Trying

She looks like a 14-year-old boy, but she’s a 20-year-old woman. She asks a fellow passenger on the light rail if she can borrow his phone to call the group home she’s just moved into. The train is delayed, and she’s worried about losing her place there for breaking curfew. She was homeless, and had to wait for more than a year to get into the group home, where she can spend two years learning the skills she needs to create and keep a stable life. “It’s a really cool place,” she says. She keeps smiling, but she’s so anxious she can’t sit still.

She’s handed a phone and she makes the call. She says her name, explains why she’s late. She looks relieved at whatever the person she’s talking to says in response. “Oh, cool. Thank you so much. And can I still take my meds tonight? Yeah? Thanks so much.”

She hands the phone back. “It’s gonna be okay. Thank you.”