It was November, it was definitely November.
Rachel looked out the window.
Rain was pouring down from the grey almost black sky.
November. What a month. No light.
Rachel grabbed her bag, her umbrella and glanced at her feet. The shoes, that she was wearing were most certainly not going to help her keep her feet dry.
“Rachel, are you ok” a worried voice made her leave her bleak daydream.
She looked at her colleague Carol. Who was looking at her with a concerned smile.
As an answer, Rachel forced herself to smile an unconvincing smile and nodded.
“Rachel, come on. Tell me what lays heavy on your heart. I won’t judge you.” Carol reassured in a warm voice.
Rachel hesitated, all the negative thoughts were wooshing through her brain. November was never easy, but this one was particularly hard for her.
“Thank you, Carol, but I will be okay.”
The day passed, Rachel’s feet were cold in the tiny wet pumps she was wearing. Why did she never do things like the other girls, wear trainers or maybe rain boots on the way to work and then change? No, Rachel always had to appear perfect to the outside world.
Her life was far from perfect. And somehow, today, this imperfection was put into the artificial light, illuminating this rainy November day.
“Rachel?” There she was again, Carol, her voice was still warm and sweet like honey, she was having trouble hiding her concern.
“Yes, is there anything you need?” Rachel answered. Feeling the different shades of black ink flowing through her mind. All she wanted was to go home and hide. Hide beneath her bedsheets and feel sorry for herself.
“Yes, I need you to help me with something,” Carol answered. “Grab your coat!”
Rachel stopped in her dark thoughts.
“You want me to go outside into that weather?” She looked at Carol, almost glaring at her.
“Yes. Come on you’ll see.”
They stepped outside. Carol took a deep breath, “wow how nice the air feels and tastes after a nice washing!”
It wasn’t raining anymore, the sun was trying to make its way through the thick clouds.
The two women walked in silence.
“You know Carol, I don’t like November!” Rachel carefully started talking. She glanced over to Carol who nodded.
“Every year, I end up sick with a cold. It gets me depressed. My brain goes dark, my thoughts lack positivity.”
“It happens to all of us you know,” Carol reassured, “you aren’t alone.”
“I don’t see the colours anymore, all I want to do is go hibernate and feel sorry for myself.” Rachel went on. She felt strangely confident with Carol. Not like the way she felt with others.
“Look over there Rachel,” Carol pointed to the right. “Can you see the yellow leaves there? Can you see how they shine like fire in the little light that they are receiving? It is like a golden patch in the middle of this dark and cool place.”
Rachel felt some warmth around her heart. The way Carol talked to her made her realise that life was indeed beautiful, even in November.
“Let’s go here, they have amazing hot chocolates, and I am sure that you can use one of those instead of one of those flimsy coffees we have at the office.”
Rachel jumped, the word “office” made her feel uncomfortable. “Do we have to go back there soon?”
“No, don’t worry honey, I have talked to Fred and he said that he won’t need us two for most of the day.” Carol smiled, things were going as planned.
The sigh of relief that came from Rachel was only too telling.
Her hands clasping a steaming cup of hot chocolate, Rachel without thinking much let go of her thoughts and told Carol of her many woes.
It felt good having someone reassuring and not accusing. If she had been told “you are depressed” or “you are sad”, she would have hidden in her shell like a frightened turtle.
“Thank you, Carol, for everything, I feel so much better,” Rachel almost whispered looking into her empty mug.
“Just one thing, that you haven’t told me about, how do you like your job?”
Rachel blushed and felt a knot building up in her throat.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me about it. But if you want to, I am here. I won’t judge you and I will if you need to write a good recommendation. You are a good girl, you work very consciously and I would miss you dearly. But I can see that some time ago, something happened to you and now, you don’t know where to go.”
Rachel nodded. How she wanted to leave, how she wanted to flea. But no, she needed to pay rent, hold down that job. A job she used to like. A job she now despised. A job making her seasonal depression so much worse. A job making her depressed even when there was no season to blame. A job she would love if a few things were different if she were sure to be safe.