By 7:00 she had made the short drive from her home where she lived alone to the Liberty Mall. As coincidence might have it, the same mall she had purchased every inch of her Nike wear. What is not a coincidence is on this day she chose not to shop the mall but for her first time ever, to walk the mall. A nice brisk walk the distance of the mall before it opened. Just like countless others, mostly seniors.
Less than a day from her 55th birthday she planned the intentional end to her life by her own hands and choosing. Her plan was to walk the mall as a way of doing something perceived as worthy, then return home and hang herself, the most unworthy act ever. But she was determined.
Two marriages had failed. Before that, a college education interrupted in its junior year by an unplanned pregnancy, heartbreak and eventual miscarriage shortly after that. He left her proclaiming "it ain't mine" left echoing in the air as he fled stage left from her life. She did not even bother to mention to him, he had been her first. Unless she counted her true ugly first occurrence at age six snatched by a family relative.
She was alone with nothing substantial to show for it. Who would miss her anyhow? Her parents, maybe, but they called on holidays. An obligatory check of the box, WE ARE CONCERNED PARENTS box. Inside she knew better. Mom loved controlling everything including dad and with time dad loved being controlled, or at least put up little resistance to being controlled. Without any acknowledged siblings, she was alone to fend for herself. She had long ago traded their love for the scraps of love the universe doled out to her. She told herself, the universe has me on a love diet. And deep inside she believed she must have done something(s) to deserve it.
She arrived at the mall with the idea to walk it exactly 4 times then return home. Four times around was 2.25 miles. She had read that and she took it at its word. Because she researched everything, she knew 2.25 miles was 4,250 steps. These many steps separated her from life and death. As she entered the mall she saw an inscription on a plaque near the door. It read, What we call our despair is often the painful eagerness of unfed hope. GEORGE ELIOT
END OF PART ONE