cody lived in apartment 3-d and dylan lived next door in apartment 3- f.
they never spoke to each other.
they were opposites.
cody was a bad person.
and dylan was a good person.
when they happened to encounter each other in the elevator or on the stairs, they never acknowledged each other's presence.
cody usually took the elevator.
dylan more often took the stairs.
nobody liked cody.
everybody liked dylan.
things went on in this way until one rainy day dylan was standing outside the apartment building waiting for a ride.
cody came out of the building on the way to the subway.
cody paused, looking up at the sky as if judging whether to make use of an umbrella.
just at that moment a car came around the corner at an excessive speed and skidded up on to the sidewalk, instantly killing both cody and dylan.
many months - almost a year - later, the driver of the car, who had no prior criminal record, received a sentence of two years, with credit for time served.
by then the funerals and ceremonies for both cody and dylan had long passed.
cody was neither regretted nor remembered by any of the inhabitants of the building.
a memorial service was held in the building for dylan. dylan's passionate commitment to human rights, particularly to marriage equality, and opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia and wall street, were fondly remembered and warmly celebrated.
cody had never been known to acknowledge any of the issues of the day, other than with a snicker or a raised eyebrow.
hundreds of friends and family members attended dylan's funeral. many wept openly.
after an extensive search for relatives by the landlord and the local police, cody's body was returned to southern missouri.
a year after the accident, a homeless person standing outside the apartment building noticed a medium sized animal, probably a cat or a dog, beside the steps and attempted to pick it up.
but the animal squirmed out of the homeless person's grasp and escaped down the dark alley beside the building.
it started to rain. raindrops slid down the windows of apartments 3-d and 3-f.
months, or perhaps years, passed after jacques' meetings on the street with the little woman who did not have time for him.
eventually he forgot her.
one wintry morning as he was walking to the cafe - against an unusually cold and strong wind - a piece of paper from the street blew against his leg and the force of the wind was such that he could not easily brush it off.
he stopped, and peeled the paper from around his lower left leg.
he noticed that it was a letter, or a portion of a letter, and such parts of it as had not been obscured by dirt or water were written in a round, firm hand.
intrigued, he folded it up and put it in his jacket pocket, with the intention of looking at it more closely when he reached the cafe.
the cold and wind and threat of rain were such that madame geraldine had had the outdoor tables moved under the shelter of the building's eaves, and the chairs taken indoors. therefore jaqcues went inside and took a seat at the bar.
after his second absinthe, rain began to beat on the windows, and for some reason this reminded jacques of the letter, and he took it out of his pocket.
a new barmaid was working that morning, under the watchful eye of madame geraldine, who was knitting without enthusiasm in the corner beside the small fire.
the new barmaid was a fat and saucy creature who was not familiar with jacques' taciturn and morose ways and when she saw him reading the letter she attempted to chaff him a little.
"ah, monsieur, a letter from one of your many fair conquests, no doubt."
"no, " jacques replied seriously,"it is a letter i found in the street."
"ah - but perhaps it speaks of love, and will kindle some happy thoughts in monsieur's heart."
"more likely, " interjected madame geraldine, " a begging letter, of the sort altogether too familiar these days. which is why it was torn up and thrown in the street."
"no," said jacques, who had begun reading the letter, "it does not seem to answer to either of those descriptions."
the letter, what was legible of it, read:
.........gustave has been quite of sorts since henri .......... the house at the seashore ..... if only i could! but you know......... perhaps next year uncle bernard can be persuaded ....
there really is nothing more. in three or four years perhaps.... if i learn anything more, i will certainly... claude finishes his military obligation .... perhaps then.... what can one do but hope...
"no," jacques repeated, "there is really not much to it. another absinthe, if you please, mademoiselle."