Sample Narrative: Caraliza

New York, 1919.  The questions and the dangers.

   “Good morning. I’m Yousep,” he said, extending his hand very slightly. She must have been more surprised than she realized, his next words were a question; that much she could tell.
   “Are you alright?” He took a precious step closer, concern on his face.
   She put up her hand to stop him coming down, and merely stood in the shadow. She did not lose his gaze, she held his eyes as she had desired to hold his hands, refusing to let go should once they ever touch. He paused and did not move, but he needed to turn and cross the street. She needed to let him cross. So she took one step up higher to see him and smiled a very small smile for him.
  “Ik spreek geen Engels,” she said softly.
   She could hardly make the words. She didn’t know how long it had been that she had no one to speak with. She had said nothing to another person for more than a year. Her smile faded as she saw something change in his eyes. There was something fearful there, similar to the first look she had seen on his face, the look that had first drawn her to see him again. He stood more directly up and his hand dropped to his side. She instantly imagined that he was unhappy, would lose his interest in her now. Yet, as she watched him a second longer, understanding crossed his eyes and his mouth fell open, but he did not speak.
   Yousep turned just enough to make her fearful again, however his smile came back and he puckered his lips to whistle his way across the street. Halfway across, his voice came back to her, such an extravagant risk to be taking. He spoke loudly enough so she could hear before he moved too far away, though she did not understand.
   “You do not speak English. Oh my!”