By M. Taha Effendi
I spotted him in a cafe after many weeks,
at a table in the loneliest corner.
I sneaked up to him excited,
carefully standing before him.
He couldn't possibly miss me.
But I didn't utter a word.
I wanted to surprise him
if he looked up.
But he did not.
He was gazing down,
into his cup of coffee,
purposelessly stirring it.
He hadn't noticed me.
He was absent.
I noticed then how dramatically he had changed.
His once cheerful face looked gloomy.
Devoid of any expression.
His eyes were drooped.
dark circles under them.
Unfocused and lifeless.
Sunk into their sockets.
Was he deprived of sleep?
Had he spent his nights crying?
His skin had lost its radiance and glow.
Seemed he hadn't been eating well.
Nor had he shaved in weeks.
A thick stubble shrouding his gaunt cheeks.
His hair long, messy, unkempt.
What was going on with him?
Curious, shocked, I finally spoke,
"Bret! What happened to you?
You look devastated!"
Interrupted, he finally looked up saw me.
It took him some time to realize I was there.
His lips curving slighty
into what may have been a faint smile.
But it did not reach his eyes.
Something was killing him inside.
I repeated my question,"What happened to you? You look so broken."
Finally, he spoke as his eyes filled with tears,