..did I stop being wonderful?" she asked softly. She must not have noticed I was sitting on the park bench. I know she was not asking me the question, really.
I studied her sadness. She was an attractive woman in her 50's. Her hair, gray at the roots, hung in a messy halo around her head. She stared with eyes darkened by the shadowy places her soul must have taken her. "Friends used to tell me I was wonderful," she continued, a frown on her wax lips, "now there are no friends." She turned and looked through me. "Does that mean I am not wonderful anymore?" she asked. Again, not really asking me. There was an awkwardness that is usually felt when a stranger bares themselves. You don't know what to say, so you say nothing. I watched, in stunned silence, as she walked away.
I have been thinking about this one sided conversation for a while. The woman seemed as tho she had not become un-wonderful. No, instead she seemed to have temporarily lost her wonderfulness. It was as tho when she stared, she were searching for it. Playing hide and seek with the wonderful parts of her. The parts hiding behind her shadowy soul.
I wondered too if a person is only wonderful because other people say they are. Or, are they wonderful just because they are. Know what I mean? Do you have to hear you are wonderful, to be wonderful? I'm thinking not.
If I see this woman again, per chance, sitting on the park bench, I am going to tell her she is wonderful. As wonderful as she ever was.