Ida returned to the park that evening with the usual rush of excitement and dread, the drumming in her ears synchronizing with the horsey click-clack of her heels on the cement.
She’d thought of waiting at the site earlier that day, just to catch a glimpse of him. “Axiom,” they called him. They’d been on assignment together for three months and she’d never seen his face—never would. Never should, anyway. But suppose next time she were to linger on the park bench, flicking through a newspaper until the stranger came along to collect what she’d left him? Suppose she happened to see her partner—the recipient of the messages she dropped, the man who never left anything in return.
What color were his eyes? Would he care that hers were blue?
She arrived then beneath the third lamppost from the bench. Her heart stopped. There was the smooth stone she’d placed at the drop-off, untouched. Axiom had never made the pickup.
Ida crouched down and slid the stone into the pocket of her trench coat, feeling the weight of it against her thigh as she stood up and clicked down the sidewalk, just out for her nightly stroll.
This is my first submission to Sunday Photo Fiction, a weekly challenge where writers post a short story (under 200 words!) in response to a photo prompt. This week’s prompt is shown above.