Turi took a sip from the cup of coffee on the table in front of her. It must have been the fourth or fifth cup, or who knows, maybe even seventh. She couldn’t quite tell. She had stopped counting when it was clear that she would be at the Palace for a lot longer than she expected. Yes, the Palace; Coffee Palace to be precise. The café looked nothing like the palace she had thought it to be when she first went in but it was a great place all the same. Its tables weren’t made out of marble or its doors out of gold but it had the warmth and ambience of a home. It was just a café that dreamt of palace status and made really nice coffee. Though it was obvious that no coffee would beat her mom’s, she was glad to find a place that got so close. To her, the Palace was her palace; Turi’s palace.
She didn’t worry one bit about the eyes staring at her. She had seen a few and could feel a lot more behind her but she had more to worry about than curious customers. Though no one besides the waiters had been around long enough to question her stay, she knew that many would naturally wonder about the pretty young lady seated alone on such a stormy evening. The good ones would excuse her; maybe think that she was waiting for someone who was running late. Really late. The rest would think the worst of the situation. She knew that several gentlemen would have wanted to keep her company or even lend their coats but she wanted to be alone and the expression on her face said it all. She wanted to speak with herself. She needed to know if the inner Turi approved of the decisions she had made in the recent past. Most of all, she needed convincing that this wait was worth the while.
The next sip left the cup half empty. No, half full. She had promised herself to try and be positive at all times. It was not because a self help book had asked her to try. No. It was a decision that had been reached during one of her many conversations with self. She was going through a rough patch and it was getting difficult by the day to hold her head high in the midst of everything she faced. Optimism would be of essence and the daily dose of optimistic thoughts had proved to be more helpful than she expected.
‘Maybe he is stuck in traffic… and the storm must have made many roads impassable so he might take a while. Or maybe something came up and he had to work overtime’. Turi continually thought up reasons to excuse her prince’s lateness. Yes, her prince Lowry. (The ‘prince’ title must’ve been due to listening to too much Taylor Swift.) He had asked to meet her that day, adding that it was urgent and really important. The Palace was obviously her place of choice for the ‘meeting’. It was the place she had met her prince and they had decided to make it their small coffee haven; their palace. ‘His phone must have shut down due to low battery, or worse still, maybe he’d been mugged’. The excuses kept flowing. She had one for everything but she still didn’t seem satisfied with the answers.
It was already bad enough that he had not called to say that he would be running late. Worse, he was unreachable so she couldn’t get any answers to the questions that endlessly racked her brain. A quick glance at the cup of coffee reminded her that she had to be leaving soon. She had had one too many of those. She could feel the effect of too much caffeine in her system and the bill the waiter brought was only a confirmation. On deciding that she would head home after that cup, she made a quick mental note of the things she would do before bedtime then went on with her coffee spree.
She didn’t want to look at the time. At least not yet. Knowing how much time she had spent waiting for Lowry would only make the situation worse than it already was. The problem wasn’t the waiting for him, really. It was the thoughts that occupied her mind whenever she was alone. Though she valued me-time, she hated it when it was a reminder of what she was running away from. She had been on the run for as long as she could remember and efforts to make out what denied her peace of mind had not bore much success. There was this nagging feeling that on many instances weighed her down. It made her feel that she would never be fulfilled if she didn’t deal with ‘it’. She had already spent too much time trying to and she did not want to know how much of this evening she had also ‘wasted’. No wonder she had resulted to running. It wouldn’t solve the issue but it would help her survive for a while, at least till ‘it’ caught up with her. There had been enough distractions throughout her race that made the running peaceful. Work had been the best until she met Lowry. These two pre-occupied her mind and ensured that the issue didn’t get a chance to worry or nag her. Deep down, though, she knew she was on the run and she would not really get the satisfaction she wanted in life.
Two sips of coffee later, Turi was already wondering why she had let herself think about the issue. It was exhausting enough to think about it, let alone run. She knew she would tire very soon and then, she would have no choice but face her fears. It was a painful realization and she desperately needed to get her mind off the whole issue all together. Sadly, she had been ‘thinking’ all evening and had ran out of stuff to think about. She tried the clichés; weather, the coffee, etc but they took too little time and she had to get a lasting solution. Just as she took the last sip and thought of how unsavory the coffee now was, she saw the perfect distraction walk through the door. Lowry. All drenched and in the sorriest state ever.
Continued on “On the run (2)”