The elevator door closed on her. The words of Angela filled her heart. As the elevator traveled down, her heart traveled up, filled with – she couldn’t exactly describe it – joy? Lightness? Gratitude? Love?

She stepped out onto the pavement, the snow swirling gently around her. Acknowledgement, kindness, inclusion, all were alien to her. Topping the class didn’t help. Being a school leader didn’t help. Acceptance and affection eluded her.

She left home on a scholarship to Yale. It was winter now. And the pavements treacherous. But, Angela, the librarian, had offered her her old snow shoes. Despite her cleft lip.

A tear dropped. She had finally learned to trust mankind.

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