She is waiting for you beyond the jostling crowds.
She’ll never clamber for your attention like the others, she just sits patiently in the shadowed corner of a long forgotten coffee shop, sipping rose tea and playing word puzzles to pass the time.
While all the others poke and prod and pester you for attention, hustling and hassling, snapping and shouting, bargaining and manipulating—she simply waits.
She’s not interested in spinning untruths carefully designed to compel you toward her. She doesn’t play mind games or lean into your deepest, darkest fears, or threaten the very strands of your being by drawing her sword and facing you down.
She knows that when the time is right, when you’re ready, you’ll come to her—of your own accord. You’ll push through the maddening crowd, nudge open the door of that long forgotten coffee shop and flop with relief into the chair opposite her.
Without raising her eyes from the puzzle in front of her, she pours steaming rose tea into the mug that’s patiently been awaiting your arrival and pushes it across the table toward you. You watch her downcast forehead, creased ever so slightly in concentration, as she silently and effortlessly eases the answers to the puzzle out onto the page and wonder what took you so long to seek her out.
When she finally speaks, looking up at you with eyes that pierce through you, voice husky after so many years of silent waiting, she doesn’t berate you for dallying or demand you make up for the lifetime of neglect. She gestures at you to lean in close and whispers a crass joke that only you could ever understand into your ear. As you both snort with delight into your rose tea, you’re struck by the sense of belonging you feel simply by being in her presence.
Each word she utters, so soft yet underpinned by a river of almighty strength, speaks directly to the beating organ inside your chest, distancing you ever further from those who came before her—those who still clamour for your attention, not yet realising the futility.
Because with each passing moment, each sip of tea, each crass joke and subsequent chuckle, you realise this is where you belong. This is where you’ve always belonged.
And no matter what other bedazzling distractions are dangled in front of you, no matter how loudly the other voices demand your attention—regardless of how many times you lose yourself on your way back to the long forgotten coffee shop—you’ll always return here.
And she’ll always welcome you back as if you’ve never left.
Editor: Sarah Kolkka