Once she’d given up the truck, Sara-Jane tucked her proceeds into her bosom; she was not all that good at figures, but considering the truck had brought her a much tidier sum than expected, she knew all would get better soon. This town seemed as good as any and besides, the truck was too tired to take her anywhere else. The money would go a decent length of time, Sara-Jane figured; she planned to rent a room and eat sparingly while looking for work. Having spent time running, it seemed time to settle somewhere and start anew. She had spied the room-for-rent sign as she’d rattled the Harvester into the pick-a-part yard; the owner was amazed that the thing ran, and–patchwork interior notwithstanding–and had happily parted with $1500. The room was sparse but tidy and the landlady, a short and plump woman named Mrs. Harrington, had told her for an extra $10 a day she could come down and have breakfast and supper. Sara-Jane liked Mrs. Harrington, seeing a glint that looked like honesty in her eyes. After the first night’s meal she was hooked and paid for two week’s worth of lodging and meals.
The next morning, Mrs. Harrington pointed her in the direction of the local variety store; it was little more than a dollar store but reminded Sara-Jane of the old Ames Department Store that had closed in her town. She dressed in her best clothes, which were a little threadbare; not one to worry, Sara-Jane figured she could spent a little something to get a new pair of pants and a couple of blouses soon enough. She approached the girl at the counter and cleared her throat. “Excuse me; are y’all hirin’?” She asked in as professional a manner as she could muster. The girl slowed her gum-chewing long enough to give her barely a glance; there were no customers in line at the moment and she broke from her thumb war with her mobile phone just long enough to thrust one in the direction of a desk with a laptop computer on it. “Thank you,” Sara-Jane called over her shoulder as she made her way through a maze of return-item carts, hanger boxes, and empty end-cap displays. She accidentally bumped the desk in her excitement and the computer came to life. Sara-Jane sat down in reverence, having not touched such a machine before; sure, she’d seen them–like at the library when her teacher would walk them over and show the class different things as they crowded around her–but this would be her first time bringing life to the keyboard with her own hands.
Written for this weekend’s special Picture It & Write.