Miss Connie Talbert walked down the sidewalk like every day. No one passing her would have been able to tell you what she looked like later, if asked, for the simple reason that she looked like everyone else in this section of town on their way to work. She wore her hair in a simple bun and donned a grey suit most every morning. Her skin was flawless because she piled on cover up by the boat load when she got ready for the day, because she heard that it would protect her skin from free radicals and keep her from getting wrinkles longer. She blended into the morning crowd, walking swiftly to her job at the bank carrying the staple suitcase at her side. The people around her were very much the same, in the fact that most of them had jobs in finace like herself. She was a Stock Analyst, and she worked at the Bank of America headquarters, a sastisfactory job she thought. She was single, and was quite well off. She lived on Park Avenue in a very nice apartment which she had had specially designed with all the right colors and furniture arrangments for optimal stress relief. When she fell asleep at night, she had a sound machine that fed her live feeds of the sound of waves rolling in from some beach in the world. Her furniture was plush and soft. She always had plenty of room in her refrigerator, but went out with friends often enough that she threw half of her perishable items out eventually. She had no pets unless one counted the miniature coral reef full of clownfish, brain coral, and sea horses which was yet another way to help her relax.
On her way to work, Connie made her usual stop at starbucks for her Tazo Verbana and Lemongrass Tea. After that it was only a few more blocks to the bank. She was there in less than ten minutes. She sidestepped the old woman who begged on the street in front of her building. The woman was dark skinned with liver spots all over her face. Free radicals had certainly gotten to her. She wore many layers of old coats and she had a silver tin on the ground next to her in whick lay a few pennys and nickels. Not even enough to tip a Starbucks cashier. The woman was their all the time it seemed. Connie had no clue where the woman slept or ate, and she always ignored the old woman's usual request for some change. They were never directed at her, but she couldn't help feeling awkward when she heard her plea for pennys. Connie didn't know why. She climbed the marble stairs into the rotating doors. She went into the building forty five minutes early, as usual. She liked to sit at the cream and red colored couches in the high ceilinged lobby and pull out her laptop and check the stock quotes and see the opinions of other Stock Analysts. She felt it helped her get focused for the day to come.
She sipped her tea while other Stock Analysts, bankers, and people with similiar jobs walked swifly around, wither looking at the floor or their Blackberrys. The lounge was positioned just in front of the huge bay window that was at least twenty feet tall that faced the street. She glanced up at one point to see Jim Laster walk in front of the window. He was a fellow analyst and the worked in the same department. But their was something different about him this time. He was usually so well put together, however today he looked tired and he was disheveled. Connie watched him amble through the doors. He looked like he hadnt done anything but put clothes on before he rolled out of bed. He looked around and looked almost confused and then went to the men's room on the other side of the lobby.
After the weekly board meeting that was always held on Mondays, it was lunch. Connie went to the Cafe on the main floor of the building and picked up a tomato sandwich on sourdough bread. She went back to the lounge in the lobby, where a few others ate daily. They shared small talk every once and awhile, but Connie mostly kept to her laptop. Today however, she didn't remove the laptop quite yet. Instead she asked a co-worked if they knew anything about Jim Laster. She learned that his wife left him just over the weekend. They had been having problems for a long while, but it had finally cracked. He wasn't taking it so well. In fact he had left before the meeting had even began. With her curiosity stifled, she took out her laptop and read the stock quotes for the second time in less than three hours.
That night, Jim killed himself. Connie didn't know. All Connie knew was the sound of the waves lapping on the shores of some faraway beach.
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