Raihan watched as the coin that fell out of his palm scurried across the floor and stopped at the feet of a lady. The lady looked down and began to crouch to pick the coin up. Raihan rushes forward to get the coin himself but before he can, the lady has picked it up and is scanning the coffee shop to see who the owner of the coin is. Her eyes land on Raihan who has come to a standstill a few feet away from her.
Raihan points at the coin.
“I’m sorry, that’s mine.”
The lady looks at Raihan and then the coin and asks,
“Why do you look so frightened?”
“Because the coin is important to me.”
“What importance does this measly coin hold?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“How can anyone understand anything until someone gives them an explanation?”
Raihan stares at the lady and is at a complete loss for words. He has been rendered speechless by this stranger, not knowing whether he should tell her why he was so hung up on the coin.
“If you’re wondering how I knew that this coin is important then it’s pretty obvious, nobody really rushes across the café when they drop a coin. They just ignore it and pretend that they were never the owner of the coin that lies on the floor. I think people become so engrossed in the drinks that they forget that every penny counts just as they are so engrossed in this world that they forget that every deed counts.”
He stares at the lady and notices the café’s logo on her shirt before he realises that this lady works here. He looks for her name tag and finds the name ‘Maysa’ sewn into the shirt on the left side.
“Do you work here?”
She smiles and points at her shirt.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
He wants to walk away but she is still holding the coin in her hand so he stares at her until she speaks,
“What’s your name?”
“Raihan and I already know yours.”
He points at the left side of her shirt.
“So Raihan, sit down on this table and tell me what the story behind this coin is.”
He sits down in defeat, knowing that there is no chance that he can get away without answering her question so he begins tells her, wasting no time.
“The coin was given to me by my wife who has passed. Every day, for the past four years I have held this coin and it feels like I’m still holding her. In reality, she has slipped through my fingers and there is no way of getting her back. I still hold on to this coin, in the hope that I can keep her with me a little longer than I actually had her.”
Maysa tries to focus on Raihan through blurry eyes, blinking her tears away and composing herself before saying,
“That is so beautiful. I never would have thought that a coin could have so much meaning behind it but I could see the pain that was hiding in your eyes and I want you to share it with me, all of it. We all need someone to share our pain with because it helps us to heal. So tell me about your pain.”
Raihan wonders whether it is wise to share his story with a complete stranger but he cannot stop himself from giving this compassionate woman what she wants because he can see the same qualities in her that his wife once possessed.
“I loved her for years but I only got to have her for a few moments. We went against the norms of the society we lived in and loved each other anyway. The world threw stones in our direction and we did not even flinch because we always knew that we had each other. Though sometimes it was painful to see our own loved ones as the enemies of our love, we held on to each other. Which is why it was so hard to lose her so soon.”
He takes a deep breath as his eyes become glassy as if he is reliving a painful memory. Maysa wonders whether she should stop him but knows that this is the only way to relieve him of the pain that he has been carrying around. He interrupts her thoughts as he carries on with his story.
“She passed after five years of our marriage, in her sleep. It was as if one second she was there, lying right beside me and in the next, she was somewhere very far from me. The pain that filled me was unbearable at first and sometimes it still is but I know that she is in a better place than I am and that makes the pain a little bearable.”
Maysa wants to give some of herself to this man who is shedding his heart to her so she begins to tell him some of her own experiences.
“I know sometimes it seems like people don’t understand what you are experiencing but honestly I do. I have gone through the same thing except I lost my husband three years into our marriage. The only way to make the pain more bearable is to do good for others. Darkness is never overcome with darkness, only with light. Only when you are the light in the lives of others does the same light enter your own life. If there is one thing I have learnt from my own experiences then it is that separation from the people who we have found comfort in, brings you closer to the only One that you need comfort from.”
“You’re right, of course you are but when you are faced with such hardship, it is hard to look for the ease that is already in your life.”
“At least you acknowledge that the ease is already there. The Creator of ease gives in abundance. It is only when you look inside yourself that you can truly find the ease that you are searching this fragile world for.”
Raihan gazes at Maysa and wonders how this woman could be so similar to the woman he had lost. It was nothing short of a miracle. He carries on watching her as she talks.
“The whole world revolves around love, whether people wish to acknowledge it or not. We should never forget the people who we once loved or shared beautiful moments with because there is a reason why these people stayed in our lives. Even if it was only for a short period of time. It is human nature to wish for more time because we always want more than what we are given but we do not see the wisdom behind even the shortest meetings with people.”
Raihan is so captivated by this woman that he doesn’t realise when she stops talking. He shakes himself out of the daze he is covered in and says,
“Thank you for your wisdom. You have shed light in my life in so many ways and I pray that you find the light that you are seeking.”
Maysa gets up and walks around the table.
“My break is over. What would you like to drink?”
Raihan gawks at her, wondering why she has changed her entire demeanour in just a few moments. From being so personal with him, she has suddenly put so much distance between them. He replies to her with a simple,
She does not even look at him before she turns and walks away from the table.