She stood at the bus stop til it was abundantly clear he wasn’t coming, her whole being filled with abandonment, fear, guilt. Her white dress, dark with mud at the hem, grew heavier with each tick of a clock she could hear only with her heart.
100 golden balloons sparkled in the pale setting sunlight. She stared at them, daring them to tarnish with her dreams, but they refused. 100 golden ribbons wrapped around her hand, holding her, rooting her to the spot.
Night falls, the stars come out. 100 golden balloons drift off into the sky, one at a time, setting her free. She doffs her dress, a pile of snowy silk at her feet. Her heart lifts like the balloons, and she wanders off into the quiet dark.