Tara squeezed through the New York City subway turnstile, catching the hem of her jacket around one of the bars. Trapped for a few seconds, she grimaced as a fat woman grumbled behind her. Her pulse quickened as she desperately yanked to free her jacket. The bars finally ratcheted closed, sending Tara stumbling out. The woman shoved past her.
Tara trudged up the cracked concrete stairs, squinting her eyes as she exited the dim subway station. She had exited the 72nd Street and Broadway station on Manhattan's Upper West Side and now stood in Verdi Square, at least that's what the green park sign claimed. The whipping winter wind slapped her cheeks as the departing train rumbled beneath her feet. Tara furrowed her forehead.
This isn't Brooklyn! What on earth am I doing here?
The pulse in her neck throbbed beneath her scarf. She drew a deep breath. Glancing around her surroundings, disoriented, Tara finally spied something familiar – the black and white marquis to the dance studio where she took ballet classes Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
But where was her dance bag? She shook her head.
What day was it?
Tara rushed past Fairway Market, the grocery store she'd stopped into so many times before, to grab an apple, some nuts, and a bottle of water after class to snack on during the train ride home.
Home? Why the hell couldn't she remember where that was?
Despite the bone-chilling cold of the afternoon, a bead of sweat trickled down her back. She loosened her jacket, unzipping it away from her neck. Her heart raced and her breathing accelerated, the quick puffs disappearing into the cold, gray sky.
I don't understand. Why did I take the train here? And why am I having such an off day?
Swirls of frigid gusts nearly knocked her to the sidewalk. She huddled in a street corner, barricading herself from the assaulting winds. Tara opened her wallet. She had twenty-five dollars, one credit card, and a stamped Metro North train ticket--Brewster to Grand Central printed at the bottom. Then she looked at the address on her driver's license.
Her mouth had gone dry.
The Brewster address made no sense. How could that be? When had she moved from Manhattan? Her head ached, her fingers tingled beneath her mittens, and her ears began to ring so loud that she couldn't think.
Breathe, Tara. Breathe.
Something strange was happening. Something she couldn't stop.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish