We sit in silence. All women. Eyes down, breathing quietly.
Some of us are very young. Pretty girls dressed straight from the style magazines. Sitting impatiently–manicured nails fidgeting.
Some of us are not dressed so fine. We are the ones with wedding rings on our fingers. You can see it in our eyes–the tiredness, the stress, the slight feeling of hysteria clawing at our insides threatening to turn loose any moment.
We too do not talk much–a word here or there. A thin smile that tries to say “I’m really not usually looking like this. I’m just so tired.”
We look away from each other now so we don’t have to talk.
We turn to shush a baby or tell a child to just wait a minute.
The children–the babies–that’s what makes the hysteria claw a little deeper. It’s so sad watching them play–laughing, entertaining themselves. Big innocent eyes–running back to Mommy for a hug.
“Shh… just another minute. Be a good boy.”
A sigh, a deep breath to calm our nerves. A glance at the clock.
There is a lot of waiting for us. The clock moves slowly. The children play and laugh and smile. The hysteria and tears and will to be calm all fight within.
The elevator opens finally and we step in–silence again.
If we were to talk we’d say “We really are nice people.” “He is so important to us.” “Everything will be okay.” But we ride in silence.
We reach our destination and file into a line. We must declare who we are. Then we wait some more.
The door clicks, and we enter. Eyes dart back and forth–searching for our familiar face.
There he is. My Love, My Prince, My Dreams.
Relieved to see each other again, we blow kisses and touch our hands to the glass. The tears fall unbidden. The lump in the throat grows–the heart breaks some more.
He looks tired in orange. We strain to hear each other but it is so loud.
Time passes quickly and we must part.
Hands on the glass again, we smile. Thin tired smiles at each other. “It will be okay we say.”
The hysteria begins to claw again. The line forms and once again the waiting. This time it is waiting to leave our loved one. I look back and we smile once more…a deep breath… one foot in front of the other.. we enter the elevator in silence.
We are tired. This is hard work, and we are tired.