Chapter 4: She knew
She was discouraged, but… she knew. Leigha always knew God was in and through her life. When she chatted with customers over a cup of her freshly brewed coffee, it was a snap before they experienced her faith in action and God-given confidence. He was at work in her life. It was intriguing.
In the cool, dim former coffeehouse, Leigha nodded with pursed lips. I will make it through this, she reminded herself. Her silenced phone shelved upstairs in her apartment, allowed her to feel this raw, unstable moment without distraction. She needed time to allow her heart to work through this crisis without phone diversions and to pick up the pieces… find her next.
What was her next? Her time to ponder came when exhaustion forced rest from the endless cleanup work. For days what was left of the unruly crowd bicycled back and forth and camped up the coffeehouse street. These street warriors had already devoured any semblance of a downtown business district, nothing else to graffiti that hadn’t already been defaced. Sidewalk trash cans were over-full and spilled to the ground, infested with flies, vermin, and unknown diseases.
From her apartment window, Leigha took note this assembled street crowd performed no work, did nothing but wander around the commandeered streets- at times arguing back and forth; some in different drugged levels of crazy or deranged. It was easy for her to be grateful the coffeehouse was now boarded up solid.
Except for her two former employees, she hadn’t seen any of her familiar faces or business suits walking to work with briefcases or satchels. No tourists or older ladies walking their happy pups. Even the couple that used to jog by every morning hadn’t run by. The vivid life this street carried just two weeks ago, a month ago- was gone. The coffeehouse street was an apocalyptic scene- the air felt heavy, thick, and altogether swampy, like a brewing storm on a sultry day.
Leigha contemplated her “next” every chance she got, but now another day was wasted, her mind still numb. She sat on the bed and closed her eyes (just for a minute), and her mind recalled the erratic palm tree sign across the street and imagined the sound of a repeated short circuit… zzht…zzht. She lifted her shoulders to her ears and held them there in an extended, discouraged shrug, then flopped across her bed and stared at the packed boxes along the wall.
The girl’s mind returned to her landlord. Douglas was right to ask what had happened to this world. The old man didn’t deserve this; her lips spoke her thoughts aloud, then pursed tight.
She recalled her grandmothers’ words, Respect other people and their things. The woman demanded respect… and it was well deserved. Leigha knew the truth. These street warriors wreak havoc without immediate penalty, leaving a path of destruction and others to clean up the mess.
Oh, Grandma, if you only knew, Leigha exhaled slowly in an attempt to distract her heavy thoughts. Swirling about in her foggy, exhausted mind flashed …zzht palm tree… zzht. Then she was fast asleep.