that had been inflicted would be repaid to each one of the men, including
Reggie. She had survived and now she must deal with her world. She had no job, no money, and no future. She was starting with nothing but she walked
with her head high. Having the coin filled her with confidence.
As Vanna rode the city bus home, she worried
all the way. “What will George say? Will he even listen to me? Can we still be friends? Can I tell him what happened? Will he snap
and go off the deep end? Will he want to
kill me or Reggie? Should I avoid George
and just run away? Maybe I dreamed all
of this. Maybe none of this happened at
While she worried and reasoned,
inadvertently she reached into her pocket and touched the coin for
reassurance. It was still there but this
time it did not feel cold and metallic. The coin was warm and vibrating.
Passengers on the bus stirred from their normal isolated lethargy. As if on command they turned in unison and
smiled at her. Their smiles turned to
concern. “You poor dear,” one woman
said, “Did someone hurt you?” Others
joined in with their concerns. Then one
of the men said quietly, “Tell us who hurt you and we will take care of them.”
Vanna squeezed the coin. The passengers turned back around, the
incident forgotten for the moment. Vanna
was shocked by their response. There was more to this coin than she had thought
possible. Her mind raced as she wrote down ways she could test the coin’s power
and capabilities. She would have to be
very careful not to let others know the coin even existed.
Preoccupied with thoughts of the coin, Vanna
stepped from the bus and walked towards her apartment. Oblivious to the world
she crossed the intersection. Drivers
from both directions stopped, waiting patiently as if she were royalty. Then traffic resumed as if nothing had
George had slipped messages under her door,
taped messages to her door and left messages on her phone. They were overwhelming. She didn’t want to
read them or respond. Vanna just needed rest and time to think. The answering machine clicked on and George’s
voice said, “I miss you. I’m worried about you and you know I love you. Where have you been?”
There was nothing she wanted to say to him
right now. Any kind of conversation
could go on and on. She would have to face him sometime, but not now, not
today, and maybe not even tomorrow. She
cared about George. Anything she said
would hurt him deeply and that would break her heart. How could he understand if she didn’t
understand everything either?
She locked her door, unplugged
her phone, swallowed several sleeping pills, took a long hot shower and scrubbed
until her skin was raw, then fell into bed.
She would ignore George and the world for awhile. Tomorrow would be a new day.
Vanna’s dreams were not pleasant. Shapes and voices were everywhere, telling
her what to do, making her apologize for not cooperating, for not being eager
to try new things. She awoke, drenched
with perspiration. She lay there wide
awake staring at the ceiling. But even
there she saw shadows and thought they might be moving.
Afraid of her dreams she decided to look at
the coin again. When she touched it on the bus it had been so soothing. Perhaps
it would comfort her a little.
She had placed the coin on her dresser in a
small box with her earrings, earrings without
matches she had found while working, on the street, and even at church. Without a matching earring it would be
ridiculous to wear any of them. Yet she
couldn’t throw them away. They were just to remind her that someday when she
had money she would find their mates.
The coin was difficult to find because the
box was crowded with earrings. Confused
by this turn of events she flicked on the light switch. There were more earrings than she remembered.
“Impossible,” she murmured. She stared blankly for a moment before the truth
hit her. All the earrings were matched
Another thought. “Was the coin still there?” To her relief the
coin was there, almost covered by the extra earrings. Vanna gingerly removed it from the box and
held it in the light. Vibrating gently the coin warmed her hand, her arm, and
slowly warmed her. It was almost singing
to her. “Strange,” she whispered. Remembering she was tired, Vanna lay back on
the bed, calm and content for the moment.
She placed the coin under her pillow and fell into a deep, restful