She sat by herself at the familiar coffee shop downtown, gazing out the window, sipping an iced caramel latte. Her favorite part was the drizzle of caramel that swirled over the top. The sun occasionally peaked through the clouds and made it’s way to her tattooed skin. Her dark, wavy hair, with tints of red, glistened in the light. She had an array of sticker-filled Apple products she couldn’t really afford spilled out on the table in front of her and a to-do list a mile long; but she couldn’t steal her gaze from the world outside. Nothing in particularly interesting was happening, but she found herself wondering about the passerby. Where were they going? Were they happy? Do you think they struggle with mental illness too? Are they stressed, worried, or anxious? Are they in love? Are they a genuine, kind person? A young lady passing by with a well-loved and curious mutt made her shyly smile. She sighed, thought of all the things that needed to be done, and checked her phone to see how much of the day had escaped her. 3:26pm. A text on the screen read, “I love you and hope you’re having a good day. What are you doing?” She was doing a million things and also nothing. She was restless and wanted to go. She didn’t know where she was going, but she was bound and determined to get there.
I look for you in everyone I meet. I search for pieces of you every place I go. You are a puzzle that has been undone, spending your life scattered across numerous floors. Certain pieces of you hold the beauty of a thousand suns, while others are nothing but a beige blur. I am unable to find the parts of you that I seek the most; maybe the wind knows, and blows you away from me. I spend my life searching for you; you are always just out of my reach. I look for you in every corner, as I stumble to my knees. I spend my whole life searching only to end up empty.
Imagine an old oak tree whose roots have found their way to the surface, creating a series of very intricate knots that surround the beauty they keep grounded. This tree sits alone in a park that no one seems to visit anymore. Her anxieties and depressed states are the roots in which keep her grounded. Outside, she has hair as bright as the sun, and eyes so deep that it is hard to make yourself look away; the passion she possesses flows from her to you. Everything about her is electric. Like that old tree, she radiates beauty that captivates every soul that crosses her path. Unlike the tree, you can not see the things in which hold her down-those terrible things are hidden away beneath the breathtaking body that she calls home. Throughout her life, those roots of hers keep growing, but in the end, only making her stronger. One day she stumbles across that old tree and can not help but to smile.
The sun was shining, so she closed her blinds as she swept her bangs from over her eyes; the brightness and glow was too much for her damaged soul to bear. An old and tattered floral chair, like the ones you see abandoned beside dumpsters, called itself home in the dimly lit corner of her room; she saw much beauty and history in things others only wanted out of their way. She also possessed a beauty that was often overlooked. By the chair sat a small table passed down from generations of people she would never know; old, dirty, and abused, the table beautifully held a caramel latte and an antique sea-foam green book. She adored things that others didn’t. In her over-sized sweater, her nervous hands picked at the threads as she imagined the outside world. Bright and happy, she thought, they just won’t understand; as always, she smiled shyly to herself, swept her silky hair behind her ear, and made that old chair home. Quietly sipping her coffee and taking in the dusty smell of her favorite book, she knew that things aren’t so bad after all.
“Smile. You’re so much prettier when you smile.” Her hair as dark as the devil’s soul and her sad, blue, eyes as bright and watery as a shallow lagoon. She was always rather content in her misery, seeing as it’s all she has ever known. “Why do you always look so sad?” they would ask. She didn’t know. A pure smile or a spontaneous laugh felt like sunshine to her soul, but most days, the weather was dreary. She looked forward to a beautiful sunrise, but was comforted by the sound of rain pecking on the window. Happiness always felt too expensive a thing to have; the lucky, usually thoughtless, ones were rich enough for such a pleasure, but not her. She wasn’t poor by any means, just rich in unconventional ways; her complex mind experienced this cruel world much deeper than most would consider normal. Everything means something, always. A glance over one’s shoulder, a deep sigh in a quiet room, reading a magazine backwards, or even a prolonged smile to another-means something, so very intimate and important, to everyone around. Simply put, life is all that we do intertwined into a single essence. Her mind was a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions as her eyes began to close. “Blue..” she thought, “Why is it so bad to be blue? Such a vast and beautiful color seems like an extravagant thing to be.”
One windy afternoon, as the clouds were swirling above, you walked by; my eyes caught a glimpse of your red sweater just before they caught a glimpse of your soul. Looking ahead, carelessly checking your phone, I wasn’t a part of your reality. I, a stranger, just a blur on the street corner, no different than anyone else around us. To me, in that moment, time stood still; the way your cheeks scrunched up when you smiled at your phone, the way you brushed your hand through your golden hair, and how each step you made seemed so flawlessly planned out. I found myself longing to know you, all while you lived unknowing of my existence. Weeks later, drinking a coffee, I found myself thinking of you, wondering of your well-being, hoping that one day we would cross paths again. Until that fortunate day, I will quietly smile as I think of you, a beautiful stranger with an electric soul. Sadly, I am no where in your mind, let alone your heart. In your life, my love that I would so gladly share with you, doesn’t exist.