The beginning of chapter one of Mary's new life, or what she thought was her new life.
| Mary walked to work as usual, noticing along the way the same familiar faces on the crowded street, even a few cars looked the same as they seemed to the last five years since she started this new job. “Good morning Mickey” she hollered the coffee vendor over the din of the street as she grabbed her daily small, black with no sugar.
Mary Joe (her given name) was a regular at this coffee stand in the middle of the broad sidewalk on K Street South. Mickey, the owner, was a middle aged man, hair beginning to grey, a little extra weight seen in his face, he was kind of husky, but as lively as a teenager, always ready to spar with some of his younger male customers. He spoke with a Jersey accent and in any other city in the country he would sound out of place, but here it went almost without notice. He was a nice guy, one of the few, she thought, remaining. Too bad he wasn't a few years younger, and single.
So, on to work she continued, her hot coffee splashing through the l sip hole now and then, slightly burning her fingers. She greets the regulars along her 20 minute walk, the store owner sweeping his sidewalk, the paperboy on the corner, and the activists handing out leaflets. Their faces change but the message never does; Let Christ into your heart today, live forever!” proclaimed their cheap, two inch slits of paper. She had heard it a thousand times as a child. Her parents dragged her to one church after another, it never changed, and here in this bright new world she escaped to, they followed her, or so it seemed. She’d grown weary.
Originally from the south, the Bible Belt actually, she ran as far from that scene as she thought she could, figuring on getting lost in the masses of a huge city. She was intent on wrapping herself in the throngs of a business career and never looking back. What was it her mom used to say? “You can always run but the past is never more than one step behind you.”
Mary Joe was indeed her given name, coming from deeply southern parents, but she dropped the “Joe” wanting to distance herself from the south, not wanting any stigma and the jokes that go along with I to hinder her career. She has two sisters and a brother, all younger, still stuck in that southern mud, some call it clay. Her dad, “Daddy” as he was affectionately known, drove a truck, mom waited tables at the truck stop he parked his rig at on the weekend.
Mary was not unattractive, though not the belle of the ball either. She actually exuded a certain pure sexuality common to southern women, something simple. Her hair was a little beyond shoulder length, almond shaped eyes with pale skin. She wasn’t extremely tall, nor would she be considered short. She had the most respectable manners, a product of traditional southern rearing. Mary was probably what might be considered just about average, maybe a notch above.
Working in this business environment was her dream. As she blossomed into a young lady, her mom tried to get her to come work at the diner, but Mary was too intent on getting away, so all her efforts were poured into planning for tha day she could leave. She read every business book she could find at the local library, scoured the pages at the local everything super store, and even started college classes while still in high school, a rare feat in her small town and even more rare in her family. She was ambitious; she would be the first in three generations to go to college, the first in recent memory to leave that Podunk town, period.