Secondhand Love

She loved to imagine that she is from a different time.

She placed a chipped teacup on the dusty shelf then pushed back the curtains. She kept her eyes shut as the sun light came flooding in. If she opened them, she would have to see the traffic that moved down below. If she saw it all, she would have to face the reality waiting on her, and she wasn’t ready to stop pretending.

Instead she pressed her forehead to the cool glass and imagined that beyond these four walls was her true home. There was grass that swept against your ankle, calf and then the inner knee. She imagined the willow that draped into the water and that her dog was free to run around the unfenced yonder. She hears a gentle whinny coming from a nearby stable where she kept her mare loosely fenced. There would be a bucket full of apples and leather reins looped over a tack in the wall.  She could feel the freedom and smell the rain-soaked air. Nothing around her for miles but imagination.


She would sit on the subway and cry.

She isn’t sure why the tear drops fall; all she knew is that they were persistent and all she could do is invite them to stay. She would sit and cry and no one would offer a kind smile or a comforting hand on her shoulder. Her mind would drift to stories she had read that unfold a tale about beauty of humanity and kindness of strangers.  She never witnessed such an act so she sat with head down. She felt annoyance, as if her sadness was an irritant. She was a reminder that pain existed outside of themselves and they didn’t care to know.

Instead she chose to open her favorite book. She brings her knees to her chest, places her chin on her arm and gets lost in a time where humans still interacted with each other.  Something called compassion went beyond one’s own skin and comforting a stranger was second nature. She covered herself in the yellow, dog ear’ed pages and get lost in the commas. The breath between turning pages, her heart would calm, the tears would dry and stain her cheeks. Instead of being on the subway, she would run off to Narnia, or leap into Darcy’s safe arms where she would no longer be alone. So when strangers around her stand up to leave, she wouldn’t notice their absence.


She loves museums and vintage stores.

She preferred them over malls and chains upon chains of many different names, but they all offer the same prepackaged items and generic smiles. She did not enjoy the endless aisle and the music that was always played too loud. She felt tiny and insignificant as if she wore a number upon her forehead instead of a name upon her heart. Next number please was not what she answered to. Sometimes she would buy something but she always felt emptier when she left.

However, she smiles as she surrounds herself with pre-bought, pre-owned and pre-loved items. She touches the fading fabrics and deteriorating lace then press them to her face. She liked the feeling of giving stories to each of the items. With a soft, deliberate touch as she caressed brushes, mirrors and satin ribbons and think about the women who owned them before her. She would picture it came down a line of women, and she was simply next in succession of ownership.  One day, she would leave and all of her collected items would find their way into a worn shop for someone else.

She hoped someone lonely would pick them up and feel the warmth of her hand. Maybe someone would feel hope when they read what she wrote on each piece:

You’re not alone….we are all one.

Written for Trifecta Challenge

1: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration <a deliberate decision>
2: characterized by awareness of the consequences<deliberate falsehood>
3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved <a deliberate pace>

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