There’s this lady I know . . . well, sort of. I’d hardly even call her an acquaintance, but we run into each other often enough that we talk about this and that. She’s married, hoping to buy a house, has a child — or is it two? Like I said, we don’t really know each other that well.
But then the accident happened.
I know she knows. I know she knows because of the awkward silence and the sideways glances. Sometimes the silence speaks louder than words. And while I gather children, put things back on shelves, buckle seat belts all I can think about is the silence.
I hardly know this woman, and yet it stings. I hardly know this woman, and yet her silence can bring tears to my eyes. I hardly know this woman, and yet I wish she would say something — anything — to break the silence.
I think of all the things that I’ve been told. The words that I’ve clung to and the words that I’ve had to look past. So many different words, but all intended to express compassion, to share in my grief if only for a moment.
But the silence grates on me. And I’m not even sure I know her name.