TW: brief mention of abuse
Today was Saturday, and Maggie had the day off. Father Michael was visiting relatives, and his niece and all the rest had gone along too. So Maggie did what she usually did when she had time to herself--she left her apartment early in the morning and went roaming around London. That morning she'd brought along some pocket money she'd saved from work, and had treated herself to a coffee at one of the shops. She sipped it as she walked, dodging people clustered on the sidewalk. Every now and again, she slipped into a shop, but usually she didn't stay long. She had her coffee, and anyway, the salesgirls were always asking if they could help her find something, and after the fifth time of stammering out, "No ma'am, no thank you, I'm fine," Maggie was done. She was done with talking, and she was done with feeling her face growing hot every time someone spoke to her, and she was done with trying to figure out what she kept doing that made all the salesgirls think she was stealing. She was, she was, she was.
And that had to be what they thought--that she'd come in to steal. Why else would they keep coming up to her and asking, when all she was doing was looking at the clothes, or the jewelry, or the purses? Maybe she should stop touching everything. That was probably it. She looked suspicious, handling all the goods like that. As she walked out of yet another store, Maggie stuffed her free hand into the pocket of her coat. There. Now maybe she wouldn't be tempted. No wonder Father Michael was always smacking her hands when she was younger for touching things--books on bookshelves, knickknacks, shiny odds and ends at the shops--that she wasn't supposed to! Pity the lesson hadn't stuck. Well, Maggie told herself, the next shop she entered, she'd behave herself, and she wouldn't touch anything. She wouldn't, she wouldn't, she wouldn't.
Rounding the corner, Maggie made her way toward yet another store--a pawn shop--when a commotion up ahead made her stop. A very unusual looking man was coming out of that same shop. His skin was--Maggie squinted. It was green, a golden green, and his eyes glinted in the light. He limped besides, and used a cane. That had to be hard, with all the sacks he was managing! Her cheeks grew hot and she looked away. She hated it when people stared at her, and there she was, doing it to someone else.
Just then a pair of boys came hurtling down the street. Maggie stumbled back too, to avoid being run down, but the children didn't seem to pay her any mind. She shook her head as she watched them go. Father Michael would've whipped her, and good, if she'd acted like that. When she looked back, the man was on the ground, sacks scattered about and cane laying off to the side. Maggie darted toward him. Snatching up his cane, she held it out toward him. "H-here you are, sir. I, I'll, I'll help you, I'll help you with your bags if you like?"