Estella

The charity worker, a collection can in his outstretched hand, took a step forward to stifle my path. I adjusted my course, and shot past at full tilt.

“Donations for single mothers,” he called out.

My synapses lit up and I froze on the spot.

Everything I had in my wallet, I gave to the man. I think it was about a hundred and sixty bucks.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

Most days I ate by myself at the work cafeteria, my mood usually sullen. I was in a new work environment, and had no friends. And I didn’t feel the need to recruit any.

Then there was the day Estella asked if it would be okay if she joined me. I was quite sure she had cooler people to lunch with, but I think she felt I needed the company. I don’t remember a thing we talked about that day. I only remember how I felt: NOT INVISIBLE.

I passed Estella in the hallway a couple months ago. I congratulated her on the birth of her first born, and she flashed me that tired-mother look. I responded with a knowing smile. Happy times.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

Today, I offered Estella my deepest condolences, for her husband who passed away.

“Donations for single mothers.”

Before this day, those words may not have registered. But not anymore, now that my friend has become one.

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