Annie sat at the kitchen table with a cup of tea. She watched the steam swirl around the spoon. It was so free to choose where it wanted to go and what it wanted to do. She was so lost in thought and hypnotized by the careless motions of the steam that she didn’t notice Andy come back into the room.
“What’re you thinking about kiddo?”
His voice brought her out of her self induced trance. She looked up at him, her head never changing its downward gaze. He looked at her over his own mug. She hadn’t wanted to talk about it when she arrived at his house, but he always looked at her in a way which made her want to tell him everything that was wrong in the world. Maybe that’s why she came over in the first place. She didn’t have anyone else with whom she could about this.
She looked down at her tea again and purposefully started stirring before answering in a small voice.
He nodded knowingly and they sat in silence for a while. It wasn’t awkward silence. Just silence.
“I just wish I could see her. I know that it’s not a good idea right now. But I worry about her.”
Andy signed heavily before answering. “Would it surprise you very much to know that I know just how you feel?”
She thought she saw a glint of something, just behind his eyes. Pain maybe. But she couldn’t be sure. Either way, he didn’t know what she did. “I don’t know if you feel exactly how I do.”
And she proceeded to tell him about the umbra and her vision. They talked for a while about what it might mean. They talked about what it was like to miss someone. There might have been a couple of tears.
When they had said their good-byes and the door had shut behind her Andy went back to the table and put his head in his hands and whispered