The counter of Debbie’s Diner met with a number of encounters, friends bumping into one another sharing coffee or lunch. Cinna climbed onto the stool and asked for the special on a warm Tuesday afternoon. The headline on the paper next to her caught her attention: Information Sought on Missing Local Leader. “Odd,” she mused. She looked up to see Allison drop onto the next stool. “Oh, Allie…perfect timing.”
Glancing over at the paper, she answered, “That’s my next door neighbor. Police have been in and out of her house and yard for the last few days. They still haven’t figured anything out.”
“I know. We often take for granted how safe things seem in a small town.” She looked down at her scarred hands that often struggled at the simplest tasks. Years ago, a casual encounter of a different sort had devastating consequences. She survived by sheer force of will but her right hand had nerve damage from the stab wounds.
“By the way…have ya’ll thought about giving art lessons at the Gallery?” Her therapist suggested she take art classes to help rehabilitate the fine motor skills she lost from the attack and to help her start sorting through her struggles.
Allie turned her full attention on Cinna. “What a brilliant idea! It would help us gain interest in the community, provide some constructive outlets, and bring in a few extra dollars to help us get things started!”
“Yes…and I am a little selfish, though. I was hoping it would help my hands. But I’d hate to paint clumsily in front of strangers. At least…” she paused, taking a breath. “At least you know my story.”
Allison softened her attention. “Of course. I would love to teach you.” Their conversation continued discussing plans and times while they enjoyed their lunch. Leaving the diner, Cinna knew she had another person on her recovery team. Allison walked away with renewed purpose. The Gallery may meet more needs than she had anticipated. She couldn’t wait to talk to Avery.