Time slows. Tic-one-two-three-four-five-toc. Tic-six-seven-eight-nine-ten-toc. She sits at the coffee shop, waiting. Waiting for everything in her life to change. Today’s outcome would make or break everything she’s worked for in her life.
She’s waiting for her to put everything into the next five hours. Her life is at line. Every late night, every early morning, every push of the line, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of the last three months. The hundred times in the passport office, the hundreds of essays, seminars, presentations, statistical analysis, killing, and rejuvenating each comfort zone. It’s all adding up to this.
A test in reasoning. But more importantly, in keeping calm. When every cell in your body wants you to run, it kills you to stay. To calm down. What’s a cup coffee, when all you want to do- to really do is cocoon up in your bed with your sweet smelling blanket? To jump start your car, and just drive away?
Breathe in. Breathe out. Make a to do list for when everything goes well. Because it will. It will, won’t it? Everyone says it will. But will it? What if it doesn’t? What if everything she’s worked for is farcical? What if it’s not what people like her are supposed to dream? People like her don’t go to Yale. People like her live in her parents’ house till they’re married.
They say that when you want something, the entire universe conspires for you to get it. But how would you explain your dad’s retirement, and your mum’s sickness, and your sister’s self esteem issues, and your panic attacks? How do you explain why everything that had to go wrong, did in fact go wrong? How do you explain the sobering consequences of hard work that went wrong?
They say that if there’s a brick wall in front of you, you know how hard you want what’s on the other side. But she knew how hard she wanted it, without the brick wall. She knew it because she could taste it in the air, and she could see it through the glass window of her house. She could see a foreigner’s god, without losing her faith. She could see the place where she could cry, and those tears would still be worth it. She could see the place where she’d laugh, and miss something, but missing that little something would be a small price to pay for the amazing thing happening to her. She could see, almost touch the place she wanted to be. And it all depends on the thing that she’s waiting for today.
The clock slows. Tic-one-two-three-four-five-toc. Tic-six-seven-eight-nine-ten-toc. And she waits. Because this wait is worth it, too. Somehow. She doesn’t know it yet, but it is. It has to be.
Back from sabbatical. Yay.