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  • Down the cruddy, crummy street toward Liverpool Street Station, you pass a young woman in a navy pencil skirt, hair combed and placed just-so, her quick, even gait not breaking even in her navy high heels over the broken bits of pavement. Another, her same age, floats past in the same clothes she'd worn the night before, neon hair painted stiff, with a faint aura of don't-give-a-damn emanating from her crystal skull pendant, chipped nails, and ripped black stockings. No sidelong glances here, no nod, no smile, yet each is aware of the other and what might have been had she, herself, changed her mind, said no when she could've said yes, stayed behind when the others kept going. Each checks her reflection in glass panes as she passes by. If things had been different, would she wear a crystal skull around her neck and thick, black boots? If things had been different, would she have her shirts starched and carefully arrange a pair of pearls onto her ears each morning? She smoothes her hair, adjusts her briefcase from one hand to the other, lifting a well-manicured hand to the button to cross the street. She fiddles with the crystal skull and leaps lightly despite her heavy black boots out of the way of a fast-paced trio of suits talking of policy and staffing problems. You see the last of the lot of them as you turn the corner, another cruddy, crummy street to cross on your way to the Station.
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