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Life, and the many roads it may take you - Part 1...

It's 14:02, and Uni's sat at her desk daydreaming, longing for some much-needed time away, maybe a short trip somewhere warm. After all, she's been working non-stop all year

Lost in her dream, she doesn't notice Vee, her boss standing behind her until she hears someone clearing their throat

Startled and abruptly transported from her dream, she turns towards the direction of the sound to greet her boss

Hey Uni, are you busy?

No, I was, um...thinking about ideas for our next campaign

Ah, I see, well do be sure to run them past me before the deadline

Anyway, I came over to catch you before you left for the day to say we have an intern starting next week. I thought it might be helpful if they shadowed you. Would you be comfortable with that?

Sure, of course, says Uni

Great I'll introduce you next week. So, any plans for this evening?

No plans, just heading home, you?

No, same here, it's a quiet one for me also. Anyway, I’m off to a meeting so see you tomorrow Uni

See you later, Vee

Uni exhales, notices the time and packs down for the day. Exiting her office building, a cool breeze greets her cheeks. It's been snowing and raining for the past few weeks, but today amidst the bright blue skies, the sun is poking its head above the city buildings' silhouettes

Uni takes a deep breath and exhales - grateful for the kind weather, she decides to make a quick stop and pick up a sweet treat before heading home

The Moon Cafe, a French patisserie not too far from her work, sell the best mille-feuille she has ever tasted

The high street is bustling with people moving quickly to meet the social rules of purchasing last-minute items on this particular day to prove their undying affection to loved ones. Uni never understood why people spend all year waiting to demonstrate their undying affection on this one day and resented the idea of Valentine's Day. So much so she refused to celebrate it when she was dating Mars

Mars was all about how things looked, and eventually, they decided to end things

Looking at the time, she figured she could make it to the patisserie and be in and out before it got too busy for the evening. She longed for a relaxing bath and her sweet treat. As she got closer to Moon Cafe, she could see a long queue

The past few months have been difficult with the pandemic, so businesses have been taking extra care to serve customers, adhering to the socially distance rules

Well, I'm here now, she says to herself and joins the queue. She decides to listen to a podcast by her favourite female duo, 'Bonne', while waiting in the queue

A few minutes into the latest episode of 'making the mundane magical,' she hears a voice calling out to her, "excuse me"

Uni turns and couldn't help noticing the young man and how striking his green eyes were

He smiled and gently asked her, 'have you been queueing long'? No, about 10 mins - you in a rush? she asks sarcastically. Immediately noticing her tone in the question, she apologises

He smiles and says, 'sort of; I am going to a play not far from here and thought I could grab a dessert to enjoy this evening

Oh, ok, the desserts here are great. Your date will love it also

No date, just me; he smiles shyly. Everyone assumes today is about treating a loved one, but I wanted to treat myself to a little kindness; sounds silly, I know

It doesn't at all, it sounds perfect

Immediately feeling a little embarrassed by her assumption of the stranger with the beautiful green eyes, Uni says, 'Can we start over? I shouldn't have made any assumptions about you. My name is Uni; it's nice to meet you. What's your name?

He chuckles, "no apologies need", I'm Hughie

So, I take it you're not a big fan of Valentine’s Day then?

No, not at all. I was hoping to beat the madness, grab my dessert and head home. No such luck!

Well, it must be worth it for you to get in queue. What dessert are you getting?

This will probably sound cliché and all, but it's a French dessert called mille-feuille. Have you ever tried it?

No, I haven't, but I might take a chance this evening, and you've made me curious now. He smiles again; this time Uni, smiles back. It's unusual to feel so connected to this stranger, she thinks to herself

It's delicious, layers of pastry with freshly whipped cream in between. The name means a thousand layers or a thousand leaves. Reminds me of life and how we are all trying to get somewhere, but the destination is often layered with ups and downs. There's always so much to learn and experience

Hughie nods his head a little and says, wow, that's so true. There really isn't a script in life, there are just choices, and sometimes we have to experience each layer to figure out what feels right. It sounds like you worked it all out and found the right one! he chuckled

Not quite Uni chuckles back, but I'm on the right path for now at least. Now captivated by his gentle aura, it feels like it's just her and Hughie standing in the queue. 'And to think I was going to head home this evening', She says to herself, smiling at Hughie

The sound of a voice saying "next" pulls her out of her trance, and the line moves. Near the service counter, there is one person before Uni. As she waits, she tries to see her dessert, her heart leaps when she sees the last one, crossing her fingers and toes that the person ahead of her doesn't want it

She sighs with relief when the shop assistant calls her forward, and her dessert is still there. As the assistant prepares her order, she remembers her conversation with Hughie, who is now placing his order a few feet away

Sorry, sir, the last one was just sold, says the shop assistant

He looks over to Uni, smiles and shrugs his shoulder "it wasn't meant to be today, but you enjoy it" - She smiles back, feeling terrible because she could tell he wanted to try it

Paths cross and energies align - an affirmation Uni has been telling herself since she broke it off with Mars. "I wonder if he'll think I'm crazy," she thought

She walks over to Hughie and says out loud, 'paths cross and energies align'

Hughie smiles and repeats the phrase back to Uni - I've never heard that phrase, but it’s a powerful expression. Where did you find it?

It's something I've been saying to myself all year. Reminds me to stay open and receptive at all times. I've been trying to practice Empathy and kindness to anyone I meet, including myself

Wow, Uni, that's awesome; you're definitely right. Empathy is one of those overlooked emotions, and now more than ever, we need kindness in this upside-down world

They both pause for a moment as if they understood the time and space within the silence

Hughie looks at the time. "Gosh, I have to get going, or I'm going to miss the opening," he says. Look, I know this may be a long shot, but I have a spare ticket for the play I'm going to tonight, and it can't be a coincidence that our paths crossed. It's yours if you want it, and my gut tells me that this might be a layer on your destination of life, with our paths crossing and all

Uni paused, appearing to be in a daze

Hughie, unsure of what to make of her expression, says, "so is that a yes?".

Yes! Uni quickly replies, realising that she didn't actually respond to Hughies question

So, what's this play about then?

Hughie's green eyes seem to appear bigger now, with a smile lighting up his entire face "you'll see," he says confidently as if he knows Uni will not be disappointed

They're now standing a few metres away from the theatre, and Uni can make out the name of the play. Butterflies take over her stomach as she reads the title "Life, and the many roads it may take you."

To be continued...

We hope you enjoyed reading our latest blog post, something a little different. Stayed tuned on Sunday 7th March for part 2

With Love always

Mon & Nai

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