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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Bakir

That woman in Lockdown

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

...what was her name??

An early morning in London. The street is occupied by ordinary people, rushing to work. Their names are all unknown to one another. Some of them are chasing their footsteps to their jobs, others looking up in the air chasing their dreams or getting lost in them. Some are wearing in suits; dark, flat colours. Some hippies and artists break this set of pawns, bringing their colours to this morning routine. All the ordinary people, all walk pass each other, only to meet at the same spot every morning. The intersection, the only place, the only moment they share every morning: A tiny café shop on the corner by the underground, run by that smiling woman.

A glass door welcomes the customers in, only a few tables to sit. It is always busy, but the tables are mostly empty. People come by, pick their handmade sandwiches or cookies, their drinks and walk away. Strangely, they all get to know each other somehow, maybe they don’t know each other at all but somehow, know what sandwich the other person likes or what coffee they prefer. After all, they queue up every morning, those greetings and small talks have become their daily routine. No, they don’t know each other’s names; they are all part of a typical morning. But then it is the connection and the depth of the relationship that adds that extra tone to the ordinary

That smiling woman who runs the coffee shop has short grey hair, funny glasses and some wrinkles. Her face is mainly red in the rush of the morning; it gets boiling hot by the toaster. She bakes the cookies at night, and she prepares the sandwiches by herself. All homemade! She prepares them with gratitude, joy and care. Everything she makes, contributes to her loaf of bread; pays her bills, and brings her closer to her dreams. Her name is Paulina; only a few know her name. Most people come by, say hi, buy whatever they choose, some grab a quick bite, maybe a drink they say bye and that is just the beginning of their day. The wrinkles on her hands are the bible of a lifetime of hardwork. For Paulina, that rush is the highlight of her day and the insurance of her future.

Nowadays, Paulina is not baking anymore; she is not preparing her sandwiches. Her tiny café shop is in hibernation and Paulina in isolation. All those ordinary people who walk past every day are not there, no sound of footsteps on the pavement, no more scent of coffee.-Dead Silence-

Paulina is at home. With every spent, she is taking a bite from her future dreams. All the ordinary people on the street are at home, impatiently craving for their next morning at that café shop. Self-Isolation is that strange time; that moment when all the ordinary people start to realize how unique that sandwich was; how nice that coffee smelled, how beautiful that pink hair was and how it was never silent, never distant. How magical it is that we, ordinary people, make it extraordinary when we come together. How beautiful it is that we make each other exceptional by building that connection. And that sandwich lady with short grey hair and wrinkled hands – what was her name?? ….We all have someone like her; let’s add an “extra” to the ordinary when this is all over.

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