Searching For Love

Heart, Zoom, Color, Romance, Romantic, Red, Close, Love

Emerald tapped her pen against the plastic table and looked around the coffee shop. The distant chatter of people, movement of cups and chairs filled her ears. She lingered on a couple about to kiss in the corner then darted her eyes back to the notebook before her. She’d only written the title so far.

Underlying the words Plans for 2016 again, she sighed and wrote discover self on the next line down. Get back into cycling she scrawled underneath then paused again. Her eyes rose slowly to the couple now making out in the corner. Slyly she watched them, noticing the way their hands touch each other’s sides and face.

What was their life like? she wondered, how had they meet? Would they break up or go the whole marriage and kids road?

Her phone beeped a text and she dug in her bag for it, welcoming the distraction from those unanswerable questions. The message was from her mother. Emerald opened and read, fish and chips for T shall get on way home, what you want?

Smiling, she texted back her order then slipped the phone away again. Picking up her warm caramel coffee, she took a few sips and willed herself to think of more ideas for her list. Instead, she was drawn back to that couple. They were gathering their stuff and leaving. To do what? she thought. It didn’t matter at the end of the day. They were in love and not scared to show it.

Emerald put her coffee and added a few more things to her list. The list one make new friends, she underlined before sitting back again. She turned the page of the notebook and wrote a new title on the bold blue line; what do I want?

Someone to love me and care about me, someone to always be there for me, someone who’ll be my hero, my knight, my light in the dark.  

She paused, pen hovering above the paper as she rested her chin on her hand. Looking out of the coffee shop’s windows, she watched people go by in the street. Her thoughts far away as the image of her knight took shape. She reeled off another few things then looked down at the page again.

Her phone beeped, drawing her attention though she tried to hang on to the growing daydream. Pulling the device out of her bag again, she looked at the reply message from her mum; thanks, I shall get it. Want anything else? Love you lots xxx. Emerald replied back she was fine and she loved her too. Her fingers rubbed the screen and she hoped one day she could be saying that to someone else too, somebody who wanted to be her knight.     

Letting Go

It was starting to snow again as Janice sat on her oldest daughter’s bed and flipped through a photo album. The pages were covered with happier memories and times, which Janice recalled well. She let her fingertips trail over a photo of her three daughters at a theme park in the queue for the log flume. Three young smiling faces twinkled back at her. She turned the page and felt the sting of hot tears.

Sniffing and swallowing, she concentrated and tried to figure out whom out of her other two daughters this birthday party displayed in the pictures was for. She decided it must have been Jessy, her second child, because she was blowing out the pink candles. The next two pages had photos from their Disneyland holiday and mixed, scrapbook like, with different tickets, postcards and stickers.

Janice couldn’t take it anymore. She slammed the album shut and pressed her hands to her face. Breathing deeply, which sounded like she had a bad cold, she wondered if she would ever feel happy again. Letting the tears fall because she had no choice, she felt an unexpected squeeze of her shoulder. Dropping her hands and looking up quickly, she saw Jessy before her and her other daughter, Lucy lingering in the doorway.

‘I’m fine,’ she answered they unspoken questions and waved her hand.

‘It’s still okay not to be fine though, mum,’ Jessy replied sitting down next to her and sliding her hand down her mum’s back to rub it gently.

‘I know, but I have to stay strong,’ Janice explained and hugged Jessy.

She beckoned Lucy to join them and somewhat reluctantly the teenager did so. Janice put an arm around both her girls and held them close.

‘Kat wouldn’t want you to be so upset,’ Jessy remarked, ‘and anyone else either.’

‘How would you know?’ Lucy muttered under her breath, ‘she was being so selfish!’

‘Now, Lu, don’t be like that,’ Janice gushed, ‘We all could have done more of her. It wasn’t…it wasn’t…’

‘It’s alright mum,’ Jessy cut back in, ‘no one could have known what she was going through. She was just too upset and stressed.’

‘I know, but I only wanted the best for you all. And what kind of mother does that now make me?’ Janice questioned and forced back another wave of tears.

She studied her daughters’ faces, finding all the similarities and differences between them in those few moments. Her girls were beautifully, intelligent and kind. Each had something of herself and her husband within them. Kat had been the same. She had been the leader of her sisters with her motherly side and love of the home. How quickly her happy, positive nature had fallen when the hard times had come knocking.

Janice sighed and held her remaining girls closely.

‘No one will think any different of you, mum,’ Jessy whispered.