Saffi put two large red mugs down on the bistro table and sat in the empty chair. “Double americano with a shot of caramel, as per your request.” She pushed up the sleeves of her sweater and rested her forearms on the edge of the table.
Kade clicked the home button on his phone and then tossed it face down onto the table.
“What’s wrong?” Saffi said.
“Nothing. Maybe everything.” Kade rubbed at his forehead with the palm of his hand. “I’m trying to find some hope that the world isn’t the massive dumpster fire it seems to be, but I’m not having any luck.”
“It’s not as bad as all that, is it?”
“Have you looked online or at the news lately? There’s so much bad that there isn’t room for anything good. People are scared, so they push back against everything. They forget that everyone else is just like they are. That to some extent at least, we all have the same wants and needs, the same dreams. And so they find reasons to fight, reasons to hate.”
Saffi half frowned and turned to look out the window. She motioned with her head, “What do you see out there?”
Kade looked out of the corner of his eye. “I don’t know. Trees. Cars. People.”
“Where is the hate? Where is the conflict?”
Kade scowled. “You can’t say it doesn’t exist because you don’t see it out the bloody window.”
“I know, I’ve seen your people’s penchant for finding creative ways to harm those around you.”
“My people? Humans, you mean.”
Saffi pulled her sunglasses down her nose and leaned in. Her eyes shimmered like pools of mercury. “No, I meant middle aged white guys.”
Kade rolled his eyes. “Come on, be serious.”
Saffi pushed her glasses up and shrugged. “I am serious. You people are terrible.”
Kade’s lips went thin. He crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair.
“Oh come on, don’t sulk.”
“I’m not sulking.”
“Yes you are. Stop it.”
Kade looked out the window. “Whatever.”
“This is what happens when you’re taught to focus on advantage and power. You create walls so you can keep them, or grow them. It makes you feel alone and afraid. It doesn’t matter that your fear is based on an illusion, when you’re in it, it’s real.”
Saffi sipped at her mug. “You have two choices. You can focus on the negative and be overwhelmed by it, or you can use it to strengthen your compassion. If you choose to focus on compassion and trust, I guarantee your experience would be much different. It may be cliche, but life is what you want it to be. ”
Kade sighed. “I don’t know, maybe you’re right.”
“I am right. I’m always right.”
“I don’t know about that…”
“It’s a fact, get used to it.” Saffi checked her watch. “Hurry up and drink your fancy coffee, the transport is going to be here in ten minutes.”
Kade lifted his mug to his lips. “Yes, dear.”
Saffi smiled. “That’s what I like to hear.”
This and That but Mostly the Other is a collection of moments, from the briefest glimpse to those more complex. It’s about introductions and endings. It is a reminder of what was, and a glimpse of things to come. Available in print and e-book February 2019.
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