Friday, July 30, 2010

Joy

Emma wanted to be a cool breeze on a hot day. She wanted to be happy and free: but she wasn’t.

Life was much heavier than Emma had hoped, much more sticky and spider-webby than she had once thought; life was beginning to wear on her.

Every morning Emma would go to _La Petite Café_ to think. She would order a coffee, and write in her diary. She wrote slowly, occasionally gazing out the window, trying to find the right words to describe her feelings. On this day she wrote, “My heart is not a spring in a box. My heart is like a rower on a midnight lake.”

She closed the little diary and slowly stirred her coffee, looking at the swirling liquid as one might stare into the embers of a dying fire.

She sat this way for some time, then shook her head, and picked up a novel. The book had been loaned to her by a colleague and she felt obliged to finish it, despite it being far from her own taste.

A loud bang broke her reverie; a young man had pushed the café door closed when he was trying to open it. Emma could see a deep redness in the man's face; he was clearly uncomfortable and nervous; she wanted to jump up, to hold his hand and tell him that everything was okay. As soon as she saw him she wanted to be near him.

The young man ordered coffee and, with shaky hands, carried it to an empty table.

Not wanting to stare, she picked up the book again and tried to immerse herself in the content. “This is ridiculous,” she thought and laughed aloud “who reads this rubbish?”.

Emma closed the book around her thumb, “Number One Best Seller,” the cover proclaimed.

“Will I read this book to please someone I hardly know and yet not make the effort to go and talk to that man, do something to make myself happy?”

She looked at the young man again, he was writing in his diary. He wrote quickly, erratically. She could see the tension in his movements, the sweat on his forehead, and she longed to be his cool breeze.

“Oh, why don’t I just go and talk to him?” she wondered to herself. But even as she thought this, she knew she wouldn’t do it, and her heart was heavy with sadness.

When the man got up to leave, Emma tried desperately to send him a smile, but he marched out of the café and was gone.
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