“Hey Penelope!” Jim Farler called out to the woman a few yards ahead of him. As the woman turned, the wind almost blew the scarf from around her head. She made a quick save with one hand, while lowering her large, dark sunglasses with the other. She scanned the courtyard until she spotted her hailer. Her eyes narrowed. Jim smiled and waved as she made eye contact. She glanced around wondering if anyone else had noticed their transaction. Everyone appeared to be absorbed in their own lives today; anxious parents worrying about a child trying to escape from a group, or a conscientious pet owner picking up their dog’s crap, storing it for proper disposal. The woman gave Jim a nod of recognition, then turned back, continuing her route, hoping Jim would get the message.
Undeterred, Jim galloped across the courtyard to catch up with the woman. Though she was tall, and was making good progress, Jim was taller and caught up with her. He tapped her on the shoulder. She turned. He couldn’t see she was glaring at him from behind her sunglasses.
“I’m sorry, I’m in a hurry!” She turned to go. Her response went unnoticed by Jim who tapped her on the shoulder again.
“Penelope!” He said. At least he wasn’t shouting this time, “It’s been so long, but I’d know you anywhere!”
“I’m sorry,” said the woman, “I am sure you have the wrong person.”
“I’m sure I don’t!” Jim said, smiling, “Oh! Hey! Did you see the moon last night? That big, full moon?”
“I stayed inside last night,” she said briskly, “Now look, I really--”
“Stayed inside? On a full moon? You? Are you kidding me? That just doesn’t sound like the Penelope I know!”
“I’m not Penelope! Now I told you, I have to go! Don’t ever call me Penelope again!” She jerked away from him and practically ran off into the building overlooking the courtyard.
Jim watched as she disappeared inside. Boy, he thought, Penelope sure has changed!