by Margaret Ann Magle
Eva stared out the window at the stark grey wall across the alley. She only half listened as the realtor droned on behind her: new shower - energy saving furnace - laundry in the basement. The woman's voice was as bleak as the building outside. It was only when Eva heard the words 'twenty-four hour security' did she pay attention.
Over the past few months, feeling secure had become Eva's mantra. Detective Moore, or David as he preferred Eva call him, had pounded that need into her head. It was still hard to believe that a farm girl from Nowhere, Wisconsin would be on a first name basis with detectives, judges, and federal prosecutors. But that was a lifetime ago.
As more details about a charming one bedroom, fully furnished, newly painted, blah, blah, blah echoed in her ears, a lone pigeon flew toward the window and gently perched on the sill. Eva watched as the bird bobbed its head up and down pecking at unseen seeds or insects. Eva reached out her hand and placed it on the window so only a thin piece of glass separated her from the bird. There was no fear in the bird's eyes as it turned and stared at Eva. Eva stared back.
"If you have no questions," the realtor asked behind her, "would you like to come to my office and sign the lease?"
Eva couldn't tear herself away from the bird.
"It's Ms." Eva replied with a smile, "Ms. Jacky Cross."