I gave her back the receipt book. She put it away as I said “I’ll see you next time.” She stepped to the side, put her right hand on the counter and said, “I asked myself, what would I tell my daughter?”
She was referring to John.
I was sitting outside talking to her husband Steven. As he went inside, John came hobbling down the side walk. He told me about his kidney failure and how he had gotten beat up the night before. He asked me if I could give him a ride. I told him yes at the beginning because he looked sober and in a lot of pain. I asked if I could pray for him and he let me. A couple of times I glanced through the glass window and saw Barbra intently watching my interaction with John. After I prayed I went inside and told her what had transpired.
We decided to call a taxi and split the cost so John could get where he wanted to go.
I responded to her by saying, “Yeah, sometimes I think I’m invisible and that nothing bad would happen to me. Maybe it’s because I grew up an only child or because I’m adventurous. I don’t know.”
She responded with, “I think it was just the mom in me. What would I tell my daughter?”
I said with a smile, “Well thank you for your mother’s heart. I know sometimes I need to listen to that instead of doing things for strangers. So, thank you. See you next time.”
“Thank you for coming in. See you next time.” She said from her quiet, gentile and soft 4’9″ frame.
I looked up as the grocery cart they were riding in turned the corner. Standing next to the apples I very briefly watched a boy and girl suck and lick loudly on their suckers. “Are they twins? They look like the same age and very alike. They must be twins.” I thought.
“Hey…sit in your seats.” Said their mother as she completed turning the corner. “Do I need to buckle you in?” “Yes!” they replied simultaneously as their suckers rolled around in their mouths.
I chuckled out loud and said “Well hey, they’re honest.” The mom replied, “Yeah, honesty is the best policy.” As she chuckled herself, snapping the little belt buckles on the grocery cart.
The room we were in looked like it was stuck in the 1970s. On two sides of the room, perpendicular to each other, there were windows giving us a view to an outdoor common area. Another side had bookshelves that were filled with many old and intriguing books that surrounded a fireplace. Some about Zimbabwe, National Geographic magazines, Christian books, The Lord of the Rings and many others that I can’t remember and didn’t see. I had watched a documentary about what had been transpiring between the president and white farmers in Zimbabwe about 6 months prior. I also had read a little bit of a book I have about such events in addition to information online. I just met Evelyn (who’s picture is not on my site) walking outside and we were having a good conversation. I asked her to tell me about the Zimbabwe that she has known on our walk into the living room like setting we found ourselves in. She turned towards me as her face brightened with a smile and her eyes opened wider as she allowed herself to remember and engage a Zimbabwe that once was. That will be again. She shared with me how beautiful her land was using her hands as part of her expression. She told me of all the beautiful flowers and birds that I could capture with my camera and show other people the beauty of her nation. She seemed to come alive in that part of the conversation with her excitement, expressions and tone. She stopped and said, “And then that black man.” Her tone changed and her facial expressions showed the feelings of anger towards him. Her statement struck me a bit. She is a black Zimbabwean and she just referred to her president, the leader of the nation, as, “that black man.” It seemed as though she wanted no connection to him other than their obvious skin color similarities. She told me how all of what Zimbabwe is experiencing now is due to him and his corruptness. I asked her why she didn’t flee like many people in her country did. She responded, “This is my land, this is my home. I am Zimbabwean. Why would I want to go anywhere else?”
He came back outside after searching around inside Starbucks looking for a piece of paper. The sun has gone to sleep, waking up others across the earth. Bright street lights shine down on top of us lighting up our table. Giving us the ability to see. The guy sitting in the corner gave him a three hole punched lined piece of paper. He does this often. With his venti tea, lid always off and double cupped, piece of paper and pen. Nothing else. His left hand begins to write his heart to his father. I’m looking at Facebook on my computer, even though I should be replying to emails as I had planned. He stops writing, looks up at me and says, “Katrina. You’ve always been a good person.” I am intrigued by my friend. I have been since the first time we met. At the same Starbucks we are at now back in 2008. I wonder if he has ever said anything negative about anyone. I doubt it. He is a peaceful soul, calm and lacks presumption of those he meets. Intentional in the most natural way. Like how water from a brook slowly rolls over the rocks, not knowing exactly where it’s going or what rock it will help smooth out under it’s ruffles. His convictions are still and his questions asked with a powerful depth that comes from his heart. I turn my head to him, “Thank you,” I reply. “I really mean that,” he says in return. He went on to tell me how he has experienced me over the course of our friendship. In his tone, that I’m sure has made those around him feel at ease, he proceeds to explain. I listen intently; as I value the world he creates.