Friday, May 14, 2010

Tea and Sympathy

It was raining outside, fat drops that fell in a seemingly endless stream battering the windows. It was warm in Esi’s cozy little haven though, the musty smell of books and green tea invading her senses and trying to chase away the melancholy that always came with the clouds falling. Curling ink stained fingers around a pen, she dragged her gaze from the gloomy street and focused instead on the creamy white sheet in front of her. It was fresh and new, blank minus the straight horizontal lines smoothed across it. Closing her eyes she listened to the pitter-patter of rain and let it meld with the beat in her heart, molding into a tune that had been tugging at her for months.

She grasped it for a moment, the elusive notes, and her eyes shot open, fingers poised to scribble it down but then it was gone again, disappearing back into the misty shrouds of her memory. She groaned low in frustration, wanting so hard to pull it back but it was useless. It was all useless. Trying to remember anything, everything. How many months had it been? Close to a year at least.

Sighing softly and rubbing away the headache forming in her temples, she willed away the heartache and set her pen down. She should know better than to try now anyway. Whoever she had been, whoever she still was, was as much of a mystery as the tales in her novels. But at least those had answers, stories to fill up her mind, worlds that existed beyond this tiny shop, books with endings. Shaking her head Esi tried to clear her thoughts. She wasn't going to dwell, she'd fallen into the pain of depression all too many times and she wouldn't let it drag her down today.

It was the rain though, the cold damp that saturated her heart and brought back the day she'd woken up scared and lost, alone on the side of the street at midnight, shivering in the pouring rain, shoes missing. All she had on her was a shirt and a pair of sopping wet jeans with a bank card and driver's license with her picture in her back pocket. She was Esi, she knew her name at least. And she wasn't poor. Perhaps the most disturbing however, was the fact that she was red with blood, running down her forearms and chest in pink rivulets, hands stained red. But beyond a few dark bruises and a throbbing headache she was unharmed. It wasn't her blood.

Terrified and upset she'd stumbled confused to the nearest police station. They'd put her in a room immediately, asking her what happened but she didn't know. She didn't know anything. In the end they kept her there for two days before releasing her, no bodies had turned up, no one had reported anyone missing and they couldn't find her in the system. There weren't many Esi's in the city but she had no criminal record, no fingerprints ever taken. Nothing to suggest why she had no memory, why she'd been abandoned.

Her bank account listed an address that had since been rented out to someone else.

Admitting himself to a hospital after that had done nothing as well. There was nothing wrong with her that they could find and a psych analysis said she was fine other than of course the loss of memory and panic over not knowing anything about himself. A week later she'd bought the bookshop on a whim, discovering she had more than enough money in her bank account to afford it. It was warm, comforting and forgotten just like her. And more importantly it came with a small apartment above it, the price one would normally pay for just the apartment so she figured why not. She had nothing, a place to call home was at least something.

She was still there, without answers and alone.

Blinking back the tears she'd stopped letting himself shed, she picked up her book and curled down in one of the over-sized chairs by the window, the very place she'd been before the rain triggered the music in her mind. Sipping the tea she'd left cooling on a stack of books, she tried to find her place again. No one would come in in this weather, with the exception of perhaps one and he wouldn't mind if Esi was curled up in the corner reading.


I love musty old bookshops. This is a strange story. I'm not sure if it makes complete sense or not, but ah well. More to come.

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