Chapter 6 Anxiety

"He stood you up!?" Birdie said in a shocking tone.

Kathleen Kelly threw her hands in the air after hearing that phrase for what seemed like the hundredth time. She walked toward a stack of books that needed to be organized. She planted them on a bookshelf facing the window looking outside into the street. It was early morning, the dew still speckled across the window. The street was full of pedestrians looking ahead; busy with their lives. Kathleen was mindlessly moving books around staring at the covers. Her heart was racing, and her hands just kept moving books around. She was not organizing anything, just moving books from one place to another, shuffling them around, anything to keep her hands moving.

The anxiety was palpable. It was in the pit of her stomach, the core of her heart. Though she just spent the past fifteen minutes creating insane scenarios to justify his absence, the truth seemed to be bearing down on her. She was stood up…she danced around that thought trying to ignore it. But the truth weighed down on her like a storm. I was stood up

A stern frown forced its way on her face as she thought of that notion. Her hands had stopped moving. A book was staring back at her but she did not pay it any attention. She stared through it with thoughts racing as they did last night. Was I not pretty enough, did I come on too strong, was he ever interested in me, or did I see something that obviously was not there…

With the absence of any hard answers comes the paranoia of all sorts of anxious reasoning to fill that void. And since no one was there to answer those questions people tend to answer those questions themselves. In those cases they always tend to be the worst case answers, fueled by insecurities. These insecurities of inadequacy and fear of loneliness were answering Kathleen's questions. Her biggest insecure thought was the fact that something she thought was special now seems to be not special.

She thought she felt a connection, something that makes the ordinary and mundane extra ordinary. Regular experiences were heightened because of her correspondence with this stranger. New York was never so alive, everything seemed to transcend to a new level. Everything was blooming into something beautiful, even the smell of scotch tape! All because of the feeling she got from reading and writing mail to this person.

Now that magic faded. All those experiences were revealed to be what they really were without that spice of inspiration, they transformed back into the mundane. That is what hurt the most that…not the fact that it was gone but the fact that it may have not existed in the first place.

It must have been because I don't see why else he wouldn't show up, he did not feel the same way as I did, it didn't mean as much. That's if it even meant anything to him at all in the first place...it probably be better if we never tried to meet, then at least I would still have something to believe in...

"Are you alright my dear?" Birdie asked.

"Um yeah, sorry I was just thinking about something. I'll be back I have to go to the bathroom."

Kathleen quickly scurried off into the street since the shop did not have a bathroom. Everyone just used the one in one of the restaurants around the corner. She blended in with the crowd wanting to be alone in it. She seemed to be a pace behind the rest of the city because everyone was passing a head of her. She looked slightly down and walked in a defeated fashion. She just couldn't get rid of this bleak feeling, this emptiness in her heart. She went into the restaurant and quietly went into the restroom.

Normally she would chat with some of the waitresses she happened to be acquaintances with. They would chat about books and quickly surmise what was new in their lives. But today she didn't want to look anyone in the eyes; she didn't want to give any invitations to conversation. She wanted to be alone…she was successful not getting anyone to notice she was there, mostly by keeping her head down.

She rushed in and went inside on of the stalls and closed the door. She slowly sat down and sighed as she stared at the white door in front of her. Her face contorted as the corners of her mouth formed a frown. She closed her eyes tightly. She then began to cry silently…