On the days that I have to be at work at 9:30 in the morning I’m a creature of habit. I leave the house at the same time (give or take five minutes). Unless I hear about a traffic problem on the radio I take the same route, and when I get to the mall I wind my way up to the top of the parking garage and park on the right side in the first empty space.
This morning I got there with fifteen minutes to spare. I drove past three other vehicles to get to my space, and noticed there were five cars on the other side of the aisle. All were empty; in all the months I've been parking there I've never seen any other drivers.
I could have gone inside and played with my phone, or joined the mall walkers, but the weather was nice and I decided to stay outside, figuring if I walked on the top level of the garage no one would see me. After locking my purse in the car I turned to the left and started walking. I stayed next to the chest-high perimeter walls, where I could look down and see the surrounding area from a new angle. Behind the mall was a row of large trees I’d never noticed before, and on the concrete underneath the trees a thick carpet of leaves had fallen. As I walked, I found parking alcoves tucked away in the far corners that I didn't even know were there.
A couple of minutes into my walk I was surprised to see a truck driving towards me. I figured no one would notice, but hadn't counted on Security. The mall has vehicles that slowly cruise the parking areas, looking for things and people that are out of place. Since I've NEVER seen the vehicle on the top of the garage in the morning. I suspect they’d detected something on their cameras and were investigating.
I wasn't concerned, because I know all the officers and they know me. When the truck got close enough for me to see who was in there I waved. The officer waved back, and continued on his way. I'd lost my ambition for walking, though, and decided it was time to go inside.