The café is cozy and pleasant to look at, so you decide to test it out on your way home from work one day in August. The waitress sits you quickly outside at a little table with a Canterbury bell stuck with in its vase. There you order a coffee and chocolate brownie before settling into the sun on your face and watching the numerous people pass by. People ride their bicycles and flow up and down the hill of Rose Place providing varying entertainment. There is the lesbian couple arguing about a third woman they met in the bar last night; the Father teaching his daughter how to ride up the steep slope of the hill on her shiny new tricycle; and the moving men who are desperately trying to find the right apartment. You just moved here to San Francisco Chicago and the laid back, semi-hippie atmosphere is a nice change of pace from the urban grunge of Chicago.

As the sun grazes your face and you begin to feel the start of a tan, and decide to order quickly before the tan turns into a burn. On your left is a woman who is speaking loudly into her cell phone. The sound of her voice is grating. “His hands were cold,” she whines into the phone. “How could you recommend him to me? You concentrate on the feeling of the warm liquid sliding down your throat as it spreads into your stomach instead of the grown woman complaining to her sister about a doctor’s appointment.

Turning away from the woman, you are startled to find a man sitting to your left. He is only moving as breath enters and exits his lungs and his eyes are transfixed to an apartment building across the street. You begin to stare intently back and forth from him to the apartment, trying to discern what exactly has captured his attention. As far as you can tell, the building is simply an ordinary brownstone three story building, the same as thousands of others in San Francisco.

Suddenly he stands taking the sprig of lavender from his table and quickly crosses the street cutting in front of two moving cars in his haste. He moves east and onward up the hill. The waitress yells a curse as she tries to follow him but he is lost in the crowd and commotion. People are assholes.

Once the excitement has worn down you return to your coffee only to find it has gone cold and instead delve into the gothic world of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Some time and three coffees later, you pay your check and adding generous tip for the waitress before heading east towards home. Police sirens scream past you disrupting your stroll temporarily, but you are able to take back your composure within a decent amount of time. Turning onto Nightshade lane you are accosted by the sight of them once more at the flower shop aptly named Rose and Nightshade. The Police have blocked off the back alley with cones and police tape. Through the mass of spectators you can make out the shape of a young woman lying on the cement; a sprig of Lavender placed in her outstretched palm.


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