“Men from the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus stood at varying distances down Ninth Street. Several smoked, some fidgeted with their tattered overcoats and others stood like statues dedicated to the disenfranchised, but none of them talked or interacted. On the other side of the street, women scurried down the block leaving their office jobs and headed for their cars parked on the southern reaches of downtown. 

“Abby preferred to keep her ostrich head in the sand and oblivious of mankind’s perversions. Predatory and uncivilized, men on one side of the street set to pounce while their quarry ran from tree to tree with heads bowed in fear. She imagined Rudy escorting her down the street, guiding her away from puddles and opening doors. 

“Rose and Abby strode down the male side of the street. Several men nodded a greeting, two even said Rose’s name like she was a local celebrity — famous among the destitute. Rose walked with head held high against the freezing rain that misted around them. Abby felt like she was walking down the high school hallways with some of the popular girls. For some reason, this put her at ease like popularity equated to security, but it also made her yearn for the banality of school. Abby longed for fourth period chemistry or even fifth period physics. She’d even welcome the horror of gym class. But routine made her easy prey as she considered Aidan stalking the high school hallways. “

White Hell, Chapter 23

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