# 14 – Crackers

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©iStock.com/tverkhovinets

©iStock.com/tverkhovinets

Bruce saw the car circle Adams Square and slowed his pace. He watched Liza park, then hop out and disappear behind a tree in the square. Bruce stopped walking and stared after her. He looked up the street and back to the tree, continued walking, but veered off into the park a moment later. Liza was sitting under a tree when he spotted her. She was bent over the parchment, absorbed in her drawing. He stood there watching her, a strange smile on his face. Liza was so focused she didn’t notice. After a while, he looked around. It was late but there were still a fair amount of people out. He found a bench about thirty yards from where she sat where a large rhododendron bush partially screened him from view. He pulled a pack of crackers from his pocket and ate them as he continued to watch her draw. A leathery old woman shuffled up to him and looked into the trashcan next to where he sat. Bruce wordlessly handed her a cracker and she shuffled on.

He was nearly asleep on the bench hours later when she finished. She held up her drawing and smiled, then frowned and looked around. Bruce looked around too. The park was nearly empty. Liza wore a sad expression as she put the drawing in her bag. She stood up, brushed herself off, and headed in the direction of her car. Bruce stood too and followed a distance. As he passed the tree where she had been sitting, a shiny object laying on the ground caught his eye. He picked it up. It was a heavy black fountain pen with silver inlay. The tip looked razor sharp. He wrapped this in some old napkins, slid it into his pocket, and hurried after her. When Liza reached her car, Bruce stopped walking and leaned against the far side of a gazebo. Bruce watched her get in and drive away. A few minutes later he resumed his march up the street.

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