She virtually collapsed right in front of me burying her face in the seat and murmuring that she would be leaving while apologizing at the same time.
We used to work for the same school and have been friends for three decades. We meet every now and then for festive celebrations or simply to catch up. It was Saturday afternoon. We met for lunch. We were comfortably seated in the booth enjoying some very exquisite cuisines.
It was a simple “How are you? Are you sleeping well” that sent her to tears with face twisted. I was not prepared for this and couldn’t respond. She was one scene of desperation. I was telling myself that if she really stood up to leave, I would have to hold her in my arms. How could I let her leave alone?
I had never seen her like this until then but that was her true self and state of mind! All along, she had appeared to be calm and composed though with a touch of melancholy. She must have been masking! How dumb of me not to have detected!
I know she has been bullied at work by unfounded vicious gossips but I have no idea she is in such pain. I thought that her sleeplessness was once in a blue moon but in fact, it has turned habitual.
She did calm down but her parting words saddened me. “I better hide myself!”