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Linden Avenue by Reginia Cordell

By June 6, 2014March 12th, 2020Short Stories

Linden Avenue by Reginia Cordell

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Charlotte’s new apartment in the gritty downtown area was exactly as she’d imagined. It was bright and airy. She loved its clean lines, hint of vintage with exposed brick, and huge picture windows that provided optimal views. Gazing out she saw health-conscious joggers, gentrified change, and residual elements of despair marked by homeless people, panhandlers, and street performers. The view was prime, it was of the notorious downtown Atlanta, Georgia; a huge change from small town of West Helena, Arkansas.


“Linden Avenue is only the beginning,” Charlotte said aloud as she drifted into the long gaze.


Linden Avenue was in the midst of revitalization. Remnants of what Linden Avenue used to be were quite evident, but this didn’t strike an ounce of fear in Charlotte. She saw beauty in the litter, the transgendered working girls, and Veterans trying to make a way. It was all beauty to her. It was change. It was everything that West Helena, Arkansas was not. Charlotte’s new home in Downtown Atlanta wasn’t ideal for some, but it was everything to her, graffiti, scars and all.


Charlotte snapped out of her gaze and realized that she needed to get her carload of things up to her new place. She left her apartment and headed towards the elevator. She waited alone in the windy breezeway. Before she knew it, the elevator doors slid open revealing a tall, brown-skinned man in a blue uniform standing before her.


“Oh,” Charlotte said with surprise, “I didn’t expect anyone to be inside.”


“I hope I didn’t scare you, Miss Lady. Come in, I won’t bite,” said the tall, brown-skinned man in uniform.


Charlotte eased in to the elevator car, opposite of Mr. Welcome-to-the-Elevator. She didn’t know what to expect as she had heard a ream of horror stories about crime in the city. She tried not to make eye contact but she noticed that the striking stud was a maintenance worker for her building.


The shaky elevator ride to the parking garage seemed like an eternity. The pair didn’t engage in any further small talk because Charlotte was nervous and Mr. Welcome-to-the-Elevator was busy chatting with who knows who on his Facebook page. Charlotte had a knack for reading things far away and that’s how she caught a glimpse of what he was up to before she turned her face to the elevator’s wall. The ride finally reached the garage level and Charlotte hoped that the brown-skinned passenger would exit before she did.


“Ladies first,” he said.


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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without the explicit permission in writing from its publisher, Reginia Cordell.

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