I’ve been keeping this story for quite long; it’s about a girl I met randomly in a coffee shop downtown last year.
At that day, she sat at a table for two with her (now ex, maybe) fiancé behind my table. The table setting itself is pretty close from one to another because the place is quite small. When they sit, I put on my headset immediately for the sake of my, you know, not hearing people talking, and I can get back to my book.
After some minutes, I overheard their conversation because the man raised his voice, muffled his anger tone. I turned off my iPod, still with headset on. By that time I heard the girl began to sob. You can’t just ignore people crying, right?? I tried not to look at them, and thought maybe it was just a normal couple fight. I don’t know about normal though, because what normal couple fight seems to me has nothing to do with tears or sobbing.
Not long after, I felt like my chair is being pushed and I immediately turn my head back. The man abruptly stood up from his chair and said, “You’ll be sorry for this,” to the girl as he stormed out. The girl just sat still, didn’t look at the man as he left. Her eyes locked to her cup of coffee at the table, with tears streaming down her face. And then she noticed my presence, or me looking at her curiously and trying to find out what’s going on, and said, “Sorry,” with wryly smile. I said, “It’s okay,” and grabbed my book again.
Around 10 minutes later, she poked my shoulder and asked me a cigarette. I handed the pack and the lighter. “Thanks,” she said as she smiled with her swollen face, and headed back to her table.
I know that I was not supposed to talk with a stranger specifically to a person who just had a conflict, but somehow I felt that if I were in her shoes, likely I needed someone to talk to. And on the other hand, sometimes it’s best to talk to a stranger because you know you don’t have to see them again. So I turned around again, and asked if she’s okay… I can sense that she felt I caught her off guard by me asking that question. She smiled and said that she’s fine. I know I should’ve shut my mouth, but I just couldn’t helped it…
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Mm… Do you want a company?”
She just stared at me for some seconds, so I was thinking that probably it was a sign of me that I need to leave her alone. It’s her personal life after all. So I just gave her some tissues just in case she needs it, and went back to my book.
Having a thought that at that time she seems don’t want to be disturbed, I kind of surprised that she came at me with her bag, holding her cup, and asked if she could join me. And I said, “Sure.”
It felt awkward at first because I didn’t know what to say at all. It’s hard you know, showing sympathy… The silence… Oh I really hate the awkward silence as much as I hate small talk. But then something popped into my mind that could be a good ice breaker.
“Hey, do you think this coffee shop has some alcohol in stock, because probably we, especially you, need it.”
She laughed. SHE LAUGHED thank goodness! *proud* And it didn’t take a long time for her to spill her emotion out. She said that she called off her wedding a month before. Instead asking her why, I asked that if that’s the best solution for her… And she said yes. (Not) surprisingly, she said that she shouldn’t have said yes to his proposal, she should never have said yes to their engagement, because she is supposedly quit from that relationship long ago.
“He’s not the one. He did horrible things to me, physically and emotionally. I wasn’t happy, I don’t want to live with what he is or what he’s going to be, but somehow, for years, I have faith that he could change if I help him. The fact is, I don’t know how to help him, neither is he. And I know the whole thing ruined me. I am changing to the person I don’t want to be, so I have to save myself at the first place. It broke my heart. And what broke my heart the most is I found out that he’s been cheating on me for some month after our engagement. It’s just not fair. I don’t want to have a future with that kind of man.”
I offered her another cigarette. “Here, you can have it if you want.” She took one and lit it.
“How old are you, if you don’t mind…”
Such a young age because I thought at least she’s 28 or 29, or early 30s.
“I won’t say that marriage is not the right to do, but definitely there are a lot of things you can do to make you happy while searching for the right one. For God sake you’re still young!” That’s how I responded, trying my best not sound (too) judgmental and harsh.
We talked around 2 hours or so almost about everything (with another cups of coffee of course). I enjoyed this, we both enjoyed this. Until I realized it’s already 9.30 in the evening. I had to go home.
“Do you feel a lot better now?”
“So much better. Thank you so much.”
“Aren’t you suppose to go home as well?”
“Later, I am going to enjoy this for a little while.”
And then I stood up, came to her and gave her a hug. Thank God it’s not an awkward hug. And then I realized that I don’t know her name, and she doesn’t know mine. I was about to ask, but on the second thought, I guess it’s better off that way. Knowing that she feels better already is all that matters.
“Goodbye, and good luck for everything you’re up to,” she said to me.
“You too. No more sad tears, okay?!”
I smiled and walked away.
For the first time of my life, consciously I’ve never felt so relieve knowing that someone called off her marriage. It’s an awful news though. But I believe that everyone deserves to be happy and live life to the fullest. For her, it’s not a marriage. Not yet.