She hadn’t expected to be lonely in New Orleans, of all places. Or cold. Or wet. Or sober.
She pulled a tissue from her purse and tried to wipe the rainwater off the seat of one of the wrought-iron benches in the square. The only result was that her one Kleenex was now soaked through, but her jeans were already damp anyway. She sat down, applying the wet tissue to the mascara rings under her eyes. Maybe it would help.
It was peaceful here, and pretty, despite the weather. The cathedral’s outlines were blurred and unsubstantial through the fog, but its presence seemed reassuringly solid. Street lamps throughout the square were lit, the gathering daylight as yet insufficient on its own. Their reflections glowed on the wet pavement. Surrounded by light, she thought, then sneered at her own romanticism.
Baby’s first walk of shame. A drunken one-night stand in a strange city. While she was dealing in clichés, maybe she ought to check if the cathedral doors were open; she could confess, except that she wasn’t Catholic.
Of course, it wasn’t the priest who’d be waiting to hear her confession. She was going to have to walk – oh, God! – in these heels, all the way back to the hotel. A cab would be better, but besides the now-shredded Kleenex, the contents of her purse consisted of her license, a maxed-out credit card, two pennies, and a Chapstick. Where the hell the rest of her stuff had gone was a mystery she’d probably never solve.
So, yeah. Instead of teetering across slippery but picturesque slate just so she could admit the embarrassing truth to her friends, face their scorn, and beg them to loan her a little cash to get her through until the flight home, maybe she would just sit here, shivering and crying.
The spires of the church were starting to come into clearer view. Soon, she supposed, people would start to fill up the square. She wrapped her arms around herself, hiding in the fog. A little while longer.