Sixth Chapter: Butterflies

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Posted on April 13, 2012

With a Kmart shopping bag in each of her hands, a woman wearing a black leather coat and gray wool hat crossed the busy Weybosset Street intersection in downtown Providence. The sign on top of the concrete building she entered read Emergency Family Services of Rhode Island. Standing behind the front desk wearing a white uniform and talking on the phone, Robin smiled at her and motioned with her hand to wait just one second. A young woman with greasy blonde hair and a torn coat waited anxiously beside the desk. Her two young children stared with blank faces at the TV across the lobby. The four-year-old, a cute little girl with curly, brown hair, spotted a penny on the floor, and without calling attention to it, she picked it up, examined it, and placed it in a large glass collection box containing only a handful of spare change.

“So you don’t have any beds open either, huh?” Robin said disappointedly into the phone. “Well, call me as soon as one opens up, okay? We’re filled to capacity over here too, and I’m running out of options for these people. Okay, thanks, Cheryl. Bye,” she said, hanging up with a frustrated sigh.

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