In her own company - a short story

Though she was surrounded by people she often felt the heavy burden of loneliness throughout her life. Invisible. Disconnected. For you may have hundreds around you, but if a certain connection is missing, those interactions with others will remain empty. She was a kind, compassionate person. Full of potential. She made people laugh and engage with her intelligence. No one doubted her quiet, unassuming greatness, yet they carried on being distant - she remained in the dark as to why she was alone. On a journey through the hills to find answers from within, for she did not expect to just find them whispered on the wind through the valleys, she happened upon a woman. She was older, her wrinkles skewed as a smile passed her face; their eyes locked as though they had known each other since the beginning. Her voice was rich and carried a melody that could loll you into your deepest imaginations should she decide to tell you a story. Most of the conversation that happened between the two women was insignificant but not the part where the girl told the old woman how she was left feeling as though her being was not enough for others to want to be around. How she doubted herself. How she was not even sure she wanted things to change because when she tried with relationships, they just made her feel drained. The old woman took her hand in to her own. They felt leathery and bony, but the girl hadn’t felt so comforted in a very long time. She was told that she must never think it was her fault for she was as good as she could be but when she was born, the planets around her stars aligned in such way that she will have to continue on her path and be contented with her own company. On her way down the hill, once again alone, the girl felt strangely relieved. She did not have to try hard anymore. She did not have to feel sad anymore that the seat beside her was left empty. People will dip in and out of her life for little periods of time, sometimes only minutes, but when they leave she will know the void will not matter anymore. There may be the one or two connections she will be able to hang on to and she will cherish those deeply but in that conversation she had with the old woman, where she felt safe enough to open up about what hurt, she understood that the one person she can be her authentic self without any worry or pretence, is her own self. 'In her own company' 2020

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