6 year old Anna Dewitt was playing in the large grass field of Central Park. She lay on her stomach as she plucked flowers. Her long blue button-up dress went down to her ankles, matching the ribbon tied in her lengthy dark brown hair in a bow, as well as her glittering blue eyes. She wore a pair of simple black Mary-Jane's and cream coloured socks. She hummed to herself quietly as she picked the tiny flowers one by one, admiring their brilliant colour.
"What'cha you doing there?" A kind voice said from above. Anna looked up to see its owner.
She was a very pretty lady. She had dark brown hair that was cut short. Her dress had a white bodice with a deep blue skirt and jacket, matching her blue eyes. She had a genuine smile on her face and a ribbon necklace with a bird brooch around her neck. Her hands were clasped in front of her like a proper woman, a silver thimble covering her right pinky finger.
"I'm picking flowers," Anna replied sweetly in her high pitched voice.
The woman knelt down to her level, sitting on her black booted toes as she looked at Anna. "Oh really? Are they for anyone in particular?" She asked.
"Where is your Daddy?"
"Over there. He's getting us ice cream. It's taking awhile, though."
Anna pointed behind her. Standing in the long line in front of the vendor was a tall man with messy brown hair, a grungy black button-up shirt with a vest, a red scarf, and pinstriped pants. He had serious five o'clock shadow and was tapping his foot impatiently, arms crossed over his chest. He looked young, but also worn, like he had an invisible weight on his shoulders. There was something he went through a long time ago, and he was trying to move on.
The woman turned back to Anna, still smiling sweetly. "I see. Is your Daddy nice?"
"Uh-huh. He's super duper nice. He made me this dress." She kicked her feet giddily, making the dress' long skirt shake.
"Oh wow. It's a very pretty dress. Was it a present?"
"Uh-huh. I asked him for a blue dress in a store, but he couldn't pay for it, so he learned how to make it. It took him a long time and he yelled a lot of bad words, but he did it."
"That is very nice of him. Do you like blue?"
"It's my favourite colour. Daddy likes it too. He says it reminds him of his friend."
"A friend, huh? Have you ever met this friend?"
"No, but Daddy says I get my other name from her. He sometimes calls me it when he's mad."
"Uh-huh. He yells 'Anna Elizabeth Dewitt' when I've done a bad thing. That's how I know what I've done is bad."
The woman gave a small smile. She leaned in closer to Anna, cupping over her mouth, like she was going to tell a secret. "Y'know, I think your Daddy and I both know that friend."
Anna looked up at her in awe, surprised enough to briefly stop her flower picking. "Really?"
The woman nodded. "Definitely. She and your daddy knew each other a long time ago. They were best friends, partners even. They went through a lot together, and she even helped him find a really good life. But one day, they had to say goodbye."
Anna's brown eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. "Why?"
The woman's eyes become sad. Her smile fell. She looked behind Anna and towards Anna's Dad, still in line with his back turned. She twisted the thimble on her finger, an odd habit she'd developed over the years.
"Because sometimes life works out that way," she said under her breath. The woman looked down at the little girl's confused face. She smiled brightly again. With her dainty fingers, she picked a small bluebell and held in front of Anna.
"You should get back to your Daddy. Here, you can give this to him too. I think he'll like it" she said with a grin.
Anna took the small bluebell and mixed it in with her own flowers. "Thank you."
She jumped onto her feet, brushing the blades of grass off her skirt. The woman stood up too, holding her hands in front of herself again. Anna reached out her right hand, smiling a big toothy smile.
"It's been nice meeting you, pretty lady," she said.
The woman smiled back, shaking the little girl's hand. "Likewise, Anna," she replied.
With that, Anna ran back towards her Dad, holding her blue skirt up so she wouldn't trip. The woman looked at her sadly, thinking about the life she almost had.
Booker Dewitt held two large ice cream cones, one chocolate and one strawberry. His feet hurt from standing for so long.
"Stupid long lines," he grumbled under his breath, a scowl across his face.
He turned around to see his daughter running towards him. She was holding up her skirt as she ran, clutching flowers. Her long brown hair bounced behind her and she laughed giddily.
"Daddy, Daddy!" Anna called.
Seeing her made all of Booker's annoyance melt away. His scowl turned to a grin. He knelt down to her level.
"Hey princess. What'cha got there?" he asked.
Anna held the bouquet of wildflowers proudly. "They're flowers for you. The pretty lady helped me pick them. She gave me a bluebell!"
He looked at Anna confused. "Pretty lady?"
"Uh-huh. She was real pretty. Her dress was blue too, and she had brown hair like mine. Oh, and she had a birdie on her neck and a silver finger!"
Booker's eyes went wide with shock. His heart stopped and his breath hitched in his throat. He bolted up and scanned the area. He saw bustling people and smiling children, but there was no sign of her. She had already slipped away, making sure he didn't see her.
"She didn't want to disturb us," he thought, "she just wanted to see if we were okay."
He smiled, but there was a hint of sadness. He was sad as she didn't come to see him, but was happy to at least know she was still out there, keeping an eye on him and Anna.
"That's my girl," he mumbled, a small tear rolling down his cheek.
"Daddy? What's wrong?" Anna tugged on Booker's pinstripe pants, looking at him with confusion and concern.
Booker brushed away the tear and smiled widely at his daughter again. "Nothing, sweetie. Here, take your ice cream. It's strawberry, your favourite."
As he handed her the ice cream, Anna stuck out her bouquet, an excited grin plastered across her face.
"Here you go," she chimed gleefully.
He happily took the flowers and put them in his breast pocket. He fiddled with the small bluebell, briefly thinking of her.
"Thank you, sweetheart." He looked out into the distance briefly, hoping Anna's "pretty lady" knew that he was thanking her too.
Booker grabbed Anna's soft, tiny hand, grasping it tightly, never wanting to let go. "C'mon, let's get home."
The two of them walked down the large New York sidewalk, Anna having already gotten pink ice cream all over her face, and Booker laughing heartily as she attempted to lick it off.
And from behind a far off tree, a woman in a blue dress, with dark brown hair, and a silver thimble on her finger grinned at them.
"Live a good life, Booker Dewitt. Live a very, very good life." she whispered as she walked away.