing again. This time only taking down pieces of people conversations and building a story off of that. A few minutes later, her drink came. As the waitress left, she watched one of her friends walk into the café. Jon was fairly tall, 19, had long brown, almost black hair, and really deep brown eyes. As she watched him at the door, she got lost in his eyes, and remembered one of the reasons that she had fallen for him so many months ago. But even so, she hadn't told anyone. "Hey Jon!" she exclaimed. He looked over at her, and smiled. Yet, he didn't sit down. Instead, he tossed a note onto her table and kept walking. She looked at him, kind-of hurt because he didn't even say hi to her, yet she was surprised to see that after he had given her the note, he walked out of the café. As he disappeared from her sight, she opened the note. Devi, It's in your best interest to meet me alone behind you dad's station at 7 o'clock tonight. -Jon Devi re-read the note, wondering what he was planning; and whether or not to go. As she sat in silence, she decided to go. She sat in the café for a while, wondering why he hadn't just asked her to meet him some where and what he was planning. She began writing again, this time, her poems were based on the confusion that she was feeling. At 6:45 that night, Devi walked up behind the station making sure that no one saw her. She could hear Chris muttering about his truck, so she stayed in the shadows. Her black clothing helping to conceal her. She waited in silence, until she heard footsteps behind her. She quickly turned around and saw Jon. Still not sure what he wanted, she stood there, quite defensive. "Calm down Dev. The note was a way to ask you out. When Renae told me that you didn't call her back last night, I wasn't sure if it was because you didn't get the message, or because you didn't want to go out with me.." Devi looked at her friend, and her mind raced back to the message the Renae had left, wishing now that she had listened to it. "What did the message say? By the time I got home last night, I was too tired to listen to it, and I forgot about it this morning..." "I had Renae ask if you would go out with me.." Jon said quietly, afraid of the answer. Smiling, Devi walked up to Jon and put her arms around him, then whispered into his ear, "Yes." Five years later, Devi walked along a beach with her arm gently resting around Jon's waist. She was remembering how the two had hung out at least once a week by them selves for every week for about a year, and she remembered when she had enough money to move. She had asked Jon if he wanted to move in with her, and to her surprise, he had said yes. About two years after that, Jon had asked her to marry him. And another two years later, the couple, not yet married, were going to be the next day. Devi looked at the crashing ocean waves, and walked about ankle deep into the water. She stood still for a while, letting the waves go over her feet, and concentrating on the sand the was rolling back into the ocean. She had always loved the ocean, and always thought of it as a place to calm down, and let new things begin. Turning around, she walked back over to Jon, and wrapped her arm around him again, wondering what would've happened if she didn't get his Café note, and didn't meet him, on that fateful night, 5 years earlier.