Loud knocks on the door woke her up. Someone was banging on the door like they’d barge in any moment. They claimed to have come bearing refreshments – some hot tea and plain butter sandwiches. She lay motionless on the bed, not responding to the knocks. Though she could do with some tea, she didn’t feel like walking to the door. It was just a step away but she just didn’t want to. She did not want any human near her. She just wanted to lay there, wrapped in the shawl her mother had given her.

The loneliness was settling in, realization was coming in waves. There was a strange emptiness in her heart. She wished she could cry but tears wouldn’t budge. That feeling when one wants to cry but cannot, it’s a stuffy uncomfortable feeling. she tossed and took a fetal position, cowering in the cold. She didn’t like the feeling one bit.

A few hours and a slight nap later, she awoke to her phone ringing. It was her mother calling to inquire if she had gotten enough sleep after the journey. Mothers are such peculiar creatures, capable of unfathomable depths of love and sacrifice. This particular mother was brave to let her only child take off alone to a stranger land. When her daughter announced plans of going away alone, she thought the notion crazy and perhaps comical but she knew her daughter would do as she pleased. She had reared an independent bull of a girl but trusted that the bull knew what it was charging at. She didn’t object but the mother in her was always anxious, worried and in constant concern. She would call every few hours to check on her bullish child. She could not believe her daughter was so far away, alone, in a land where she knew no one, but she also knew the girl would manage.

Her mother’s voice sounded like a student that had just completed a tough exam or a candidate that just cleared a difficult round of a stress interview. Both knew there were tougher subjects to handle in the next few days and though there was temporary relief, the anxiety lingered.

The daughter tried to make it a little more easier for her worried mother and in a chirpy tone assured that everything was under control. She had the gift of sounding convincing when she pleased. Her mother may have sensed her anxiety (mothers know everything) but she decided against stirring the gravel that settled right at the bottom of the anxiety-filled bottle.

After she was done convincing her mother, she decided to pick herself up and get cleaned up before she could head into town. The bathroom wasn’t welcoming at all but she forced herself to brush and shower. At least there was warm water. The water washed away some of the melancholy but the doubts and fear remained, still.

She dressed up and sat on the bed trying to figure out what she should do. She was feeling miserable but her spirit urged her to make the most of her time in this stranger land. She didn’t have much time. Suddenly she wished for the days to pass soon. She wanted to go home and get done and over with this trip as soon as it could.

She could have headed out on foot to walk around and experience the town like a local but she wasn’t exactly in a mood to get lost. She was lost already and this trip was her desperate attempt to find herself. At least that’s what she told herself.