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“Gabrielle?” Jenny asked, “I really need to get back to the METRO station if I’m going to catch the bus back to Manassas.”

Gabrielle pushed the button on her watch and the voice said, ‘Four forty seven p.m.’ “Well, at least it’s holiday fares. METRO’s great but it can get expensive.”

“Tell me about it! Nobody told me about the SmarTrip card so I was paying out the nose. Listen, it’s been great meeting you. Truly the highlight of my day. No offense, Larry!” she added with a giggle.

“It’s been great meeting you, too.”

The walk back to the station was easy with Jenny pulling point and Gabrielle allowed her to lead the way down the escalator. Once they were through the turnstile Jenny said, “Looks like this is where we part company. Thank you so much for looking after me.”

She hugged the tall, young woman saying, “It’s been great meeting you, but you’re not going to get off that easily! Take my number down; call me if you need. This happy hands Henry shit has got to stop. I’ll think of something. Or Bill will!”

The two women exchanged phone numbers and hugged again. Gabrielle could hear Jenny sniffling and was surprised by how close to tears she was as well. “I’ve got to head south to Franconia. You go north, right?”

“Yep. Blue line to METRO Center and then a long ride out to Shady Grove. You take care, you hear?”

“I will. Thanks for everything,” she said, giving one final hand squeeze before leaving.

Gabrielle thought to herself, ‘Thanks for everything?’ I haven’t done anything. She thought of phoning Adriel and talking to him but the crowded METRO was a terrible place for phone conversations. Alone, saddened by the circumstances of Jenny’s life, she texted Bill Finger. ‘Made it to Arlington. Met a young girl who is a widow. Very sad story. Heading home to Professor X. Have fun pushing drugs in California.’

Just as the METRO train pulled to a stop in front of her she heard the chime that indicated she had a new text message. She’d have to wait for a little peace and quiet to hear it.

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