“Thanks,” Angela said. “I hope so too.”
Leigh smiled and strolled to the escalator. Pink spikes disappeared over the top. Angela stepped into the store. She stood around the counter for a while before returning to the backroom to distract herself with the boxes again.
Angela was already worried that first day. By the third, she was practically losing her mind. She texted Genesis twice, just a casual “Hey”, but she got no answer.
It wasn’t until the morning of the fourth day that her phone finally rang. The call display read “GENESIS”. Angela lay back in bed and took a deep breath.
“Hello?” she said.
“Angela?” a man’s voice asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Angela replied. “Who’s this?”
“Dominick Jacobs,” he said. “We met a few months ago. Genesis’s father?”
Angela sat bolt upright and said, “Oh God, is she okay?”
“Not exactly,” he said. “My father passed away earlier this week and Genesis took it very hard. She hasn’t come out her room in days. I’m sorry to bother you like this, but I was hoping you could try to coax her out. The funeral’s this afternoon and I don’t want her to miss it.”
“I’ll be right there,” Angela said.
“Thank you,” Dominick replied.
She hung up and quickly got dressed. She called Fuad and got him to cover her shift today, with a promise of returning the favor later. On her way out of the apartment, she spotted a business card on the kitchen counter.
“The Scarlet Pimpernel,” it read.
The shop was swelteringly humid, the floor and the walls lined with plants of all kinds. Angela waited in line behind a teenage boy for a couple minutes before finally approaching the counter. Anna, the redheaded owner, looked up and smiled.
“Hey, you,” she said. “I didn’t think we’d ever actually meet again.”