By Kala Séraphin
“Hi.” She slowly looked over to me, a shy smile on her lips. I could see in her eyes the uncertainty of this encounter. I was intruding on a conversation she was having with the sun.
Looking into her eyes, I completely forgot the perfect conversation. My mind went blank watching her blink at me. I was desperate to find words, any words, to keep her attention.
“Can…can I ask you something?” My lips were dry and I licked them over and over. She looked down at her watch, obviously uncomfortable with my nervous demeanor. I glanced at her watch and noticed it was similar to the chain she always wore, silver with rubies.
“You have 15 minutes.” She declared, taking a sip of coffee. My mind raced, grasping for something amazing to say. I was a bit taken back by her voice. It was deeper than I imaged. It had a raspy quality, like she was starting a cold. I wondered about her health. Then I remembered my time limit and thought that talking about her health on the first meeting wasn’t very impressive. Still, I remained uninspired.
“What’s your name?” As the words left my mouth, I regretted them. It was too mundane, easily forgotten. She cocked an eyebrow, suspicious of the simple question.
“Sophia.” She took another sip of coffee. I repeated her name, imprinting it in my mind. The vowels created a song I would not soon forget.
I gathered myself and continued.
“That’s a pretty name. Where are you from?” Again, my internal self cringed at the question. It was of no consequence where she was from! What was important was the present moment and I was spoiling it by wasting the time I had. My mind was looking for a mutual subject and it started with the basics. Only, these basics were too mundane!
“From far away.” Her voice bore a chill that left me shivering slightly. I feared that I was losing her interest, and thus my only chance to develop a relationship with her.
“I really enjoy that café’s coffee. It’s always so fresh.” I blurted, pointing to her cup. It was a lie of course. I didn’t know where the café was and I never drank coffee.
“I wouldn’t know about their coffee. I only drink tea.” She replied. I felt like I was antagonizing her with every word that came out of my mouth. Tea could have been a great conversation for us. I enjoyed tea greatly. By the time I realized this, I was too afraid that she would catch me in my lie.
She looked at her watch, took a sip of her tea and said:
“It was lovely chatting with you. Have a good day.” Then just like that, she was gone. I was so stressed and worried that I had wasted 15 minutes to find out her name was Sophia, she came from far away and she drank tea.
She never asked me my name.
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