I have a few hours to kill, so what is a girl to do? Easy, eat cake! I go up to the coffee shop and asked for a quiet table for one. I forgot my earphones so I can’t zone up, I don’t really feel like reading. That’s when I notice them, the people with something to do, somewhere to be…
There’s this teenaged couple, least I think they’re a couple, they keep roaming the mall. I see them pop up from every direction. First down the escalator, then back up to the hot dog shop, only to go back down. Ten minutes later I see them again. They’re hard to miss.
They look so young, carefree and possibly in love. I have no idea if they’re actually a couple. They could be siblings or simply friends enjoying the school holidays by indulging in some window shopping -aside from the hot dogs, doesn’t seem like they bought anything. They look comfortable in each other’s company, her more so than him as she continues to lead the way.
I see a man take pictures of the escalators, while “his wife” waits patiently. The descending escalator isn’t working. I wonder if he’s going to take it up with management, he looks like the type who would. I know the escalator hasn’t been working for at least a week. I wonder if he knows that too.
I hear people having meetings at this coffee shop. I only hear them because I am facing outward watching passersby. They sound happy, I hear some laughter nearby. The conversations are everywhere. I can barely hear myself think, but my thoughts can be quite loud. I try to focus on one particular conversation. Eavesdropping is wrong but it eases the loneliness.
The man is apologising for being late. “I read somewhere that the mark of a good leader is punctuality and I’m sorry for my lateness. I didn’t mean to disrespect you like this” he says.
The other gentleman says it’s okay and they share a few moments of banter on this subject. My mind drifts…
I focus on the escalator once again, people coming and going. I watch all sorts of people pass by, their minds somewhere else. The relaxed who stand on their step and let the machine do the rest, and the hurried who climb up as it ascends for maximum effect. Then there’s that one relaxed person that decides to stand in the middle of the step blocking the path of a person in a hurry coming up behind him. It’s amusing to watch both, unaffected by their actions.
The young lovebirds are back. I’m convinced that they’re waiting for something. This mall isn’t that big.
They’re gone, I return to observing the rest of the general public.
Parents drop off their little ones at the pop-up crafts centre. The lady there seems nice and friendly, she welcomes all the kids that enter the play pen. The children pick out what colours they want to have their faces painted.
“I want to be Spiderman.” One would say.
“I want a butterfly.” I imagine another yelling.
When I was little, I always wanted to be a butterfly. My face covered in bright colours and rainbows – I didn’t say I wanted to be a realistic butterfly. It always made me happy, even if it was just paint.
Wow, is that the time? I have to go and I haven’t even finished my cake.