The same song was swimming in her head
as she walked alone through the streets of Chinatown. It was the advent
of another evening on Mott Street. She passed bakeries, dress shops
and souvenir stores while dodging people on the narrow sidewalk.
The cold wind blew through her hair
but still, the song would not let her be. She swept the hair from
her eyes and noticed her hand was slightly trembling. She assumed
it must have been from the wind. Her head was pounding from a migraine
headache she woke up with. She wished the song would leave her but
it lingered like an unwelcome guest. The melody was simple and repetitive.
She entered a stationary store and bought
a coloring book. Without even glancing at it, she tucked it neatly
into her bag. She heard a familiar sound and looked towards the corner.
There was a young, handsome boy about seven or eight years old. Her
heart nearly melted and she found herself running towards the boy,
calling his name. The icy wind made her nose run so she retrieved
a tissue from her coat pocket and held it to her nose. The boy had
turned the corner by this time. She reached the corner and frantically
searched for him but he had vanished. All she could see was Mott Street
clouded by her tears. The pain from her headache was now unbearable.
She glanced at the tissue she had been holding and saw blood.
Daylight had all but disappeared. The
song left her. The still darkness of night was about to engulf Chinatown.
Her apartment was small but she didnt
care. Upon entering, she carefully removed the coloring book from
her bag and gently placed it on one of several high stacks of such
books in the tiny living room. Her nose had stopped bleeding. She
took some migraine headache medication in the hope it might relieve
some of her agony.
The Nasdaq was off nearly
7% in todays session
Throwing off her coat, she sank heavily
onto the couch and sighed. She realized she left on the radio before
leaving for work. It was a station which broadcast mainly financial
news. As she lay prone on the couch, she could hear the sounds of
surrounding apartments; pots banging together, children laughing,
a baby crying. What it must be like to be a baby, she thought. No
memories, no past; only the present, which wont be remembered,
and the future, full of hope.
a bruising day on Wall Street.
Decliners beat advancers nearly 6 to 1
Heaving another sigh, she retrieved
a yogurt from the refrigerator and sat down morosely. There was a
knock on the door. For a moment, she considered pretending not to
be home, but finally answered.
"Hi, Lilly, how are you feeling?"
It was Maggie Wang, a young lady who
lived in one of the surrounding apartments. She glanced at the high
stacks of coloring books in the living room and sat down, somewhat
tentatively, at the kitchen table.
"I hope Im not interrupting
your dinner, Lilly."
They both chuckled at the thought of
a raspberry yogurt being dinner.
"Its not an interruption,
believe me. I was just daydreaming."
Maggie gave Lilly a sympathetic glance.
For some reason, this annoyed Lilly though she did not show it. She
then felt ashamed for feeling annoyed because Maggie was the only
friend she had.
many analysts feel the technology
sector was grossly overvalued
Maggie glanced nervously at the radio
and then again at the coloring books which nearly reached the ceiling.
"How was work today?" Maggies
was surprised at the strangeness of her own voice.
Lilly rolled her eyes. " The markets
were way down today. I almost expected to see people jump out the
Maggie winced. "I hope my mutual
funds are okay." She shot another glance at the coloring books.
high energy prices, a declining
Euro, profit warnings
"The markets are always like this.
Up and down. Just like a persons life." Lilly looked up
from her yogurt and noted something odd in Maggies demeanor.
"Okay, whats on your mind,
Maggie?" Lilly smiled faintly. "I can tell when somethings
on your mind."
Maggie smiled too but her face turned
into concern. "Lilly, Ive been meaning to ask you something
for a long time
" Her voice was now low and reassuring,
some analysts feel the Fed
must do something
"Lilly, dont you think you
should stop?" Maggie bit her lip.
Lilly registered mild surprise and asked,
the Fed must do something
Maggie nodded towards the stacks of
coloring books. She said softly, "Why do you keep buying them?"
the Fed must do something
Lilly stood abruptly and angrily turned
off the radio. "Im sorry Maggie but I have to do something."
Maggie stared at her in shock. Tears
welled in her eyes as she slowly stood and walked towards the door.
Lilly suddenly turned towards her. "Im
sorry, really. Thanks for being a good friend."
They hugged briefly and cried together
for a minute. Maggie patted Lillys arm and sadly left.
She looked out the window and saw the
young boy across the street. He was holding a coloring book. His dark
hair looked so beautiful to her. His smile made her heart break. Unable
to choke back her tears any longer, she held her head in her hands
and sobbed uncontrollably. Her nose started to bleed again and there
was a terrible, sharp pain in her head. She thought of school clothes,
basketballs, pencils, and all those stacks of coloring books in her
living room that will never be touched. She heard, for the millionth
time, the long screeching noise, the sickening thud of metal, the
then the silence.
The room was spinning so fiercely, she
was forced to sit on the edge of her bed. Her nose was pouring blood
and her vision became blurry. She reached for a framed picture on
her endtable and held it close to her as she lay down. The simple
childrens tune which overwhelmed her on Mott Street came back
to her, this time as a Lullaby. Her vision was now gone. She was swimming
in her tears and the only thing saving her from drowning was the vision
of a beautiful, young boy. She suddenly felt free and happy as she
went to embrace him.
"I love you so much, baby
Her last tears were tears of joy.