I like to observe people because behind each face lies an untold story, something that I can write, something I can create. Maybe that’s selfish because I really do not want to see what the story really is but instead, I only want to create it in my imagination. But nonetheless, I do observe and I do write stories in my head.

The other day I saw a woman alone at a posh cafe with a book and espresso. I saw her heart as a million little pieces that would never come back to place until she came face to face with her deepest fears. She was probably grieving. Not everyone grieves the same way, I wondered if I was much different. How did I respond to loss? My cat died a while ago and I didn’t even really cry. I just pushed it to the backyard of my heart. I do that sometimes- especially with things I do not want to even think about. Those things usually haunt me after a while so then I go back to them and I cry … or I just write.

I wonder how the woman in the cafe dealt with her backyard stuff. But then, she doesn’t have a backyard in her heart. Her name is Aisha. I named her that because she had beautiful brown eyes with long black eyelashes. Aisha is a name for the beautiful and so that is her name. She was reading a book by Paolo Coehlo. The Alchemist. I read it too recently. It’s full of magic that somehow at the end of your reading you feel like there might be some left over in the palm of your hand or perhaps, in the sparkle in your eye. Aisha also had magic even though she was broken.

After fifteen minutes I watched her put her book back in her fake Chanel bag. It’s a fake because it’s spelled Channel. Minute details make all the difference. I stopped looking at that point so I would not seem like a creep who stares at people. However, eventually I gathered that she had walked out the door to disappear amidst the swarming crowds. I will probably never see her again and she is probably not Aisha. But to me, she is. I created a world for her and a life where she is but a broken piece in a game of chess. I hope it’s never actually that way for her. I hope she’s a happy girl who follows her dreams and finds her heart like the boy in the book she was reading. But for a moment, she was a character in my story and I thank her for that. I do so because it’s those kind of moments when I sometimes find clarity because I learn from the stories in my head. I learn from faces like hers.

If people only actually saw others the way that they should, they would see that every face and every person has something to teach by just being there and being them. For all I know, another imaginative nutcase like me might have been watching me and learning things I did not know I could teach.

Photo credit: jinterwas / Source / CC BY


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