The woman inside the moth-eaten skirt.

I sat across this old woman on the bus once, whom I followed for reasons I am still unsure. She, with her wrinkled hands, clutched her cane at her stop and sauntered down the steps. You could feel the impatience from those waiting for her to get off the bus.

My stop was nowhere near hers, but I felt my legs pick me up only to stop right behind her. I figured, at that point, what was I to do to stop them from doing what they wanted? So, I let it happen. I walked behind her with hands in my pocket, nonchalantly trying to whistle away in fear of her looking behind to meet my eyes.

She seemed to notice, however. In whatever way I could pick up, she wanted to be followed, to be acknowledged. She slowed down for a short while to adjust her skirt that looked like it had been half-eaten by moths and continued her way down the street.

Her and I came to a bend in the road that lead us to an area of small houses. They were nothing special, but distinctly cramped and tightly built together. The trash outside her home looked neglected, but I didn’t judge. She staggered up the steps. I had half a mind to help her but chose not to.

She entered. I made my way around to the side of her house. I tried to find a window to look into that wasn’t dirty, but it was impossible. I went around the back and peered in from the back door. Her backyard had an old kiddie pool that was no longer functional and toys inside her home that hadn’t been touched in years. No one visited anymore.

There was no movement for a while. I waited. She came out with a men’s suit in hand – one that had been well-tailored with an old-style that could no longer be duplicated with justice. I watched as she slowly placed it in a position on the couch that was familiar to her. She picked up the old toys and placed it by her feet as she sat beside the suit.

Her eyes closed and her head tilted back. She smiled. It did not fade. She remained there, motionless, but happy, even when the black bag zipped shut around her.

– Jessa


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