Her friends complained. Her parents nagged. But she did keep a job, if nothing else. She was fine, and she said it frequently enough to convince herself, if not others. No veiled recommendations or blatant admonishments penetrated her fog of routine.
But one evening, retracing the daily path, she heard the leaves crunch.
Beneath her feet, obscuring the concrete, was a blanket of gold, cadmium, and vermilion that taunted the limitations of language. The crisp air stung her lungs. Her knit scarf soothed the wind’s bite.
She hadn’t noticed, but something broke her, to let such miracles go unnoticed.