“Yah would think that after so many years Ah might stop bein’ bothered by people askin’ why Ah wear gloves and ’ stay completely covered in the summer or makin’ fun o’ me for doin’ so. But no, it’s still annoying as hell.”

“You’d think in a city as enlightened as this one people might be more prone to minding their own business. For all they know or care, it’s a fashion statement. People in this city are pretty used to being told to go fu–”

Maria’s attention is diverted by a chime from her phone, sentence abruptly headed off. When she looks back up, her expression is mildly apologetic, paired with the lift of one shoulder.

              “I’m not one for offering advice unsolicited, so I’m
               assuming you simply wanted a sounding board.”


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