Her dark boots stood in sharp contrast against the light colored pavement and the red storefront window behind her. I felt a certain defensiveness about her. Maybe it was the way she sat on the bench by herself with her legs crossed. There was a feeling of absence, the kind created by hurtful actions of one you trust. Her boot zipper seemed to light up in the sun hitting her crossed leg. I wanted to capture that through the eyes of those that matter... Those that see true beauty and color in a person. It seemed the perfect contrast to the type of person that creates that absence and will ultimately pay the price. Her's is the story I want to tell. To showcase. It's a long one, so I'll break it in two. I approach and kneel down. I sensed her discomfort. Wanting to assure her, I show her my page and she pauses..."Ok, sure." "Could you tell me something unique about yourself?" "I was 15, and a mother." I wan't expecing an answer like that from a person that seemed so defensive. "How did that affect your life?" "At first, I was worried what everyone would think of me. I felt destined for failure. I was determined to not end up like that." She taked about an inner strength that would not allow fear to take over. "I couldn't turn back, and the only way I think I made it was because I had a family that supported me." Her words trailed off. I looked down at her boots again, realizing that was only the first of many struggles. I wasn't about to leave.