The cops said that they would be patrolling in car and on foot all major shopping centers, intersections and parks. They also said the power will be on in a couple days. They said they don’t need a volunteer team yet because they government is providing sufficient amount of provisions. They said that this is an emergency but not a national crisis. Don’t bring up the riots.
“This town is provincial.”
“You think so?” Brown eyes perked up.
We had been silent the last four houses.
“We are concerned with our neighbors and our cars and our daily business but we aren’t so concerned about worldly matters.”
He scratched his chin.
“You from here?”
“Yes.”
“You kind of have a twaaang to you,” and he elongated it like that.
I shrugged and tried not to look at my phone.
“Anyway,” I continued, “I imagine many people are congregating to keep warm and safe. You said a lot of people evacuated right? How many do you think?”
He laughed but didn’t answer. I sat a moment waiting, hands in lap, trying not to clench my jaw or  act entitled or ask for anything. My posture was straight and I stared straight ahead. I watched him lick his lips and look from side to side and he added,
“I guess a few hundred. Not more than that.’
“Did you go door to door telling everyone the power would be on in a couple days?”
Brown eyes sighed a bit, “ We didn’t say it like a stock message but…”
“What neighborhood did you start with?”
My fingernails dug into my pants again. Brown eyes physically turned to the right and then paused before turning all the way around to face me.
“What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a software programmer.”
“ A software programmer?”
“Yes,”
Relax your hands. I relaxed my hands.
“And has anyone ever told you that you should  have been a lawyer?”
“Yes.”
Letting out a small, yet endearing belly laugh, he turned back to face the windshield. We both listened to the squeak of the wipers the rest of the block.
Pulling on my rain boots, I make the same quick check I do before leaving the door. Stick both hands in my pockets: keys, phone. The phone is off but it makes me feel safe. In an emergency, I will use the switchblade that is taped to my left wrist and covered by coat sleeve. I have a larger knife in my front coat pocket. I have two pairs of leggings under my jeans, two sweatshirts under my coat, a hat, a scarf, a Rose of Jericho shell with the knife for luck and I have a pair of scissors in my back jeans pocket. It is 2:33 am and I open my front door.

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