Busy Day

Hey, guys.  This story is going to be in Days, and Other Stories.  Hope you like it.

 

Busy Day

    There was a line at the check out desk. Rosemary was there alone, and from what Morgan could see from the library office she looked near tears.
She sighed. She would have to finish her lunch at the counter, even though someone was sure to complain about the vinegar smell from her fries.
She reached the counter at the same time as Michael. “You can go back to your lunch, I was just coming to help,” he said.
“Three will be faster than two,” Morgan said. She gestured for the first patron, and started stamping their selections.
“You guys do seem really busy,” a woman on the other side of the counter said. “What’s going on?”
“Tax aid,” Morgan replied.
“That and the school being closed,” Rosemary said.
The woman’s face turned somber. She took her books, and left without saying goodbye.
“Could you maybe not bring that up?” Michael hissed. “It’s not like an elementary school being bombed is something people want to be reminded of.”
They both glanced toward Morgan. She didn’t have any kids, so she assumed their sympathetic looks were because she lived just a block from the school and could have been killed that day.
The next woman in line made all three of them fall silent. She had the dark skin that spoke of her Middle Eastern heritage. She wore a hijab over her hair, as did the older of the two girls with her. Morgan thought she must not be used to it, because she was tugging at the hem.
“Is the taxes class still here today, please?” the woman asked.
“It is, yes,” Morgan said, “downstairs.”
“Thank you,” the woman said, and led the girls away.
Rosemary leaned in to Morgan. “I don’t know why the police haven’t arrested her and her husband. The school’s bombed a month after those Muslims move in? No one thinks that’s a coincidence.”
Morgan’s purse was in the alcove at her feet, full again of explosive putty. She nearly laughed out loud, but did her best to look somber. “The carpenter was there yesterday,” she said. “Hopefully we can get the building fixed soon, and start forgetting about this whole mess.”

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