Photograph of a random girl I sat across at the coffee shop

My Writing Practice — Part 4

Another writing spark from the book ‘ The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop’ suggested that I write an imaginary story about a random person I saw at a public place. I have chosen to write about this young lady, who sat across my table at a coffee shop yesterday, as I sat sipping my tall black cold brew.

Disclosure: My nineteen year old would have objected to me clicking a picture of the person ( Ma, you are so creepy!) However, I am confident that anyone who reads this blog post will never identity the girl.

The Fourth Piece: Imagined Lives

The girl in the black anorak sat crossed legged at the end table, furiously scribbling into her notebook. She wore a pair of black sports shoes, carried a back pack with books in it, so I safely assumed that she was a student. She didn’t look a day older than seventeen. She wasn’t at the coffee shop to do the obvious- drink coffee. Instead, it looked like she had missed a deadline.

There was a reason she picked a corner table. She needed to get her work done without interruptions.

Maybe she had showed up at school that morning as always, cheerfully high-fiving her friends in the corridor as she walked to her class. Maybe she remembered that her assignment was due to be graded that day only when her teacher walked in.

Maybe her teacher gave her an extension till the end of day to complete the assignment. Maybe if she went home, she would have to explain to her mom that she was sent back because her work was incomplete.

Maybe her mom had asked her about her assignment at breakfast that morning and she had responded like all girls her age did. Mine would have responded saying, ‘ Ma, don’t treat me like I am twelve’. And then just to annoy me leave half-eaten breakfast with a, ‘ I am not hungry’.

Maybe she was on top of things at school and ahead of most others in class. Maybe she had completed her research, decided on the flow of ideas and had written the introduction last week. Maybe she couldn’t complete her work because she had to take care of an ailing aunt, or worse, a sick pet.

Maybe she was paying her way through college and worked night shifts. Maybe she had learning difficulties and was given extra time to finish her work.

Or maybe, just maybe, she was observing a stranger sipping a tall black cold brew and writing an imaginary life about her.

#TheWritersWorkshop #VirginiaWoolf #TheFourthPiece #April2019