Dear stranger, this story is for you.
Two lives crossed paths on an ice cold, dark and foggy winter Thursday evening in February.
She stumbled into your shop, a starved heart wrapped into a long dark blue scarf and two terribly tired feet stuck into old fluffy brown boots—tired from living a seemingly meaningless life riddled with pain and hardships.
She walked past all the flashy knickknack, uncurious and slightly irritated by all the shiny, yet unnecessary, goods that clutter our daily lives and stopped in front of a shelf. Determined, she picked up the last turquoise doorknob, annoyed and silently sighing, wondering why on earth she bought six instead of seven a few weeks earlier. Little did she know that this one doorknob, this one silly doorknob, was going to open so many more doors than just the one she intended it to.
She shuffled her fragile and worn down body towards the counter and quietly stood there, waiting and observing. She nestled into the wait—patiently waiting for her turn, just as patiently as she had waited for so many things on so many dark days for so many cold seasons and heavy years before that day. Oh how she had perfected the art of observing life passing her by. The little girls’ red-varnished shoes. Her mothers’ tired eyes, shaded by the colour of sleepless nights. The teenage boys flushed cheeks and brief expression of embarrassment when catching a glimpse of a beautiful blonde, who in turn was gently and tenderly smiling into her phone, caught up in a world of her own. The smell of perfume that reminded her of someone she used to know and the distant sound of a husky voice.
And then suddenly, there you were.
Nothing else but you.
A moment of magic
Sudden, yet so certain
A world standing still
A storm raised within
Lost and yet Found
A soul electrified
My unearthly beautiful human being, you caused the bricks of cold stone fencing her tortured and heavy heart to collapse in an instant. My painfully mesmerising man, you saw into her soul. A soul buried beneath a thousand layers, drowning, gasping, finally coming up for fresh air. Finally being touched and caressed by your dark, brown and passionate eyes and being striped naked for just one second. Intimate waves of passion and unfamiliar storms of desire and tenderness crashed into her. Their immense force breaking through, washing away, expanding wide and deep. The rippling effect leaving her with a sense of closeness and calmness like never before—an unusual feel of familiarity.
A fleeting moment in time
A touch without hands
A being shook to its core
A world set on fire
You stayed with her long after she left your shop, long after she twisted in the last turquoise doorknob, long after winter left and returned again. The memory of your rugged and manly, yet so gentle feel, warmed her heart in moments of despair. The picture of your face guiding her through what seemed like the never-ending eternal nothingness of her daily life—her sweetest escape when reality was too much to bare. Dreams of two souls tangled up in white linen sheets, your hands healing her tortured body and your lips whispering sweet nothings into her ear. The possibility of you, hand in hand with her, living under the same sky. A new sense of hope, giving her a purpose to hold on just a little longer and to try just a little harder. A reason to be eternally grateful regardless of what life chooses to bring her way—because it brought her you, too.
My dearest stranger,
As long as forever and with all my heart —thank you.
Thank you for showing up when she needed you the most.
Thank you for meaning so much to her, by doing so little.
Thank you for transforming and bringing her back to life.
You, my wonderfully unknown, are one of the most beautiful things that have ever happened to her. You saw her in a time when she felt invisible. Despite all of what she had lost and the pieces she had left behind, she was still here—alive and recognized by you. You made her world a little more wonderful by giving her this bittersweet moment of magic. A memory that will forevermore be deeply ingrained in her soul.
Someone is walking on this earth whose entire being you have touched simply by existing. And you, my faraway saviour, will forever be part of her story.
Author: Muriel Anna Johnston
Image: Matt Wilson/Unsplash
Editor: Katarina Tavčar