Ms. Holiday

By Scriva, Bella Noche

4/08

"Hours slide and days go by

Till you decide to come

And in between it always seems too long

All of a sudden"

All the Same, by Sick Puppies

"You're not alone

There's more to this I know

You can make it out

You will live to tell"

You're Not Alone, by Saosin

She worked in the community college library some days, and a local Barnie's on others. Afterwards, no one but her professors and employers were able to give the authorities her first name. She wasn't an in-state student, and had transferred from Portland, Oregon. She was known only by her last name. To everyone, she was simply Ms. Holiday.

People were able to describe only the basic details about her. Fellow students said she was quiet. Some said she was standoffish, aloof and elusive, others that she was simply shy and polite. Customers and other employees at Barnie's confirmed that she spoke rarely, but thought of her as an efficient worker who rarely messed up orders, apologizing profusely afterwards if she did.

It was only after questioning quite a few people that the police were able to come up with a description of Ms. Holiday. She was young, somewhere between nineteen and twenty-one. She had very dark black hair, always either completely down or pulled back in a messy bun, and pale, creamy skin. She was slender, but not sickly, yet not athletic. The one thing most could not agree on was her eye color. Some said they were blue, others green. One boy said he remembered being struck by their blue coloring as he was checking out a book. A surfer, he said they reminded him forcibly of the ocean. However, when he went to return the book a few days later, her eyes had shocked him by being icy silver. Regardless, most other details were agreed upon. Her features were pretty, but unordinary. They were described by one woman as, strangely, reminiscent of one of the ingénues from the 40s, but with exotically foreign features. She seemed to have an affinity for music and converse, and, at both jobs, spent her breaks reading and listening to a green iPod nano, occasionally sipping coffee. A few people had seen her at the beach, sitting on the rocks and writing in a purple notebook. Others had sometimes seen her walking down the streets, with her hood down up during the rain. She always wore jeans, regardless of the Miami heat. She often sang softly while filing books or changing coffee filters, and seemed to especially enjoy Three Days Grace's "Over and Over". She often read books described by others as unusual, such as Faust and Stoker's Dracula, and seemed to have an interest in vampires in general.

"Unconventional is the first word to come to my mind. Poor dear, she's a good girl, just not like most others her age. As if, while most would enjoy a trip to Hollister, she would delight in going to Barnes and Nobles, or a music store" was a statement made by one middle-aged lady, a regular at the coffee shop.

"It's a shame, really. To have something like that happen to some one so young, so full of possibility. Such a shame." A portly old man with an Italian accent commented to a local news reporter, the day after the incident was discovered. Television sets across the city flickered to a scene at South Miami Hospital. A second reporter stood interviewing a young, Hispanic doctor in a too-clean white coat. His hands gestured robustly as he spoke, and then settled in front of him, though they were soon back to moving freely. The reporter nodded after each of his sentences, her hair hard with spray and bobbing stiffly and collectively with each movement. The hand holding the microphone for the doctor was decorated with a large pearl and diamond ring on one of her too-thin, salon tanned fingers, and it shone plastically in the stark, unforgiving glow of the industrial hospital lights.

Ms. Holiday's parents were on a vacation in Ireland at the time. Even if they had been home in Portland, they would have been too far away to hear the reporter's words as she finished interviewing the doctor.

"Officials are working to uncover evidence that would point to a suspect. Attempts to contact relatives of Holiday have been so far unsuccessful. However, due to the condition the body was found in, funeral services will be held this coming Monday, unless family can otherwise be contacted. This is Joy Marshall, signing off with the 6 o'clock news."

Television sets across the city went black as residents flicked off the screens. Some thoughts lingered on the pretty girl who would never even graduate from college. Others strayed to her unreachable family, who weren't even aware of their loss. In the end, however, the results were the same as always. Just like that last image of a half-smiling girl on the TV had gone blank, another life was extinguished and soon forgotten in the bright streets of Sunny Miami.