She couldn’t admit to herself that she had no clue what to do. As she wound her way up and down the city streets, she casually felt around in the pockets of her jeans, then her jacket, then the small shoulder bag she tried to pass off as a purse. The last bits she was able to salvage before the firefighters caught her and dragged her out of her burning home. A handful of cash, half a pack of gum, a small photo of her and Gram taken in a photo booth in a moment of silliness long ago, and the usual assortment of things a woman carries with her that she thinks are important when the world is still sunshine and roses. Fat lot of good most of it did her now.
Betty pushed away a group of inconvenient oncoming memories and tugged her jacket a little tighter as the air took on the chill of evening. Looking back wouldn’t get her anywhere. She looked up at the sky and noticed the approaching dark clouds. If she didn’t know better, she would have thought her dark mood had summoned them. She took the cue and changed her course to her recently discovered hiding place where she had take residence the last few nights.
She was actually quite proud of her resourcefulness in finding her makeshift camp site at the back of the park. It was close to the railroad tracks, but that actually worked in her favor in terms of not wanting to be found out. The oldest pine tree in the cluster of trees looked quite full and lush from the outside, but when Betty called upon her childhood hide-and-seek skills, she pulled back one of the low boughs and revealed that most of the inside branches were dried and broken off. Once cleared out, the tree was roomy enough to sleep without worry of being found.
As she crossed the street toward the park, a quick glance at the parking lot told her double back to avoid the people taking their sweet time packing up and going home.