A Personal Statement

1.

Mother and daughter were hurrying to an appointment about the daughter’s future. The mother, who was fiftyish with short hair and a thin, almost gaunt face, steered their Lexus SUV into a strip mall occupied by a Safeway, a sushi restaurant, a dry cleaner, a health food store, an Italian bakery. “This can’t be right,” she said.

“This is 92 Coventry Road,” her daughter replied. “That’s the address. It says to go to the office entrance.”

“It’s a strip mall.”

“There must be offices,” the daughter insisted.

“In Safeway?” the mother asked.

“Let’s just ask someone,” the daughter said.

The mother opened her door and leaned out awkwardly, hoping to catch the attention of an older man pushing a shopping cart. “Excuse me,” she said, prompting the man to stop. “Are there offices here?”

“Offices for what?” he asked. “For the Safeway?”

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