by Maggie Scout

“I have to be alone very often.  I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment.  That’s how I refuel.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

She’d joined in. This was a significant step, a sign perhaps. She knew what to look for and this afternoon’s contribution to a brief conversation with Kate was definitely a sign. When she spoke her voice sounded different than she remembered but then it had been several months now without communication and she was out of practice. Then, quite unexpectedly, the silence had been broken.

Six months ago she’d embraced a self-imposed exile making solitude her new best friend. She and solitude existed together in a place of darkness and pain, filled with disturbances that played over and over in her head usually in the middle of the night when sleep couldn’t be found.

On the days they could make it out of the house she and solitude would visit Golly Gosh where they knew they’d be left in peace.  Sitting in the corner they were allowed to exist in their preferred world devoid of emotion or meaningful social interaction.  Playing at being invisible; playing into the hands of self-pity.

But without her knowledge or understanding or agreement something greater was at work.  Something that knew how to heal and restore; gentle in presence and perfect in timing.  And over the months that pitiful darkness had slowly begun to ebb away.  Light had come in the presence of the people around her and she felt a strong connection.  She smiled and breathed deeply.  Closing her eyes she silently thanked God for the life and spirit they displayed and for the strength and comfort she’d received but had failed to acknoweldge out loud.  If there was a God she was grateful.

Today she didn’t want to give up. Today she felt alive and asked solitude to take a step back.  Just for now.

Today a new sense of purpose was emerging.

She watched as Sally and the others gathered around the window, laughing; something about a man and a dog and Maggie.  And they waved.

She lifted the cup to her mouth and drank soon realising her tea was cold and she’d been sitting thinking for a while.  Looking down at the beautiful purple notebook gifted to her in another time and place she knew the blank pages longed to be filled.  That was its purpose.

Beth wanted to write the story.  She couldn’t let go of that precious, precious, thought.  Holding on tightly, she held it captive, for fear that it would escape and slip away and, in doing so, take away the hope it inspired along with it.  This time she wouldn’t let it happen.