“Do I make any sense? Clara. Clara! Are you even listening to me?”
Her words are distant. From the corner of my eye, her mouth moves vigorously. Every sound, every complaining word, drifts past my consciousness and floats on into some unseen destination. All she vocalizes is meaningless.
The vibrations of foot traffic outside this little window create small circles in the lemonade. With every person passing me by, a new set of rings finds its way through the liquid, dancing with patterns. I lay my head down gently on the worn table, my hair resting over my tired face. I take my little finger and dip it into the small pool of condensation, spread it around with small movements. It feels cool against my skin.
The mixture of voices floats around me. Fragments of conversation collide and intertwine, adding a lively hum to the air. A young woman scolds her toddler. A man in the corner mumbles something under his breath about the paper before him. An elderly couple chuckle with one another as they sip their coffee and bite into their toast.
The glow of the morning sun fills the café with hints of warmth, yet I continue to find comfort underneath the wool of my sweater. The soft grey envelopes me as I sit across from Rebecca.
“See, this is what I mean! You always say you’re here for me, yet you act like I’m not even here. Oh my gosh, are you seriously going to ignore me? Clara!”
She sighs heavily, dramatically.
“Okay, you know what? I’m going to let you sit here like some sort of mute while I get up and leave this stupid café. For the love of Pete, can you at least say good bye?”
I continue to draw pictures with my finger.
She stomps away, her staccato footsteps interrupting the flow of the morning.
It hasn’t always been like this. We used to be close, so it seemed. We used to understand each other, engage in deep conversations. But ever since we moved to the city, our life has changed so much. We agreed to share an apartment as we ventured into our dreams and hopes for the future. We were so excited to decorate and make it feel as close to a home as we could. Everything went great the first few days.
We've been here a month. I’ve found a job down the street at a little produce stand and started to settle in as best as I can. Rebecca, well, she’s done everything she can to meet new people. And all those new people seem to be living in our home more than I do. Every time I walk through the door, there’s a stranger in the living room watching something on the television or eating something from the fridge. There’s always some sort of alcoholic beverage on the counters, and our place is starting to smell foul.
My sister makes friends so easily. Every person she meets will soon be locked into whatever intriguing conversation she leads. She’s quite fascinating. It seems as though anything and everything she has to say gets people instantly interested. She’s vocal, open, and interesting.
I prefer to sit alone in the safety of my silence.
I guess I don’t have anything more to say to her. I’ve tried to express how I feel. The fact that I never look forward to coming home is something she chooses not to listen to. I’ve tried to explain why I’m so angry with the way things are turning out. She just doesn’t see what she’s created.
Right now, life seems unsure. It’s big. I don’t know what I am going to do as of right now. Should I stay here in the city and tolerate my sister’s new crazy way of life? Move back in with my parents? There’s a lot of things to be figured out.
But I know one thing is for sure. In my solitary silence, in the soft light of a café booth, I can escape the worries of my life. I don’t have to be afraid of what is to come. Without opening my mouth, without using any breath at all, I can engage in the most splendid conversations. I can open up every sealed place in my heart and drink in the most refreshing advice and direction. I can be who I am, I can be everything I was created to be.
I sit up gingerly and wipe my finger on the napkin. I reach down towards the floor and retrieve my bible from my purse. I open it up and begin to indulge myself in words more alive than myself. The cares of my world are smudged into a hazy shadow far behind my concern. I’m alive, I’m renewed.
The table before me gently disappears into the ground. Like the passing of a whisper the walls melt at my feet and bring forth tall, unruly grass dotted with the red faces of wild flowers. The hum of voices escapes me and I’m left standing in the midst of serenity.
The words of my Father fall around me, caressing me as the soft passing of the wind.
Words of love, of guidance, of understanding. My skin is awake, my eyes filled with wonder. Every inch of my body is rejuvenated with the voice of my God. When I am hushed and still, this is when I feel His breath, so sweet and so beautiful.
His presence flows in and out of my whole being as I roam around ever so quietly.
It is here that I know what is true, what is sure.