Sadness seeped into her pores with each sip of tea. Not sad enough to do anything about it, more an ennuic sadness, an underlying symptom of a greater problem. Rarely she was moved to tears, silent pretty tears would trickle down her face barely even registering in her brain, not recognisable to the other tea sippers.
It was the other people that made her sad. Work was her life, she had no friends, no family. Her colleagues avoided her as if loneliness was catching. When she caught herself thinking about it she breathed deeply and moved onto another topic.
Of course, she had a former family, she had sisters and brothers, a mother and father; by now she might have a deceased mother and father, she could have nieces and nephews. Staying on theme, when the tears came she thought about her immediate loss of family, her husband and child, a girl, Sophia.
Sophia would be nine now and probably had a new mammy to look after her. Stacy, for so many years, unable to care for herself let alone a baby. She had walked out, just as she had done years before. Two families, left behind, completely oblivious of each others existence.
She was not going to have a third family. Work was her family, the imaginations of her mind developed families for the people she helped on the customer service counter. Always cheerful to the customers, always silent outside of that parameter, she avoided contact, shunned friendly advances and though she occasionally allowed tears to fall down her cheek. She remained alone by choice, alone by need, alone.