Coffee Break read – Silent River

I never knew you. Not really.
You haunted my dreams and my daydreams, filling the well of my soul. I even felt you watching over me that day, I still could not really believe you had gone. No word. From my bed, from my life. Five years and then – nothing.
I walked up the path and the sky darkened. When the rain came, it was as if your tears splashed on my face.
The river ran deep and silent here, between the high walls built to contain it’s might as it ran through the city. I thought I saw your face, from the corner of my eye. It was reflected in the dark water, like the ghost of a memory.
Something made me turn and scour the path, not thinking to see you, not thinking at all.
An old lady was there, carrying her world in a huge carrier bag and dressed in too many clothes.
“You alright, pet?” The concern in her eyes brought a hot stinging to my own. I looked away and back at the alluring promise of oblivion in the water running silent below. “You look like you could do with a nice cuppa. There’s a caff just round the way.”Her hand touched my arm, tentative and tender. A fellow human being lost in the abyss of life.
The first step back was the hardest and, as if she knew, she gripped my hand, briefly. Steadying me. Then the next came more easily and by the third, I could release her hand and meet her compassionate gaze.
“I might have enough for two teas,” I told her.
“You’re alright, pet. Come on, let’s have a chat. They do free bourbon biscuits too.”

E.M. Swift-Hook

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