The Pit Stop
Heads turned as the cafe door opened, and everyone was looking at the tall, beautiful woman who walked in. This was a small town on the highway and was an ideal Pit stop but it did not have such pretty women stopping by often. Anisia had always commanded that kind of attention wherever she went and she knew exactly how to make the best use of it. What no one noticed that little detail, of a blue scarf jutting out of her handbag. Out of place because she was dressed in red from head to toe, and blue had no place in the pretty picture she was. Not even the women realised or spotted that fashion gaffe. “Give them a pretty face to look at and they will ignore anything and everything”, she smiled at the memory of her dad.
Anisia looked around as she waited for her to be served her large Espresso. The only seat available in the tiny cafe was near the window, right next to the entrance. Her order was up and she settled into that cosy seat. She sat there slowly sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lying right there next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. She looked around at the patrons there, “They all seem normal”, she thought.
But, then to the observer Anisia would seem quite a typical person too. A seemingly well adjusted girl, who maybe bunked a college class, waiting to meet someone, in the cafe – nothing out of the ordinary at all! If they only knew, that this typical well rounded girl was had carried around a bloody knife in her handbag all day! In fact her nonchalance about it was so obvious that it was just lying out in the open for anyone to see, only if they could see.
But regular people were never as observant as Anisia was. She was always the one to know when someone was lying, always the one to know the slight digressions from the normal. She was special and she knew it. Like the way she knew that none of the people in the cafe had the time to care about her and her bloodied knife. Not a single person even cared right now, as long as the edge was not held against them. She could read every person in the cafe like a book.
The couple at the table closest to Anisia were struggling to keep it together. There was a deliberate attempt by the man to keep the distance between them. Every time the woman tried to get closer, he managed to move away. A clear sign that all was not well in their paradise. Paradise is a strange word, we often tend to believe what others have to say about it, and our version is just a sum of all other versions told to us. “All Paradise, one day goes to hell” another memory of her dear father.
There was a woman sitting typing away in the corner, a tall mug of coffee by her side. She had taken care to be invisible, hiding away. Anisia wondered, whether she realised that she was hiding, but then again she probably had to hide from her world, to feel safe. Anisia understood that feeling very well, the need to be away from what you know and hide in the unknown. “The best way to hide, always in plain sight” her dad had said to her once. This writer Lady at the cafe wanted to be hidden among chaos, and yet chose this small town to hide.
The very important looking man with his laptop open, dressed up in a suit seemingly busy. Anisia knew this was a pretence he needed to keep up. If he didn’t the world would know there is something wrong. Daddy always wore a suit and everyone knew he was an important and busy man. The truth was a secret that she shared with daddy, he was not as busy as he seemed. And more importantly he had time for her always. Anisia adored her father, she observed his every move, and he taught her to be her.
Not only he was the one who saw her talents, he even encouraged her to hone her skills. Her daddy always gave her examples of people who he came across on his job, the murderers, the ones on death row the people who committed the most gruesome of crimes . He was the one who got her the document that certified her ‘Çompos Mentis’ when neighbours began to raise doubts about her insanity and instability to live within the community. He was the one who knew that she was different and not evil. He loved the attention she showered on him. That was until this morning when she plunged the knife into his abdomen.
As Anisia picked up her bag and scarf and walked away, she saw the couple beginning to fight and the writer woman had tears streaming down her cheeks probably regretting her loneliness. The Important looking man was tired of pretending and had begun to play Solitaire. Anisia was right no one, had the time or the inclination to notice what was right in front of them. Anisia walked out the door and got into her car for her onward journey.