A New Flavor

by Marylee Fairbanks


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I struggled with the key.

The lock was jammed again. I checked the keychain, but it was hard to see. The super still had not fixed the light on the stoop. I dropped my bag, sighed, and used two hands to jimmy the lock. Click.

I looked over my shoulder to make sure no one was behind me. It was my first year in New York City and I was troubled by the thought that I would end up a tragic statistic. I positioned my bag over my shoulder and readied myself for the six-floor walk up.

My roommate would be home. She didn’t work on Tuesdays, so it was our movie night. We were single and gift-less and it was Valentines Day; or as we called it “Black Tuesday”.

I checked the door was shut behind me and discovered a black, cardboard, heart taped to my mailbox. I turned it over and read a single word, written in red, all caps.

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