\ 11:43 "Central Park" | unlimitedi.net
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Evalyn Toussaint's picture

2021-05-13 11:43 – Thursday, Central Park

Evalyn had been on her way back from Manhattenville in a cab when they'd almost immediately hit traffic. After crawling for what had seemed an eternity, they'd come abreast of Central Park on 5th avenue where the greenery had looked so pleasant that, after a quick inspection of her rising cab fare and a general observation that people on foot were overtaking them, Evalyn decided it might be nice to take a turn about the park.

You could jump on the train, missy, instead of grumblin' about traffic in New York.” The cab driver had said after she'd instructed him to pull over.

And you could jump in front of one! Oh 'ow the metro can solve all our problems.” She'd remarked, leaving him a pitiful tip and exiting the vehicle.

Her instincts had been right! She was moving much faster now that she was out and walking on her own. Not only that, but she felt a certain sense of calm wash over her as she reconnected with nature. There wasn't too much of it in this concrete city, full of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, shopping malls, bumper to bumper traffic and irritable taxi cab drivers. Mentally, she made a note to escape it more often. It could be suffocating at times, and it certainly didn't compare to the rolling meadows and picturesque landscapes she'd grown up with.

When her phone started ringing, Evalyn had reached the main reservoir. She paused in her stroll and moved aside to a nearby park bench as she reached into her bag to retrieve her phone. 'Maman' was clearly displayed on the caller screen. Evalyn debated letting the call slip into voice-mail, but finally decided it had been a good six months or so since she'd last spoken to her mother. Plus, if she didn't pick up now, she'd only be bothered again tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow, and then the day after that until she finally did answer. It was never anything important, but it's something her mother felt to be a duty.

'Ello?” Evalyn braced herself for the experience.

Evalyn, dear, whatever took you so long to pick up?” Her mother's voice on the other end of the line was as dry and tiring as ever.

“Nossing, mozzer, I just could not decide if I wanted to talk to you.” She smirked. Sometimes being honest was good for the soul.

There was a dissatisfied sniff from the other end of the line, however, then-“When you speak French, you may speak French, but when you speak English, my dear, you must speak English!”

Evalyn dropped onto the bench beside her with an exasperated sigh, “Yes mother.” she replied in a flawlessly English accent. She hated it. She felt she sounded too uppety! Like her mother.

Heavens above, to think you're probably dragging that horrid accent all over America.”

“It is not a horrible accent, mother,” Evalyn said, clenching her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose, “It's my accent, unlike this fakery you insist upon me.”

It is nothing of the sort: it's civilised. Now tell me what you've been up to! I've got an abundance of things to do today and I don't have the time to fluff around chatting with you.”

“I could always let you go and we could catch one another up later!” Evalyn tried hopefully, but her mother wasn't having any of it, and it was as if the air itself was being tainted by this unwanted conversation. Evalyn wrinkled her nose in distaste.

Nonsense! But since you don't seem to be talking, I can tell you our neighbours have started building, of all things, a pagoda in their front yard! Hideous, let me tell you that!”

“Yes, I can only imagine.” Evalyn replied absently, frowning. What was that smell? It was getting stronger....

A sigh from the other end of the line betrayed that her mother knew she wasn't paying attention. “Is Yves there?”

“No, he's not.” Evalyn sniffed the air then opened her mouth slightly to breath that way instead as she looked around. A female jogger was in the distance heading towards her, but nothing else. “He's at home with the cat sitter.”

A cat sitter? Whatever on earth inspired you to get a cat sitter!”

Because Yves likes a nice bosom to 'eadbutt in 'is free time, “Because my neighbour thought it odd and irresponsible that I left him alone during the day.” She smiled as she recalled a few of the other interesting things her neighbour, the animal activist, had told her, like the time she was irresponsible for not having Yves neutered. That went down very well!

Ha! Yes, I can only imagine.” Her mother politely chuckled after Evalyn relayed the neutering episode. “Though I can hardly say it's a bad idea. He is a bit of a scoundrel.”

The jogger was nearly abreast of Evalyn when she was all but overwhelmed with the scent of dog, though there were no hounds to be seen! Evalyn eyed the jogger suspiciously as she swiftly passed by with her strong, determined pace, wearing some chunky contraption that bounced on her ass. A walkman? I didn't sink zey sold zem anymore!


“Quoi?” She snapped back to the present and her mother. Her attention had lapsed while she'd been watching the jogger, and she was still eying the woman sceptically as she tread further in the direction Evalyn had originally come from, the heavy dog scent trailing after her.

I said was it your idea or his to get the cat sitter?”

Quoi? 'Cat sitter'? Ah oui.... “It was my idea mother. Listen, I have to go.” Why did that girl smell so much of dog? Does she sleep with the damn beasts?

Why must you go? We only just started talking!”

“Yes, I know, but ... something weird just happened.”

Yes, a lot of weird things seem to happen when I'm talking to you.”

Evalyn rolled her eyes and tried to keep from throwing her phone into the reservoir. “Yes! But something weird seriously just happened!”

Well what is it?”


Evalyn's head snapped up from the phone at the sudden loud cussing. She couldn't see the jogger anywhere, but she could see a rather handsome man standing, perplexed, trading glances between something on the ground and someone else disappearing at a dead bolt. Perhaps the dog girl?

What was that?”

“Mutherfucker.” Evalyn replied honestly with another smirk.

I beg your pardon?”

“Mutherfucker mum! A real pain in the arse.”

Well I never-”

“-Yes you have mother. I know about you. I'll speak to you later, OK?”

Yes, yes. Very well. I do have this charity ball to finish arranging. The blasted 'big band' band has backed out, now insisting that they be paid! Honestly, you wonder if some people know what charity is anymore.”

“Excepting you mother.”

Most certainly! Anyway, kisses. Take care, darling!”

“Au revoir!” Salope! Evalyn hit 'end call' with a sigh and stood up from the park bench, still mulling over the bizaar scent.

One last glance toward the man down the path showed him trying to help someone up now. Evalyn shrugged and turned her back, unaffected, slipped her bag onto her shoulder and continued on down the path. She wasn't sure how charity was going these days, but chivalry still seemed to be alive at least.

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