On her way into the office supply store, Kassandra nearly collided with David. “Hello,” she said. Ever since she discovered that David had, indeed, known her childhood friend Sasha, Kassandra had tried to reach out to him. She wanted to learn more about Sasha’s life, but did not want to raise sad memories. On some level, being closer to David was a way of being closer to Sasha, of holding out the hope that she could reconnect with Sasha herself, at some point.
But David had withdrawn further, as if this odd coincidence of a person whom they had both loved, or who had loved both of them, frightened him. Kassandra did not want him to be scared. She held nothing against anyone, including him, not even his strange behavior on Pine Street, not even his clear “secret” crush on Franny, not even his sometimes discourteous rejection of his father’s overtures.
Kassandra is one of those rare souls who truly wants everyone to be happy. She never uses another person’s misfortunes to make herself feel more secure or more deserving of her own fortunes. She never asks the universe for revenge. She wastes no time or energy trying to even scores or elevate her own ego.
She loves people truly, as a whole and as individuals, and often finds herself puzzled by those who do not. How could you not love people? They are infinitely odd, curious, engaging, unpredictable, entertaining; they are always striving, always moving, always becoming.
Kassandra, therefore, mustered as warm a “hello” for David as she could manage on this cold slushy day, hoping for a moment of connection, a chance to reassure him with eye contact that at least one person today would be glad to see him.
But he brushed past her without making eye contact, lost in another world. David’s energy painted itself on the young artist-barista as he passed, and Kassandra’s heart ached for his loneliness.