Josh dug fifty cents out of one of his many pockets and handed it to the flower vender. With careful deliberation, he picked the most beautiful rose in the vender’s collection and handed it to the lady by his side. “For the best new assistant prosecutor in New York City.”
“Thank you, but you shouldn’t be spending your money on me,” Rosemaria admonished.
“On you, I would gladly spend my last penny,” Josh said theatrically, with a gallant bow from the waist.
“Oh, Josh!” Rosemaria looked stricken with guilt.
“I’m just kidding,” Josh assured her. “You don’t have to worry about me. I’d rather hear about you.”
He could see she was much too concerned about his situation to want to talk about herself, but she did as he asked. “All right, well, my father loaned me the money to survive for a few months, and since I decided to move here to…well, to get a new start, I skipped the California bar exams, crammed like crazy on New York state law, and took the bar exams here.” She rushed through the explanation and turned her full attention on him as he started slowly walking down the street. “I’ve been so busy, I haven’t really kept in touch with anybody from L.A., except talking to Larry a couple of times. I do know he and Vanessa are very happy. And, of course, I heard what happened to Lila and her father. Hardly seems fair to Stan, just a slap on the wrist for both of them. Other than that, I’ve been buried in work, learning from the best, and trying to put my share of criminals in jail. I’m sorry if what I found out was hard for you. I thought you needed to know.” Her voice trailed off as she touched his filthy clothes and tears came into her eyes. “I was so confused. I’m so sorry.”
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