The Timely Advice
Short Story Day 123 of 365
She stepped off the city bus in a neighborhood she hadn’t ever been in before, checking her phone GPS to make sure she was near her patient’s home. Kate hated this part of her job, the inner city travel. The job itself – Registered Nurse – was great, but getting to her appointments within the city was often a challenge.
Chicago in February was brutal. Dressed for late March or early April, Kate grabbed the opening of her coat together to make sure it didn’t fly open, keeping her scarf wrapped around her neck. She rarely wore a winter hat because her long curly hair got knotted under it. Wearing her hospital scrubs and tennis shoes, she was sure to have cold and wet feet as the sun melted the snow. If the wind wasn’t blowing, 33 degrees wasn’t terrible, but Chicago was named The Windy City for both its windy politicians and weather conditions.
Today the wind blew gently.
When she walked alone, Kate frequently attracted the weirdos. She never traveled after dark without a trusted male companion, and then only in neighborhoods she had been in before.
But this was midday and she had several hours before she would begin to worry about darkness.
She took three steps in the direction her phone GPS told her, and a man with a gray and white beard approached her.
“You!” he shouted.
Fortunately, three others got off at this stop and they froze at the man’s words. Kate stopped and waited as he got closer, her eyes darting to see if anyone would come to her rescue if things went south.
The man scowled – even growled – as he shuffled towards Kate.
“You,” he said again, pointing his finger directly at Kate. “You should be wearing a hat.”
He nodded once, smiled, and stepped aside so she could pass by.
“Thank you,” she said. “I’ll, I’ll get one soon.”