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It was a day on which daylight didn’t particularly break. The darkness became less solid, and the sky lightened to a dull grey as the rain fell steadily, not a downpour but a fine shower that somehow struck right through whatever clothes you wore to soak you to the skin.

Despite the rain, it was still warm. People sweated under their plastic raincoats, huddled under umbrellas in t-shirts and shorts, or sat by windows they would rather have thrown open, but instead kept slightly cracked to let as much air and as little rain in as possible.

She sat in the café with her usual cappuccino, staring out at the grey sky and the grey streets. The weather matched her mood. She sat staring out of the window as her drink went cold, and when she eventually realised that she was getting looks from the staff she went to the counter to apologetically order a new one.

It was a waste of money that she didn’t have, but it made her feel better. She wasn’t ready to go, not just yet. She gazed out at the wet streets and tried to make excuses. She didn’t want to turn up wet and bedraggled, she wanted to make a good impression. Her horoscope said this was a bad day to start new things. She was just too tired. She wasn’t ready.

She sipped her drink and sat back in her chair. She could go tomorrow. They would still be there tomorrow. She would finish her cappuccino and go home, and tomorrow she could go and knock on their door. Tomorrow she would be ready.

She tried to forget that she had said the same things to herself yesterday, and the day before that. She wondered if they’d passed in front of this very window, and practised in a tiny whisper what she might say to them.

“Hello. I’m your daughter.”

© Kari Fay