She hid behind the bar, not facing the customers who surrounded her. If she could have been invisible, she would have been. This was the next best thing; she had no choice, she had to be there but she made no eye contact, showed no emotion, lingered on nothing but the task at hand. Mixing pink drinks, shaking, pouring, slamming each glass down on the counter averting her dark brown eyes away. It was her way of saying “F–k you” to the world. She couldn’t handle emotion in the best of times, but tonight, she just wanted to shut down and shut the doors for the last time, turn the key and pile into bed.
The decisions would have to wait, cleaning up would have to wait too, she was procrastinating on every single thing that she could. Nothing was urgent anymore; she felt displaced but couldn’t really define the feeling. It just showed in her jerky movements, in the look on her face that spoke volumes saying: “Don’t come near me, leave me alone, BACK OFF!” If she didn’t have the dark, deep lines under her eyes, and the lack of light from within them, she could be just some stranger traveling through, she didn’t belong here, home or anywhere. She had lost her place in life. It would be a long time before she would be able to reclaim it but she did have some possibilities, she just couldn’t deal with them yet. It was too soon, she needed time, distance, and the ability to bury any emotions that might slip up to the surface, way back down inside her.
Beginnings and endings are never easy and she was so, so tired. She had been hurt many times in her life before and had no room for it again, at least not now. She needed a break but she knew she couldn’t take a very long one. There was so much to do and while people had volunteered to help, there was not a way for her to ask them again, to take them up on her their kind offers. That’s why she had her good friend Sue, a cheery Public Relations master, she would be able to handle this while she dreamed only of sleeping away the rest of the night and all the next day.
When she got home she trudged up the steps with the weight of success and failure balanced on each shoulder. It seemed too hard, too heavy to carry. She didn’t change her clothes, she smoked her last cigarette and lay down in her bed that was a mess of old comforters, pillows and sheets; everything in disarray. She didn’t care, this is how she felt, she didn’t have the fight left in her to straighten things out. She refused to care about it, she refused to care about anything right now, what she wanted was escape, pure, sweet and simple escape. Reality was something to be dealt with later, much later.