She stares idly into the distance, an empty ceramic tumbler in front of her.
“The beach there is different…in my country.” She says lost in the reverie of the waves.
Did she say bitch to me? No, No, it’s the beach, the beach of Mexico. I remind myself of the Mexican Spanish accent. People’s vowels and consonants, my own diction is my Achilles heel even after years of mac and cheese. Why would she call her life-coach a bitch? Calming my heart, I try to concentrate. Usually, I am the focussed type, I can come to the point easily. A seasoned counselor, I can anticipate in the first five minutes the story which has got the weary heart to my doorsteps.
Listening is my profession, my bread and peanut butter and what they call in Japan- the Ikigai. Okay, close to Ikigai. Occasionally I get jolted, dismayed by a story, as and when a 15-year-old girl talked about being drugged at a party at a friend’s house and later found herself in the morning without clothes on her body. She was suffering from herpes apart from the guilt that she was responsible for being sexually assaulted. I was worried for my teenage daughter.