Sometimes, when tears choose to arrive, they give no warning signals. That is why Susan was as startled by their appearance as the poor teenager at the cash register.
"Is there something wrong? Can I help?"
Susan paid for the two candles she had bought and hurried away from the watchful eyes of the teenager. That the tears had chosen to make its arrival in the middle of a transaction was more embarrassing than the fact that Susan was not sure of why she was crying. She tried to think of what kind of feeling this was...this feeling that threatened to choke her....
She thought of that soup...that soup she had seen in her cook book...the one that was filled with lots of exotic spices and names of fruits she had never heard before. She remembered how excited she had been to cook it...she had starred at the page of the cook book many nights...and by the end of the year; she had almost memorized the names of those foreign spices. She did not want to cook the soup just like that...no, every single ingredient had to be there. She bought the spices over the months, ordered a few over the internet and waited for that special day. It had to be a rainy day...when there was nothing better to do than cook. So she waited for that day and dreamt of how great the soup will taste. That is why when she found herself pouring the soup down the drain on her special rainy day, the feeling that had overcome her was not the disappointment of the soup, but the feeling of the loss of those beautiful nights she had spent dreaming of it.
Then Susan thought of that book...the one she had saved to read on a peaceful day. She bought the book and kept it on her shelf...where she could see it often and fantasize of how great it would be to read the book. It was not a book to be read on trains, or buses or in front of the T.V. It was a book to be read on a special day, when the weather was just right, on a bench in a park or by the sea with the soft sound of waves nearby. That is why when she heard the explosive sound that left her mouth as she shut the last page of the book, it was not the feeling of dissatisfaction with the poorly written story that left her mouth but the loss of all those days she had sat dreaming of reading the story on a perfect day.
Then she thought of him...him that chose her. Was it because of that feeling? That feeling that always comes with the loss of a dream? Was that why she was crying? For those nights spent dreaming of him...he that had now disappeared into the arms of another woman..like the way her soup had disappeared down that drain...and the book...now supporting a pot of flowers in her garden...is that what this feeling was all about?
As she wiped her tears, Susan was sure. It was not the dream she was crying for, or the loss of it...it was because she had loved him...the dream was all it was...a dream...but him...he was real..and she had loved him.