I didn’t get a good look at her face, but I saw enough to be pretty sure it was Elizabeth. She was sitting alone in a black Lexus in the parking lot of the fast food restaurant where I had just eaten. I hadn’t seen her for a couple of months, so I walked toward her car and called her name as I approached the partially open window.
As soon as she turned her face toward me, I regretted approaching her. She looked as though she had been crying. Her makeup was a mess. She looked lost and very alone.
“Are you OK?” I asked. I couldn’t think of something more appropriate, so I asked the obvious.
She looked away and I was afraid she just didn’t want to talk. We don’t know each other that well, after all. I had never seen her in a moment of vulnerability of this sort. I had only known her as a charming, intelligent young woman who always had herself perfectly together.
After a long moment, she turned back to look at me. Her face was almost emotionally blank.
“No, I’m not OK,” she finally said. “Everything’s wrong.”