I am standing here at this same spot.
The same spot I first met her two years ago. Tired, worried face and constantly checking her watch. I asked and offered help but was kindly rebuffed. Still I saw that she was in trouble. So, I stayed with her until help arrived. I was late for office that morning. Something out of character for me. But, I would be late for many other mornings as well, from then on.
During such mornings, for about half an hour, I get to speak to her. And as the days went by, I learned more about her. She worked the whole night. And sleep mostly in the day. She was someone's favorite. 'Someone important'. She told me she was tired of the whole thing but could not do anything. She was trapped in a situation she can't figure a way out. Truthfully, I think she was afraid to find a way out. I knew it was most likely because of her daughter. Her cute 3 year old girl who meant the whole world to her.
As we became more familiar, we talked more about ourselves. Things we were ready to share. I was always excited to hear about her little girl. She would show photos of her antics captured in her handphone. I enjoyed everyone of those photos.
We would talk until someone working for 'someone important' would arrive to fetch her. Back to her place she called her hideout. Away from the prying eyes. But, I corrected her, calling it her sanctuary. Where she can be herself; a lady and a mom. Those mornings continued for about a year until my health temporarily kept me away from those moments.
Not long after, troubles started to show their ugly faces. It wasn't surprising to me though, as she had forewarned me that this 'someone important' would not take kindly my knowing of her. The threats are nothing. It did nothing to me but made me more determined to resolve the issue at hand. But, soon the threat became physical.
Despite her strong protest, I turned to the authorities. Not for my safety, but for hers and her daughter. Soon after, they took them away, of course. The police did. But, not before promising they will put away the source of the threat on her, her daughter and indirectly on me. It also meant that I won't be able to continue my morning chat with her. It was a small price to pay for her happiness and new lease of life. I promised her I wouldn't regret my decision.
It has been two years. And, although I know I won't see that face here, I will just find myself driving to this spot. Not wishing very hard, maybe, to see her sitting calmly sipping coffee, eager to show photos from her handphone. Smiling at me when I open the glass door. But, no. That won't happen.
Still, I am here anyway. Just to remember those times. Those moments. Moments when I was standing here with purpose. At this spot. In the early morning like this.
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