It was one of those dreary, grey days where the rain won't cease. Laura sat in a corner coffee shop, listlessly stirring, listlessly staring. Idly glancing through the rain-streaked front window, she glimpsed a flash of raven hair and jerked back, tepid coffee sloshing across her hand. Would she ever stop looking?
Laura's eyes pinched as her mind went defiantly back to that room she tried so hard to block from memory. The acrid smell of bleach, the cold eyes of the nurse as she slid the IV needle out of Laura's hand. Her arms wrapping around the tiny bundle, feathery black hair so soft against Laura's cheek. Maybe this was a mistake.
Firm hands closed around Laura's precious armful and she clutched instinctively at the pink flannel blanket, protests rushing to her lips. "Laura," snapped her mother through tightly compressed lips. "We discussed this." She spun around and marched the baby away as Laura dissolved into tears, a blurry ebony shock of hair her last sight of her daughter. Sighing in a coffee shop twenty-five years later, Laura swiped at her wet cheeks and stuffed the crumpled napkin into her mug. Time to go.
The chair across her scraped and Laura looked up, then gaped open-mouthed at her companion. "I've been thinking," mumbled the familiar stranger across from her. "It's just...you startled me. With your hugs and the presents and well, everything." Green eyes met Laura's own. "But I want to know you. Can we start over?"
Laura stared in speechless hope, and the young woman smiled a little. "OK, I'll start. I'm Kate, your daughter. I'm so glad to finally meet you."
* * * *
I wrote this for this week's Indie Ink Challenge. A Lil' Irish Lass challenged me with "It's one of those dreary, grey days where the rain won't cease. You're sitting in a corner coffee shop, listlessly stirring. Listlessly staring. You look up and, through the rain-streaked front window...". I challenged Billy Flynn with "Who knows where those tentacles have been?"