Hope – The Thorn In The Flesh

She sat on her yoga mat, rolling her head from side to side in an effort to loosen up her ever-tight neck and shoulders. Her hips strained against her knees as she pushed them outward toward a lotus position she could never quite manage. But even as she calmed her body down into the meditation his voice invaded her mind. No, not his voice. It had been too long for her to remember it. His face? Only if she concentrated. It was the feeling. It was the memory of how her heart swelled and ached as the music swirled them over the dance floor. Even in that though, her heart could not find the rest or comfort she longed for. Sometimes you can find an artificial comfort in the happy memory of a stranger, but she knew him just enough to destroy that false security. Shaking her head and shoulders she tried to push the thought of him away.

Concentrate.

The juicer always reminded her of a table saw, pushing her imagination to the scent of sawdust instead of ginger and beetroot. Foam gathered on the edges of the glass as she drank and the habitual battle as to whether or not it was worth it to get it with a spoon raged quietly in her mind. Traffic passed its normal patterns. The train was stopped and maybe twenty policemen in cars and on motor cycles crowded the intersection before the track to direct traffic. It only took a few minutes to drive another way.

And still that nagging sense of hope and mystery ate slowly away. She knew full well how it would end if she chased it. Why was it still there? Why did she ache for that dance again? Why did her mind still paint that picture of him leaning against the bar with a martini in hand gazing at her, listening? Why did she still think about the things she’d dare tell a stranger? Why did she want him to listen?

Why him out of everyone else she’d met? Out of all the other strangers she might talk to, why him? And why the ache when he didn’t chase her? Why the ache when it didn’t last? Because she knew, she’d met the one person to whom she couldn’t say no. But he was the one person who wouldn’t ask.

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