People never are quite as they seem. I’m perched on a stool in Starbucks with my fingers flying over the keys, my eyes glancing upward for a few seconds every time the door jingles to signify another customer. There was never a more dedicated people watcher (who knows if a random person’s quirks will become a piece of one of my characters).
There’s this girl. Hair like spun gold, tousled by the summer breeze. Few freckles and blue eyes with a hint of grey in them like the sky just before a thunderstorm strikes — at least as far as I can tell from across the room. A sweet voice, an innocent voice. White cotton cargo pants and a hot pink crop top that reads SELFIE in white block letters across the front, the price tag dangling from the back so I know she bought it on sale at Victoria’s Secret Pink store.
When she was in line, I got up to get a napkin and I noticed the wooden necklace around her neck that was stamped with: made in Kenya. I overheard her saying that she wanted to go to Africa again, so I know she’s already been there. She speaks French because I heard her say “Merci” to an older gentleman and when he replied in kind, she spurted out a line in fluent French. Her accent isn’t natural though so she learned it at school and she’s advanced enough that it’s probably her major. She had an Anderson student ID card with the year 2013-2014 so she’s a sophomore but her car had an IU parking tag issued a few days ago (it was parked right next to my seat at the window) so she must be a transfer.
I know she lives in my area because she mentioned some local landmarks. I may have possibly memorized her license plate number (accident! Not my fault that it was repetitive and the car was parked right next to me!). Also, I saw the sermon notes from my church in her purse and she mentioned that she doesn’t have many friends this summer because they are all gone but she hopes to make more at a bible study on Tuesday. Ironically enough, on Tuesday, my bible study is having a get-together with all the other bible studies at different locations so I will probably see her again.
I know all of this but I have no idea what her name is. If I do end up meeting her on Tuesday, I will have to try and act ignorant of all these things so I don’t sound like a creeper. But I kinda want to be friends with this girl.
My first impression of her was preppy, ignorant, with a sense of self-entitlement. Upon listening to her conversation, she was hardly any of those things. It’s amazing how wrong we can be about a person when we truly get to to listen to them talk about their passions. If there’s anything most revealing about a person, it’s not their secrets, not their everyday routine, but what their passions are. It defines the state of our heart and speak volumes about the spirit within. All of our passions are unique and when we get together, they don’t mix together like a melting pot, but rather fit together like a Roman mosaic. It’s all part of the beautiful masterpiece that God has woven, the tapestry where each strand is a different hue but they come together to form a entirely unique creation. Some threads might be brighter than others, but all are equally as important; pull one thread out and the entire work unravels.
I don’t know if I’ll ever see that girl again but I appreciate her shadow that keeps me silent company as I dwell about the simple lesson that inspired this post. Next time, I will introduce myself properly.
For now though, you will remain in my mind as the girl who left the tag on her shirt and then went in public. Because who does that??