Cups with Coriander: The Grind
The first entry was dated only one year prior to our missed coffee date; I wondered if this was a new attempt at journaling, or if she simply had multiple volumes. Either way, I was taken aback that Cori would have a diary at all- it was just the sort of thing that she’d usually sneer at.
Cori often said she was too busy living life to bother documenting it, and would often look askance at the erstwhile hipsters scribbling into their faux leatherbound books at the Has Bean. Yet all the while, this glittery tome was lurking in her drawer.
Innocuously enough, the first few paragraphs delineated her intent to gain insight into her own mind by beginning this diary. I hunched closer to the page when the words “my therapist” appeared at the beginning of paragraph three. Therapy? Here was another concept that was often the recipient of Cori’s contempt. I gazed off into the air in front of me. Was it possible that the woman I knew and the writer of this journal were the same person?
I hastily flipped ahead, and frowned as I saw the lines of text become crooked and choppy, as the ink color changed from black to blue to red to green, and as the crossouts and scribbles became more and more frequent.
My phone rang, and I jumped, yanked out of my thoughts. It was Liam; he asked if I had gone to fetch Cori’s necessaries, and I told him that I had, and I would be on my way back to the hospital in five.
I hung up and tossed all her things into the tote bag. I hesitated, not nearly long enough, before I flung the journal into my purse. I needed to get to the bottom of things, and I had a feeling that there were at least clues, if not the answer to the whole mystery, contained therein.
Liam was dozing in the lounge closest to Cori’s room when I arrived; his haggard smile made my heart go out to him.
“Thank you so much for grabbing that stuff, Ellen.”
“It’s no trouble. How is she?”
He took a deep breath and scratched the top of his head wearily.
“Fine? I think? It’s so hard to say…She’s not talking; she’s just…listless. I mean, physically, the doctor feels like she’ll be fine, but mentally…It’s like something is broken inside her.”
His green eyes filled, and I moved towards him, but at the same time, he stepped back and sat down heavily in the stained chair. I looked down at my feet uncomfortably; there was a terrible tension in the air. Was that hostility he was holding down?
After a few awkward moments, I murmured, “I’ll take these in to her.”
As I pushed open the door, a nurse met me and blocked my access.
“I’ll take that,” she said and snatched the bag away.
My eyes widened.
“I’m sorry, is there something wrong?”
The nurse narrowed her eyes.
“Maybe you should have asked her that question …and a lot earlier.”
I was floored.
“Excuse me!?,” I began, but before I could get properly offended, she shut the door in my face and left me gobsmacked.
Had Cori said something? Did she blame me? Maybe I hadn’t been as attentive to her lately…but I had no idea that…
I sat down on the floor of the hallway and cried. A torrent of tears that came from seemingly nowhere, flowed down my face, as I became overwhelmed by strangling sobs.
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more by VK LYNNE
photograph by Alice Hampson