Never make assumptions because more often than not, they’re wrong!
The girl with a stare, queueing at the counter with token toddler in tow, tugging relentlessly at her shirt tails as tiny tots tend to do, is a typical take on thoroughly modern mummyhood. Looking like, and yet not like any young mum taking the chance to escape the terraced cage for a bit, another pregnancy, baby bump bulging through tight, once loose top. Dirty disposables, playgroup melodrama, and conversations cradled in cliches and laundry lists are the order of the day if she’s lucky. More often than not it’s tantrums, Telly Tubbies and tea after tears. Stopover at the coffee shop is a welcome temporary release from the monotony of reluctant motherhood. A skinny latte, and almond croissant when she thinks nobody’s looking and nobody cares. After all a little indulgence helps her get through the routine of yet another lonely day. Is this it? A grade ‘A’ student with potential to do well someone had once said. Somewhere, sometime, something had happened to change the course of the class room. She had fallen in love with the wrong boy, and as so often happens when young girls lose their hearts had got pregnant because she believed in fairytales and happy ever afters. Hers, however was not a Cinderella marries a Prince Charming kind of story where the glass slipper fits but more a reality tv show where the ill fitting shoe is now on the other foot and the feet are blistered and sore. Fairytales are not real, they never were and dreams are but a distant destination of a deluded delinquent imagination. Sleep is hit and miss, though more missed than hit these days. Life is filled with small demanding people and big demanding people. Somewhere beneath and between the lines of the never ending story, the girl got lost in a clothes peg world of chores and domesticity.
Fast forward 30 years and the rest, and the girl now a mature woman of fifty something, grey unsaloned hair frames her face where once was mocha and chocolate carefully corkscrewed curls. Her roles are many but still she is lost, still lonely and alone in a crowded coffeeshop where the conversation has become comfortably stale. This is an unknown woman without a face still trapped in the fairytale that she sold herself in 1984.
“And what will it be today Madam? Your usual skinny latte and almond croissant? said the Barrista.
“No, not today. Today I shall have tea and toast’,
© Liola Lee 2016
I wrote this while treating myself to some time out in a Costas coffee shop. It was an idea I had for a book. It’s still an idea…..