Lizzie Johnson hurried through the large, wet snowflakes. Why did I ever want to leave California and come to New York for school? She shrugged her shoulders under her heavy backpack and tried to balance the armful of books.
Wham. She ran into something solid and sat down in a drift.
A very feminine voice said, “Oh. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
Lizzie looked at the thick-soled, men’s boots and black jeans in front of her. They contrasted greatly with the voice. She raised her head. She recognized the dyed-black spiked hair of the woman in front of her. It’s that woman from my Environmental Science class, the one who’s so vocal about the oil companies and GMOs.
“Here, let me help.” The woman held her hand down and helped Lizzie up, and then started picking up the scattered books. “There, I think that’s all of them. Are you okay? You’re not hurt?”
“I’m fine. Just a bit wet and shook up.”
“Hey, if you have to sit in the snow, why not in front of Starbucks? Let me buy you a latte to make up for knocking you down.”
“I could use a hot drink.”
Inside the store, the woman asked, “What do you want?”
“How about a Cafeé Mocha?”
“You got it. Find us a table and I’ll get our drinks.”
Lizzie sat at a table near the window and soon the woman came back with two lattes and two warm blueberry muffins.
“Hope you like blueberries.” She smiled.
Lizzie noticed white, even teeth behind the dark lipstick.
“I’m Sara. I recognize you from Environmental Science.”
“Like in Lizzie Borden?” Her grey eyes twinkled with laughter.
Lizzie screwed up her face. “No. It’s just that there are so many Elizabeths in my family. My grandmother is Betty and my aunt is Betsy and I got stuck with Lizzie.”
“So, where are this grandmother and aunt?”
“You’re from L.A. why did you come to this snow-cursed city for school? I’d have stayed in the sunshine.”
Lizzie laughed. “I was just wondering that myself when I ran into you.”
“Ran into me is right. But, seriously, why New York?”
“I just wanted to get away from family. I’d never been alone since before I was born. I got tired of being ‘one of the twins’.”
“You’re a twin?” Sara grinned. “Is she as gorgeous as you are?”
Lizzie blushed. “Well, most of my friends think Mike is pretty hot. I don’t see it, he’s just my brother.”
Sara laughed. “Okay. You got me on that one. Personally, I don’t think he’d do anything for me either. So, what are you studying?”
“My major is listed as English, but I’m also taking a lot of art classes. You?”
“Music. My whole family is musical. What type of art?”
“Promise not to laugh?”
“I hate questions like that. You know it’s going to be funny. But, I’ll try.”
“I want to work with my uncle Jesse in his family’s glass blowing business. I have some ideas for color I’d like to try.”
Sara’s eyes got wide. “Glass blowing? Like with the long pipes and melted glass?”
“Yeah. He’s let me play around in the furnace room. What instrument do you play?”
“Just about anything I pick up.” Sara glanced at her watch. “Hey, I’m going to be late for class. Can I take you to dinner tonight? I’d like to continue this conversation.”
Lizzie hesitated. “I don’t know.”
“Hey, look, if you’re straight, okay. It’s just dinner.”
“Sure.” Lizzie grinned.