The day grew long, and the sky was lit a pale green. Rose looked out the window and saw a transparent reflection of herself; the bone of her cheek, the hollow under her right eye, the steep, upturned nose. She found the train ride soothing. Out the window, the world moved by, flat and endless, and her reflection ghosted through it. At 7:15 she arrived at the station. She lifted down her leather suitcase and carried it out to the platform. Now the sky was a dull grey and Rose was discouraged. It looked washed out; rain would come, and she had to hurry. She looked down at her low heels; they looked shabby and beaten, but at least her wool skirt and her blouse were neat and pressed. Her hair was tied back rather severely, revealing a hairline set far back.
She chose not to take a cab and walked the half mile to the address her sister gave her. The streets were not familiar and rose took a few wrong turns before she reached the austere brownstone—a mansion really. She hadn’t been around city people much and wasn’t certain if she looked correct. Would they see her mismatched clothes, her old shoes, and assume she knew know better?
Rose glanced once more at the slip of paper Ellen had given her. It had been folded so much that the paper felt soft as cotton now, but she could still read her sister’s neat script. The address was correct, and she was at her destination.