Morning Delights pt 5

The morning is greyed out from the clouds, the rain battering the windows with their thunderous might. Waking up every day at this ungodly hour is an ordeal. Why have I signed up for this? Why have I accepted coming here? Why have I left everyone behind to chase illusions and dreams of a better world?

And, here I stay. Delusional. Amongst strange streets and alleyways and foreign-looking buildings. A different culture. A different life.

Only one stranger makes me feel at home.

I tried opening my eyes again; the outside world was too cruel I had to shy away and look towards the wall on my left. There, I had hung a frame of my father. A gentle soul. A person I never really knew. The most important figure in my life, elusive to me. Next to him was a frame of my mother. She has always been the reason to keep me going. The reason I wake up on gloomy days like this. A frame of my sister — looking all upset — was with the rest of the family. My eyes closed on me.

Throb throb throb.

This is wrong, I told myself. You just can’t feel that way. You know it is wrong. My thoughts a little whirlpool of rose petals being smeared by thorny doubts. But it just feels right… by time I took a leap of faith. So what? Give it a shot. Give it your all.

But my other self disagreed. No, it said, this might be a dead end. Why would you put yourself through such a thing?

Throb throb throb.

You know what your problem is? You think too much, and feel too little. Maybe… but you can’t just take your banners and march through life and expect not to be the target of pitchforks and arrows.

Throb throb throb.

Throb throb THROB THROB.

Tried to open my eyes.. my head is throbbing.. or.. was that a knock?

Throb throb thnock knock knock.

Bright light… curtains…

I make my way through the cluttered bedroom and out into the small corridor. The knocks are louder. Who else would wake up at this hour? I do not even know what hour it is. My hands were feeling the textures on the walls to know my bearings. I think I have found my way to the door.

It smells of… breakfast.

I could smell strawberries. Fresh, ripe, wet strawberries. A basket full of them. And I could pick up a whiff of something sweet… something baked. A cross between raisin bread and a currant bun.

It takes me forever to have the bolts undone. My mind cannot think of anything beyond strawberries and raisins.

I open the door — and immediately become self-conscious of what I am wearing … or rather, not wearing. The gaped greeting expressed it all.

“My goodness!” I said and closed the door immediately. “I am so sorry!”

“Do not worry. I haven’t seen much… just enough.” A nervous laugh.

I grabbed a shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders. Opened the door ajar, allowing the sweetness of the breakfast flow inside.

That kind face. The warm smile. Everything melted away. My doubts. My fears. My purpose. It all became clear once again. As though the hours of agony I have spent that morning were for naught. I only had to see a glimpse of that face and have my faith restored.

“Would you like something to eat,” he said, lifting the basket of strawberries and raisin bread and butter in my face. “When you told me you liked some raisins, I took an oath to allow myself to—”

I cannot believe he is standing right here, in front of me, and I appear before him in this absolute mess! I’ve been telling this to myself for the past few seconds.

“Are you all right,” he asked. “Marie? Are you OK?”

“Yes,” I replied, maintaining what was left of my dignity in my posture. He stood there, as handsome and dishevelled as he ever was. “It is a delight to see you.”