Woman of Solitude

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's not just a bad day.

Submitted: October 01, 2010

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Submitted: October 01, 2010

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Plip-plop. Plip-plop.

She wondered if there was a certain rhythm that raindrops always made when they fell from the sky onto earth. Little spots of water dotted the wide window pane of the little cafe that she sat in. Who knew the sound of rain could be so therapeutic? She watched what remained of the masses outside scurry for shelter as the drizzle gradually transformed into a heavy downpour. No more pitter-pattering of water droplets on the sidewalk. It was now more like white noise to her ears, a continuous sizzle of some sort as sheets of rain drove hard into the ground.

She turned her eyes away from the sight, from the dark, dreary sky, from the dull colours blurred by the rain, from the miserable people huddled together merely waiting for sunshine to reappear. It could take an hour, or perhaps two, for the sky to clear up. She wouldn’t harbour much hope for the storm to subside anytime soon.

Cupping her hands around her hot beverage, she closed her eyes and tried to immerse herself in the rich scent of coffee beans and milk. Low murmuring reached her ears from a corner of the coffee house. There were people carrying on a conversation near her, but not near enough for her to pick up the words. She opened her eyes. Two women, probably in their early thirties, were dressed fashionably in colour-coordinated clothes and in shiny heels. They occupied a table for two. From the laughing faces and relaxed body postures, she guessed that they were engaged in some girl talk. That was her deduction. Her forehead creased in a frown. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a talk with any one of her friends.

In fact, she couldn’t remember if she had any friends left.

She briefly considered trying to drown her misery in coffee. No one tried that before, she’d wager. It was worth a shot, but the idea of what all the caffeine in her body could do to her gave her second thoughts. That was her. Always having second thoughts. Never actually daring enough to take a risk.

The words were familiar. They sounded like something her husband would say. Maybe he did say them and her mind was just reiterating them to her. Her stomach churched. All of a sudden, the sweetened taste of coffee repulsed her. She leaned back and twisted her head away from the black mug, fighting the urge to retch. Shutting her eyes again, she forced herself to take a couple of deep breaths. As the soft, soothing sounds of jazz emerged from speakers in hidden locations, it filled her head, chasing away the dark thoughts and settling her stomach. Someone apparently didn’t like the silence and had put on a CD. Good then. She had enough silence at home to deal with. Music was a nice touch to life.

She glanced at her watch, a round gold face with a thin brown strap around her wrist. It was ten to nine. She ought to be on her way home right now. She didn’t see how it mattered, to be honest, since no one would be home. He never returned to the house before twelve. Sometimes, he never did come back.

Home. She scoffed inwardly. The word had lost its significance. The place where she lived was far from being a home. It was true, whatever it was that someone said. A house did not make a home, much less a house lacking in love, trust and warmth. She rubbed the tip of her tongue against the edges of her teeth as she stared into space. She wasn’t even sure she knew what those few words meant anymore.

Time ticked by as she dawdled in that cafe. She could’ve spent the hours working in the lab if it weren’t for her husband. Seeing his smug face was enough to put her off her work, though she would never admit it in front of him. Today was exceptionally bad. He taunted her before her sympathetic colleagues, utterly humiliated her. Just the recollection of the incident was enough to make her face burn with shame. Angry tears pricked the back of her eyes, but she would not cry. She’d done enough crying the past few days. She didn’t want to feel those tears streaming down her face anymore.

The sandy-headed boy behind the counter politely told her that it was closing time. She replied with a quick smile, realizing that she was the only patron left in there. Draining what was left of her lukewarm coffee, she picked up her peach handbag, hooking it over her shoulder as she made her way from the cafe into the dark.

The rain had stopped. All that was left was the cold.


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