It’s been over a week since I returned from vacation. Most days I still walk by Mandy’s spot. I’ve only seen her once. I bought her breakfast. I noticed she was dressed a little better than she had been. I smiled, hoping that other people were being kind to her as well. We talked for a little before I hurried off.
Today I grabbed lunch for the week. She wasn’t out there when I went into Rite Aid, and she wasn’t there when I came out. I looked at the empty wall as a pang of regret filled me. The next times she could get to the place that can help her get her ID would be next month. I have the information, hoping I could surprise her with it.
I am sad to say I’m not surprised she’s in the wind. I should probably be surprised she stayed as long as she had.
I keep checking missing persons for her. But, she’s not missing. She’s homeless. Her parents know that. Maybe I should have requested her parents information and worked with them. If she would have given it to me. I could have tried – asked for their names maybe. But, that whole hindsight thing is crazy.
I hope that she’s okay – wherever she is.
My grandmother is a social worker. I had debated about telling her about Mandy. She’s not surprised by Mandy’s unwillingness to help herself. She advised that Mandy may feel that she’s incapable. I tried to make things easy – just her being where she usually is when ProjectHOME came out would have been enough. But, she is apparently in their system. And, I still haven’t heard back from my contact there.
There is a part of my book, where Abigail is standing on the battlefield – post battle – walking around to see if there are any survivors. She is dizzy by the reality around her. I always saw her standing there, in a field, wearing men’s garments, her red hair pulled back into a bun, while her bangs whipped around her head in a sideways breeze. Her clothes are blood stained and torn. Her face is smudged with dirt and her hands are bloodstained. She closes her eyes to shield herself from the crushing weight of loss.
That’s how I feel right now. Just like all the other areas of my life right now – my best simply is not good enough.