7th Avenue. Late

Two people, up ahead in the bike lane, hold hands, walking slowly. They’re quiet, whispering maybe, maybe silence is the only thing between them. A biker rides past and they shift, she is suddenly uncomfortable with the bike lane. It doesn’t feel right, she thinks, walking in the middle of the road. She is reminded from a scene in a movie. No cars pass. He reassures her that everything is going to be alright, and she smiles, and moves in a little closer to him.
The world is empty, waiting for them to get to their destination. Off in the distance, trees bend and sway in the wind, cars drive off to their destinations, sirens call out urgency, but for this street at this moment, things are quiet, even and restless all at the same time.
It’s like day, she thinks, as her eyes adjust to the night, with more shadows and more peace. There is nothing to fear, she thinks. They walk on, not stopping at the empty intersections, stop signs begging motorists to end their increase of speed.
They walk. It’s quiet between them. They walk on. Her sandals hit the ground, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
It’s late. The lights of the convenience store beckon, almost unwelcome in the night. They enter, swiftly, then exit the same. They are headed home now, carrying their purchases between them. The quiet is the same. The night is raw and beautiful. Come tomorrow it will have been forgotten for the happenings of another busy day.

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